The Champions’ Awards

The Champions’ Awards is an annual event and opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate 16 exceptional people who have contributed to the fight to end violence against women. The Champions’ Awards forms part of COVAW’s activities for the global initiative the ’16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence’. The campaign begins on 25th November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and ends on 10th December, Human Rights Day.

He is a true GBV champion. He Picks calls at whatever time of the day or night and gives his number to people to report GBV cases to him if any police officer is not handling the matter as they are meant to. Extremely passionate in ending GBV.Always willing despite his busy schedule to assist COVAW in cases that need follow up. He is a perfect role model for other police officers.

He is a passionate COVAW supporter and women’s rights activist. He is always involved in the conversations we facilitate on Twitter and gives a sound voice even when the scales are not in our favor. He believes in our cause and goes a step further to send us cases via our Twitter platform especially with the rise in rape cases in Western Kenya.

He is a Lecturer and an Obstetrician Gynecologist at Moi University School of Medicine in Eldoret. He is also the director of Gynocare Fistula Centre which he started after treating a 19 month-old Post- Election Violence victim who was sexually abused. Their mission is to give hope to a vulnerable, deprived and excluded people in society by preventing and treating obstetric fistula. Gynocare center offers counseling, treatment, income generation, education and rehabilitation facilities that allow reintegration back into society. The center handles patients in an area covering about 10 million people, including rural women in North Rift and Western Kenya.

A committed paralegal. Though silent, and not as loud as the rest, your dedication and consistency cannot be questioned. You have confidence, courage, and clarity of thought that enables you to engage at the county level with officials and authorities, making key demand in advancing women’s rights.

He is a blogger on issues affecting our country and her citizens. He gives a conscious voice to current affairs and the folly our criminal justice system. He has been involved in numerous VAW online discussions facilitated by COVAW and stands out as a champion in giving sound opinion and solution oriented input. He is not shy to question the authorities in a bid to get justice for VAW survivors.

 “I am a community Activist and a  feminist and I don’t shy away from saying that. I help my community members especially women who’ve been violated  to access justice.”- These were the sentiments of Hellen Cherotich in Nakuru during a SASA debriefing meeting. Hellen has been a Community Activist and a member of the SASA team since 2010 who holds her job dearly. Anyone who knows Hellen knows that she works 24/7 and always goes out of her way to work with survivors of GBV in all service provision points. For this, we celebrate you Hellen.

She is a human rights activist fighting for the girl child in pastoralist areas to be freed from slavery of early childhood marriages and other retrogressive cultures which violate their lives. She escaped from her community’s culture of beading girls and early marriage to get an education. Now a nurse, she has dedicated her life to rescuing Samburu girls from the harmful practices. She was recently awarded the UN person of the Year 2013.

She can easily be mistaken for an employee of Mama Lucy Hospital due to her dedication to social work. She volunteers all her services and never at one time does she complain about money or the financial constraints that come with her work. She has rescued uncountable number of girls and boys after being defiled and sodomised. She was once arrested by the police after refusing to say where she had kept an intellectually challenged girl who was being sexually exploited by her sister. This went as far as being stabbed by the sister’s brother who was not very happy with her after she blew the cover on how they were exploiting their sibling. She gets calls 24hrs a day from survivors seeking assistance who believe in her because she is known for fighting to the very end for every individual case. We celebrate you Leah.

She is a passionate women’s rights activist who goes above and beyond talking about VAW issues. She is vocal on a daily basis on current affairs surrounding VAW and has been a supporter of COVAW’s work since we enhanced our online engagement. She inquires, comments and shares information with COVAW. She believes in our cause and we believe in her.

A transformed perpetrator, and an advocate of gender equality and women’s rights. We applaud your confidence to go against the grain by questioning the patriarchal system that subjugates women, especially in spaces where fellow men ridicule you for it. For being a paralegal who supported a defilement case that led to the conviction and jail sentence of your own brother who was the perpetrator.

She is COVAW’s Pro bono advocate, but she is no ordinary advocate. She freely and with utmost tenacity represented Rosa Mugo in a defilement matter to the end. This four year battle with the court was not easy but she gave her time, skills, friendship and at times even her resources to ensure the perpetrator is brought to justice and sentenced to life imprisonment. We celebrate you Njoki!

She is a strong woman in political leadership. She is an embodiment of an independent mindset that cannot be controlled. We celebrate her because she has stood strong in the midst of attack and violence that is both physical and psychological. She has been strong against patriarchal ideas that subjugate women and negatively label those who outrightly challenge these ideals. We celebrate her for heading COVAW’s call to partnership whenever it’s needed and for being one of the few leaders who outrightly condemn VAW. We also celebrate her on behalf of all women in spaces of political leadership who have the courage to face and tackle challenges that are either cultural, social, structural or otherwise.

He is a religious leader, vocalist, a human rights defender and a Community Activist who has been very vocal within the Samburu community on raising awareness on the importance of balancing power within the community so that we can eradicate Violence Against Women. He also led a process of writing a song in the local language together with the Samburu Community Activists Team that talks about the value of a woman and stresses the importance of her being respected and be seen as an equal person within the community. This song has become a popular  within the community and has been very effective in awareness raising on Violence Against Women.

 “Shosho Rosa”  is a grandmother to  a five year old girl that was defiled four years ago by her mother’s boyfriend. Rosa has pursued the case and stood strong despite all the challenges of the criminal justice system. She withstood imperfect investigations, delays, lost files, uncooperative witnesses among others. She traveled the long distance to court every single time, even when her house collapsed and she had nowhere to sleep. For remembering every date, for your strength and courage to believe in justice, Shosho, we honor you!

Terry Muchemi is now  OCPD Embu but has been at the police headquarters for many years.COVAW was sad to hear that she was going to Embu but at the same time happy that the Embu community would now have a champion of their own. Terry has always not been afraid to hold fellow police officers to account when it comes to mishandling VAW cases. She was always ready to leave all that she was doing at her office and to immediately go to the police station where she felt that the police were not playing their role as expected. She has on several occasions even gone a step further and summoned officers at the police station so as to talk and advice them on how to handle GBV cases focusing on the sensitivity required. Terry is the true example of a champion in the police force. We salute you today.

This group of young men and women was formed in 2009. We celebrate them for their use of theatre in sensitizing the community and addressing issues affecting women in the society for example power imbalances.