On the 27th Of March 2015, CEEC carried out an evaluation of theBuilding the Capacity of Village Elders in Burnt Forest to Prevent and Appropriately Respond to Gender Based Violence project. The evaluation meeting took place at Kamuyu PCEA church and the village elders got an opportunity to share their experiences of how the project had helped them in handling gender based violence cases as well as the challenges they were facing. As a result of the project, changes have occurred at three levels – personal, work place and community. The village elders shared moving stories of personal transformation with one of them confessing that he used to beat his wife but he has now stopped. In the context of their work, two important changes have occurred; first the elders are no longer biased against women due to cultural influence and secondly, they no longer preside over criminal cases and particularly sexual violence. Instead, they advise those affected on how to seek legal redress, sometimes even accompanying them to the police station and hospital. Within the community, the elders, who previously used to wait for cases to be taken to them have now become proactive and in their own words, they are now ambassadors against gender based violence. It is encouraging to note that the elders are also sensitizing their colleagues who were not at the training especially on the importance of not presiding over criminal cases and not discriminating against women.
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