Human rights defenders gear up for Mt. Kenya summit in fundraiser drive
A consortium of 25 human rights defenders are gearing up for a summit on Mt. Kenya on Jamhuri Day in a fundraiser drive to establish a home for human rights defenders in the capital, Nairobi.
The Mount Kenya summiting is the culmination of a campaign dubbed Climb For Justice that was launched by Defenders Coalition in August to address the issue of sustainability in the work of defending human rights.
According to Kamau Ngugi, Executive Director, Defenders Coalition has been mobilizing funds throughout the country through crowd funding from the public as well as monthly preparatory hikes since the campaign’s inception.
“We are overwhelmed by the kind of response the campaign has received. Over 230 climbers, both Kenyans and friends of Kenya registered and hiked with us throughout the three preparation hikes thus raising funds.’
The preparatory hikes were conducted in Mount Longonot in September, William Hill in October and most recently at Elephant Hill in Aberdares in the month of November.
Mr. Ngugi noted that the campaign does not only aim to raise funds but also awareness on the need to speak about social injustices and violations sustainably.
“Championing human rights is surrounded by negative narratives. Through this campaign, we have managed to demystify the narratives and actually brought onboard members of the public who have realized the criticality around this type of work.”
3.6 million shillings raised
Since the campaign’s launch, the coalition has managed to raise 3.6 million from the public.
“Kenyans have responded well to the campaign by supporting it to a tune of Ksh. 3.6 million.”
Mr. Ngugi adds that these are proceeds of local philanthropy from ordinary members of the public who even forgo lunch to accumulate funds for the cause. “Members of the public have been sending kshs. 50, 100 or even more. Some call in to say that they have forgone their lunch to contribute to the cause, a clear illustration of the depths of human rights defense work. It is an indication that Kenyans global citizens have realized that the campaign offers them an opportunity to be part of anchoring human rights in our national culture and support the role played by the global family of human rights defenders”