A Women\'s Rights Organization - Mobilizing Communities to Prevent Domestic Violence

Yassin Ally - Executive Director

The Way We Work

The Lake Victoria Zone: An Area of Need

Kivulini is unique in many regards, not least of which is its geographic focus.  While there are other organizations in Tanzania working on the issue of violence against women and girls, Kivulini is based in the Lake Victoria Region, where rates of violence are high and there are few organizations that focus directly on the issue.

Our Unique Approach to Violence Prevention

Given the complex issues underlying the use of violence against women, we have adopted a multi-faceted approach to violence prevention:thewaywework

  • Strategic engagement in policy advocacy through local, regional and national networks, forums and coalitions.
  • Community entry point through street leaders who are trusted and elected by the community members and are the first contact persons in any incidence of domestic violence or development gathering.
  • Creating space for community voices on domestic violence issues (e.g. public debates, dialogues, advocacy, community festivals)
  • Engagement and training programs for community resource persons (street leaders, religious leaders, community volunteers, media representatives, networks and forums, health services providers and law enforcers, etc.)
  • Community Based Prevention by engaging both men and women in all activities

Guiding Principles

Prevention:
We focus on prevention rather than on service provision.  We believe that addressing the root causes of violence–such as women’s low status in the community–is the only way to end domestic violence.  Our approach raises awareness of both the causes and consequences of domestic violence and works to address violence before it happens by changing the attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate violence against women.

Rights based approach to domestic violence:
Kivulini uses the rights based approach in our work and advocates for local and national government accountability in preventing and responding to domestic violence. We also encourage non-state actors to take responsibility for promoting and protecting the rights of women.

Holistic approach to communities:  
Kivulini does not target women for special attention; rather, we consider domestic violence to be a community problem.  Thus, our approach aims at bringing communities together including men and women, street leaders, religious leaders, community action groups, women’s groups, teachers, youth and youth groups to address domestic violence.

Kivulini has deep connections with communities and has established strong relationships.  As Kivulini is able to liaise at the community and government levels, we are well placed to bring concerns, issues and ideas of the general public into national policy processes.

Kivulini works in collaboration with other NGOs, which increases our impact. We are a member of FemAct, Policy Forum and Mwanza Policy Initiative. In addition, at the regional level, Kivulini is a Focal NGO for the Gender Based Violence Prevention Network, a network of over 150 members in the Horn of Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa.

Emphasis on a positive approach:
Our approach stresses the benefits of preventing domestic violence rather than focusing on blame. Our community leaders and volunteers are motivated by the idea of happy families that are free from violence.

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