How we turn GBV survivors to great souls
By Frankline Odhiambo
“Don’t let fear stop you from reporting it.” This is the message pinned on the Gender department’s notice board at Fabulous Souls. It is an advocacy message encouraging victims of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) to speak out.
The organization is determined to make an impact by being a voice for the vulnerable members of the community in particular street children and their families. It also seeks to bridge the clear gaps in services and resources provided to children in need and vulnerable members of society even in matters SGBV.
Born and raised in Kibra Joy saw a gap in services and resources provided to needy children and vulnerable members of society. After her studies in England, Joy started Fabulous Souls in 2017. The organization sought to serve the community through empowerment programmes such as tailoring, hairdressing and beauty training courses.
The organization also offers computer training to young people from Kibera informal settlements while providing them a plaftorm to gain music, art, soccer and dance skills as well as response to gender based violence.
“In children department we teach music, art and soccer where we have senior and junior teams. In empowerment department we equip our students with different skills including tailoring, hair dressing, and beauty and computer packages which take up six months,” she said.
Fabulous Souls deals with GBV cases such as defilement, rape cases and domestic violence that arise not only in the institution but also within the community itself with the aim of eradicating these cases and bring it to zero level. “We first ensure that the client gets medical attention before we proceed to taking legal measures because the victim’s health is very important,” said one of the staff at the organization.
According to Zulpha Owino, a counselor, counselling is a crucial stage in dealing with GBV cases in the area.“For the victims who take time before reporting their cases, we first take them through the process of counseling. Not all cases have to go to the court some can be solved through various processes like, mediation, with an involvement of an administrator especially the chiefs,” she said.
“The legacy that we would like to remain for a very long time is to bring the GBV cases cases to zero. We want to make the community and the perpetrators aware of the effects of gender based violence,” said Justine Ondieri.