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Winning through Networking and Partnership – Boosting  Public Participation


Patricia Kamende and Mwanamgeni Mwabaraza sharing about their experiences.
Patricia Kamende and Mwanamgeni Mwabaraza sharing about their experiences.


Patricia Kamende and Mwanamgeni Mwabaraza of Kwale Country were trained by the  Coalition on Violence Against Women (COVAW) on meaningful public participation of women, which included gender-responsive budgeting processes. After the training, they returned to the village and trained others.  Initially, women were not valued at the public participation forum, had no opportunity to present ideas. No one acknowledged when a woman raised her hand. The public perception was that women would be raising issues against government, planted by the political opposition. 

Now, the government sees women as partners, gives them the privilege to share and present their memoranda.  Public participation meetings are cascaded to the village level. Not all villages have been reached, there still is a long way to go.  

Through Learning with other Voice grantees, the community saw the value of networking and partnership, which now boosts how their community works.

Make our voices heard – During community dream building, women gained deeper insights about their community and gained confidence to stand before people, speak up, without being intimidated. 

Data collection capacity – They learned from government, civil society, and Project grantees – what these agencies were doing, how they dealt with their challenges, and how they collect data. 

Inclusion of people with albinismAt the Regional Learning Festival for Voice Grantees in Nairobi, Patricia and Mwanamgeni  learned about the needs of people with albinism.  Today, the Kenyan government is providing for people with albinism and including them in public participation during budgeting. 


COVAW taught us ownership, and the knowledge that “this is all about us, and our generations to come”. This knowledge empowers us and makes us responsible – not only for us, but for next generations. – Patricia Kamende

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