A Covid-19 resilience program targeting Gender-Based Violence survivors in Kilifi and Nairobi counties has been launched.  

A Non-Governmental organization Centre for Rights Education and awareness (CREAW Kenya) a national feminist women’s right NGO came up with the program after establishing that women and girls have gone through many challenges during the pandemic. 

The program involves among other issues, training for the survivors of GBV in business management and thereafter, 100 of them will be selected to benefit from loans with small interest to start businesses in an effort to cushion them from the effects of the pandemic. 

According to Mr Moses Okello, a women economic empowerment officer at CREAW, most women have become victims of GBV because of sharing limited resources at home due to the covid-19 pandemic. 

The officer told journalists that they came up with financial inclusion program that is targeting the most vulnerable women who are victims of GBV. 

“Under financial inclusion program, we provide our women beneficiaries with financial interest training, business management and entrepreneurship skills so that they are able to start up, grow and manage their businesses,” he said. 

Under the program, Mr Okello said they also provide them with cash transfer programs to help them start the businesses and if already they are in business help them grow their businesses. 

In the component of the program is Jasiri fund which targets women entrepreneurs who have gone through GBV to help them acquire loans that have 9.3 per cent interest rate. 

“We are targeting 100 women in Nairobi, Kilifi, and Mombasa, first, we take them through the business management and entrepreneur training, thereafter we link them up with the bank which will be disbursing the money,’’ he said. 

He said they intend to issue a loan between Sh3, 000 to Sh500, 000 to the women so as to cushion them against the pandemic. 

Survivors revealed heartbreaking stories on how they suffered at the hands of cruel husbands. 

One of the victim we could not name disclosed that since last year April life has been tough and she has been subjected to torture by her husband due to the pandemic. 

She said getting money for food was a nightmare and her children were forced to go out on their way to look for money. 

The mother of three a boy and twin girls are grown said she was beaten by her husband to an extent that she had a miscarriage. 

“I went to my pastor for counseling and he told me to be patient and assured me that God would provide way and that is when CREAW organization members came and recruited me for the project,’’ she said. 

She said her husband used to give her Sh500 to spend for one week which was not enough and did not want her to ask for more. 

Her wish is to get a loan of Sh500, 000 to begin poultry business and shall use the skills of bookkeeping to ensure records are kept well on how money is spending. 

Joyce Kazungu also not her real name a graduate who did journalisms and mass communication has been a victim of Gender-based violence for one and a half years living with a man who was torturing her psychologically. 

She told the press that she dumped her husband and went back home as the situation was worsening each day following the inhuman treatment. 

“I was married to a man who is older than me and were blessed with one child but it wasn’t easy he could come back home very drunk and torture me every day,’’ she said. 

Ms Kazungu said neighbors were not supportive of her and would tell her off that she chose that marriage herself. 

 “I had a miscarriage at first and the second time if got pregnant again because of the tortures, but he could come home drunk beat me,’’ she said. 

Brought up by a single mother she said the situation worsened last year as she was turning 26 and her cousin advised her to abandon the husband. 

 “Being a graduate, I was that person who would choose the work to do but I reached a point of even washing clothes to get money for survival because there are young ones and her child depending on her,’’ she said. 

Currently, she got a stall at the new market in Majengo which was opened recently and expects to get a loan of Sh300,000 to begin a hotel business as the place is busy.