Breaking the Silence: Vunja Kimya by Daniel Ndirangu (A’21)

by tuftsigl
Aug 15

I am fortunate enough this summer to intern at an NGO in my home country of Kenya as a policy strategy assistant in the Policy and Legal Department of Vunja Kimya, a Non-Governmental Organization with a focus on sexual and gender-based violence. Vunja Kimya, based in Nairobi, works collaboratively with all stakeholders in the formulation of innovative, practical and sustainable solutions to eliminate sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Kenya.

Vunja Kimya is currently involved in several projects: the creation of a one-of-a-kind shelter for victims of SGBV (there are none in Kenya as yet), a pilot self-defense training program for youth to improve both physical and mental awareness against SGBV, and the creation of documentaries that tell the plight of victims of SGBV as well as to educate the general public on the impacts of SGBV.

These first two weeks have been really eye-opening. I have learned about relevant government laws and bills that tackle sexual and gender-based violence. I have had the pleasure of researching key stakeholders as well as policies in place that support SGBV programs in Kenya.

I have been tasked with the writing and presentation of these project ideas to the board members of Vunja Kimya as well as potential donors and other key stakeholders. These have included concept notes and proposals. I have also been tasked with writing a proposal for Vunja Kimya’s visit to Wings of Hope Rescue Home, a shelter for teenage moms, all of who are victims of rape and sexual abuse.

Most of my work, though, is in policy development. This has translated in to arranging meetings with Vunja Kimya board members and trying to get a feel for what they want this budding NGO to achieve in the near future
I am currently working under an advocate, and he has been very helpful in terms of helping me get my bearings and helping me understand the technicalities of policy development. I am excited for the rest of my internship.