2019 Annual report

Message from the Advisory Board Chair 

Chemchemi Ya Ukweli and its supporters helped hundreds of Kenya citizensto pursue social  justice with the year 2019. These citizens accesseddemocracy, peace and security while others  benefited from an advanced knowledge and practice of active nonviolence. These and other  achievements described in this report represent a beacon of hope in a time when life is getting  tougher for those pushed to the margins of our increasingly unequal society. Within the year,  CYU focused on ensuring an increase in knowledge and practice of active nonviolence. While  our collective inaction on democracy, peace and security subjected these communities to a  rising number of injustices, their ability to organize and speak up faced a growing threat from a  regime that kept on diminishing the civil society’s space. Within time CYU came up with the  organizational Development plan which heralded internal changes, designed to make CYU more  flexible and agile in order to unlock more of the potential towards our vision.Our Secretariat  became leaner and more focused on enabling collaboration, learning and impact. At the same  time, CYU leveraged support others to become more efficient through reductions in operating  costs, protecting the organization against future surprises and planning for sustainability. In  2019 CYU operated in a highly challenging financial context. Income from established  traditional supporters lessened substantially while opportunities for growth and stability were  actually limited. The advisory board, the management and staff of CYU are committed to step  up fundraising to support future initiatives. As we embark on the next chapter, we would like to  celebrate the commitment to achieve social justice and equality. CYU works to strengthen the  capacity and active agency of people faced with injustice and exclusion to assert their rights. If  you would like to get involved by taking action or making a donation, please  visithttps://www.chemichemi.org or email us through info@chemichemi.org. Finally, we are  immensely grateful to all he partners and individuals who supported us financially in 2019, and  all citizens who campaigned with us. The obstacles we face are daunting but with your  continued support and the incredible courage and determination of the people and movements  we work with, we are confident that together we can achieve even bigger victories and reverse  the tide of growing injustice and inequality in the years to come.


ChemchemiYaUkweli (CYU)(Kiswahili for “wellspring of truth”)is an interfaith organization established in 1997 as a response to the growing culture of violence in Kenya. CYU was  foundedwith the aim to introduce “active non-violence” as a means of political discourse for  social transformation in Kenya. Change and reform initiatives desired a paradigm shift from  conventional activism which involved confrontations and demonstrations to practice of active  nonviolent approaches. Over time, Chemchemi Ya Ukweli has impacted on citizens with broad  awareness on various forms of injustices in Kenya. ChemchemiYaUkweli has managed to  mobilize citizens to demand their rights through peaceful actions. This goal continues to shape  the pursuit for social justice and equity in Kenya today. In 2019, CYU was guided by the strategic  plan ending in 2023 under the Vision of a Society living in peace and reconciliation. In order to  contribute to reducing levels of inequalities and violence in Kenya, CYU driven by the mission to  enable communities to engage in Security, peace building and democratization processes for  Social Development. During the strategic plan period 2019 -2022, CYUs programs are hinged on  three key focus areas including: Influencing national and county level legislative and policy  frameworks on democracy, peace and security, Advancing Knowledge and practice of active  nonviolence and Enhancing effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of CYU. CYUs behavior is  engrained in the following values; Nonviolence, Integrity, Professionalism, Inclusiveness, Social  Justiceand Spirituality. CYU targets people of all walks of life but specifically focuses on women,  youths, religious leaders and constituencies struggling to engage democratic process towards  sustainable change. Currently, CYU works in fifteen (15) counties in Kenya including Isiolo,  Kakamega, Mombasa, Machakos, Uasin-Gishu, Siaya, Nyamira, Kisumu, Kisii, Laikipaia, Kericho,  Bungoma, Nakuru, Migori and Nairobi. 

Holding those in authority to account and advancing quality Service Delivery
CYU brought community voices and concerns directly to the decision-making table in 2019, enabling face-to-face engagement between county officials and citizens. Reflecting our new strategy’s commitment to build ‘power from below’ by helping communities understand the causes of exclusion and injustice, we strengthened the space and tools for informed debate, and encouraged citizens’ groups to press for change on issues such as government spending, voter rights, and services for women and excluded communities. As we made the transition to our new strategy, we emphasized linking local groups to build collective power to press for change. Besides CYU worked in partnerships to enhance access to more information; promoted communities to be more able to develop and implement action plans; and better advocate for resources and services.

In particular CYU facilitated the following activities among others;

  • Active participation in the EU Road Map for CSO’s engagement in May 2019
  • In collaboration with World Vision, ensured children issues were considered during the budget making process between October and November 2019
  • Strengthened the Dialogue Contact Group (DCG) platform where like-minded partners now frequently brainstorming and
    deliberate on topical issues affecting the Country. Discussions were conducted on many issues including but not limited to
    constitutionalism, climate change, the state of accountability and transparency in the country.

Transforming and building resilience to conflict 

Building resilience is a core pillar of CYU’s new strategy, so this year our work to engage  communities placed renewed emphasis on resilience building, developing community-led  conflict management systems and enabling communities to increase awareness of the risks and  their rights; CYU worked with existing county interfaith structures to advance integrated risk  reduction strategies. CYU is well positioned to act as a backbone organization working in  partnership with government, international agencies, donors, the private sector, and  communitybased actors, offering trainings and capacity building, facilitating communication and  helping to scale initiatives.

Some of the activities that   CYU engaged in include; 

• Community dialogue series that provided CYU the  opportunity to continue the discussions initiated  previously with past project within the communities.  The series is designed to educate and empower   hundreds of youths, parents, educators, and adult community members to take a leading role in addressing the core issues that perpetuate conflict. CYU community facilitators continue to advance this course.  

• Between October and November 2019, worked within the Peace Actors Forum to reinforce a  more robust Early Warning Early Response System during the Kibra by election. The system  helped to detect and prevent a series of conflicts that would ordinarily have turned violent  during the electoral process.  

• CYU on 21st September 2018 joined the world in commemoration of International Day of Peace  2019 held at the Huruma Sports Grounds. The celebration that began with a Peace Walk from  the Kenya Air Force-Moi Base brought together members of the public, the Kenya Defense  Forces, government representatives and peace actors, youth peace builder and talented youth  entertainment groups conveying beautiful messages of peace to the public.Addressing the  public during the Peace Day celebrations, Nairobi Regional Commissioner who graced the  event applauded the tremendous work that CYU together with other peace actors and Sub county Peace Committee teams have done in ensuring that conflict is mitigated through all possible means including conducting extensive peace campaigns through rallies, peace walks,  religious crusades, sports tournaments, Public Barazas among other forums. 

“This day was all about peace especially after witnessing peace in the area during the 2017  general elections which has not been the case in the previous election period. We intend to  mobilize the residents and authorities annually to promote peace in the area.” he said 

Fostering solidarity and collaborative action 

CYU continued to strengthen grassroots, national and international alliances. For example, the  numberof movements and NGOsjoining the interfaith movement continues to growbecauseCYU and our  allies are always in the frontline advocating for it. CYU also enhanced solidarity and collaborative action  by use of increased digitalcampaigning. These alliances help to air ordinarypeople’s views on inequality  and leadership. Some of the organizations we continue to collaborate with include the National  Government line ministries, departments and agencies, county governments where CYU have been 

active, Misereor, Development Initiatives, RAPADO, National Drought Management Authority among others.  

Internal Excellence and governance  

Staff and volunteers; CYU is a people-centered organization that values its staff and volunteers  in recognition that they are crucial to the effective delivery of our work. CYU continues to build  an organizational environment where people feel valued, and aretreated fairly and with respect.  Within the year, CYU maintained a lean workforce comprising the executive director, two  program coordinators, one accountant and an office assistant.  

Learning and Capacity development; Learning happens in all areas of the organization and in  formal and informal ways, so in 2019, CYU prioritized a learning approach underpinned by  structures that will ensure we systematically learn from what we do. This will help us be more  agile and adaptable when itcomes to facing the external challenges that impact our work. These  structures include access to expertise; talent management; knowledge management;  performance support for experiential learning; and learning through social collaboration. The  organization and her staff are encouraged to take up eLearning opportunities as these are more  cost-effective.  

Organizational Strategic Plan 2019 – 2023; 

Grassroot level SDP Consultations: The strategic plan was developed through a series of  participatory processes also involving grassroot community consultations. County level  community and stakeholder consultations we organized and conducted. Six counties which had  immediate prior engagements with Chemchemi Ya Ukweli were sampled. The inputs received  from the various processes were then reviewed, analysed, shared and compiled into a draft  strategy document. The draft strategy document was further discussed, reviewed and then  followed by a stakeholder validation process. The six counties that were targeted include; Isiolo,  Nakuru, Mombasa, Nairobi and Migori. The following illustrates some of the major issues that  emerged from the counties;  

Isiolo County
The Isiolo meeting was by the CYU chairperson and brought together 15 participants representing mixed groups such as religious leaders,
members of the interfaith, previous project beneficiaries, women and
youth. The main recommendations from the group discussion included the need to program on;
i) Preventing radicalization and countering violent extremism
ii) Resilience for returnees from radicalization or violent extremism

Migori County
Most stakeholders represented in Migori county forum were Civil Society actors and special interest groups. The key recommendations from the consultation include investment for programming in;
i) Gender based violence initiatives
ii) Accountability and participation of the citizens in governance processes
iii) Peacebuilding and electoral conflict mitigation and response

Nairobi City County – In the Nairobi City County, the participation was drawn from  mixed groups of duty bearers, private sector and community members from Korogocho  and Kangemi. Priority recommendations highlighted by the focus group discussion  included but not limited to;  

i) CYUs advocacy engagement with relevant national policy and legislation 

ii) Programs geared towards promoting chapter six of the CoK 2010

iii) Activities that advance the realization of the bill of rights  

Mombasa County – The representatives comprised clergy, women and youth. The  discussion points prioritized the following issues for CYU consideration; 

i) Interreligious approaches to social Justice  

ii) Active non violence programming  

iii) Economic empowerment for women and youth in Mombasa  iv) Programme interventions on extra judicial killings  

Nakuru County – In Nakuru, the consultation was organized in Molo. A range of  stakeholders including local peace and security structures (Chief, Peace and Security  committee) police, the administrators, youth men, women and the elderly were  involved. Nakuru county comprise diverse and multiple ethnicities of Kenya and religions  in Kenya. The discussions prioritized the following issues for CYU intervention; 

i) Communities of Practice for peace and security  

ii) Interethnic dialogues 

National Level stakeholder engagement processes: The strategic plan was the result of  extensive consultations with our staff, the Board of trustees, external stakeholders, various  institutional assessments, and external reviews that informed the organization’s approach to its  work and future development. This strategic plan was designed to be generally incremental,  building on past successes, responding to current challenges while anticipating future risks. Its  target is to improve CYU’s quantity and quality of service delivery as a development actor in its  areas of work. CYU’s experience, has taught us that partnerships are essential to our success.  Therefore, henceforth, CYU’s leadership, management and staff will ensure that our partners  are at the heart of all our undertakings. The strategy outlays a theory of change that states; – “Systemic transformation to reduced inequalities and violence is conceivable when citizens are  empowered to collaborate with state and non-state actors to participate and influence security,  peace and democratization programs through integrated active nonviolence methodologies.”  

Formation and Strengthening of the Advisory Board; Institutional governance and leadership  are essential to achieving organizational efficiency and sustainability. Within the year CYU,  recruited CYU advisory board and conducted an induction training for themChemchemi Ya Ukweli sought to have an Advisory Board with the role to promote leadership and governance  which is competent, reliable, credible, accountable, responsible, and has a focused intelligence  on performance of the organizational goals. The Advisory Board was formed to support CYU  management with advice and recommendations on governance of the organization. The board  comprises 3 females and 4 males including the executive director as the secretary. The  appointment and orientation meeting provided a roadmap to revamp the organizational  governance, management and related functions. This will be further guided by the 2019/23  strategic and operational plan. The board met regularly every quarter beginning the month of  March.  

Office relocation and setup – A new CYU office was relocated and set up in Buruburu. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *