Forum aimed at debating a project intended to strengthen the voice of local NGOs working towards the reduction of Gender Based Violence (GBV) which was held in Hargeisa.

A workshop intended for the launching of the new project: Raising the voice of the local NGOs working against gender Based Violence was held in Hargeisa for the 12 umbrellas and NGOs who will implement this project, this workshop, raising the voice of the NGOs is meant to convey to the community a fact based voice on Gender Based Violence (GBV), this workshop was held in Hargeisa last week.

This project sponsored by Progressio, was attended by progressio country director and other top officials from that INGO.

Kinzi Hussein Kowden, the Executive Director of WORDA, who is the Local NGO tasked with the coordination of the project and will work between Progressio and the 12 implementing organizations said “ 12 different umbrellas and NGOs will implement this project, the capacity of these organizations will be upgraded in areas of collecting reliable and solid information about Gender Based Violence (GBV), for two years the staff of these organizations will be trained so they are capable in collecting reliable and accurate information about Gender Based Violence (GBV), the data they collect and its findings will then be presented to the public, the government and stakeholder organizations to help everyone have a clear picture of the true state of Gender Based Violence (GBV).”

Kinzi, WORDA Executive Director, said that 24 research professionals will be selected from these organizations and they will be trained on Research by Research experts, these research trainees will specifically be trained in conducting a Gender Based Violence (GBV) in a manner that leads to the understanding of exact levels of Gender Based Violence  “ on one hand it is data collection and on the other it is capacity building for local NGOs staff, with the objective of training and preparing national or local expert research professionals.”

Kinzi stated taht this project will be executed in the two regions of Marodi Jeeh and Togdheer up to a village level in these two regions, here she is again describing a second expert who will work with the project “ How can we analyse and restructure the policies and regulations we have in place (Local NGO policies and strategies), What are the short comings of these policies?, What are they missing and how can we improve them? Are there policy gaps and what are they not covering? What are their strengths and how can we build on them?”

Kinzi underscored that the objective of this study is drawing a clear picture of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and in what areas it is most widespread and then sharing that with relevant and concerned government institutions to address them and at the sometime draft more targeted regulations aimed at reducing and eliminating Gender Based Violence (GBV), the findings of this study will also be shared with religious and cultural leaders to help start a national dialogue and consultation about Gender Based Violence (GBV) and how can it be best addressed and eliminated.

Gender Based Violence (GBV) types that this research will aim to study and document will include rape, denying girls of opportunities to education and employment and workplace sexual harassments “ Even women sometimes harass men or do commit other types of Gender Based violence (GBV) types, it is not just men who do commit this violence and the study works with that mindset studying both types of Gender Based violence whether committed by men or women,” Said Kinzi.

The criteria that these Local NGOs were selected included that these organizations have working offices, strategies and a vision and at the same time comply with the country’s regulations by registering themselves each year and most importantly that these organizations have an interest in raising awareness and alleviating Gender Based Violence (GBV) as Kinzi stated, she further described that the project will continue for a period of 24 months and that 2 individuals will be selected from each organization hence making it 24 research trainees who will be required to demonstrate grit, hard working and a positive attitude as they undertake two years of studying research  accompanied by conducting an actual study, this will two years of gruelling hard work but one that will benefit these trainees and the country a lot,” Said WORDA Executive Director, who added “ That all credit goes to Progressio country Director Ms. Suad who tirelessly worked in getting this project for the local NGOs after conducting a series of consultations and discussions which ultimately led to recognizing that a project like this was a much needed and then worked to make that happen.”

Finally Kinzi concluded her speech that the data this study is seeking to accomplish will be propagated through the media to the public on a three monthly basis, a report will then be published which will be presented to government institutions, NGOs and the rest of the civil society organizations who will study this report and contribute their analysis, a final comprehensive report will then be published,