It is with humble acceptance of God’s will that we announce the passing on of our beloved Nelly Achieng which occurred on 7th February 2015 after a short illness.Friends and family are meeting daily for prayers and final arrangements at Survivors Organization Office premises just next to cheers club as from 8pm
2nd Corinthians 12:9: My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
On 26th Jan 2015, Survivors organization heard visitors from US AID and APHIA PLUS to document success stories at survivors organization.The team has been funding survivors organization for the last 3 years also supporting projects with the aim of reducing HIV New Infections,Stigma and Discrimination,Peer Education, CPWP ,HT C,Cervical Cancer Screening, VMMC,Exchange Visit and among other
Survivors is an organization that fights for the rights of sex workers, promotes health awareness to its members and sex workers community at large
Founded in the year 1999, the organization has been empowering female sex workers,( F.S.W) on behavior change concept, providing eloquent knowledge on importance of Voluntarily Counseling and Testing Center (V.C.T),HIV/AIDS Information ,Information on how to prevent themselves from contacting Sexually Transmitted Diseases S.T.I/S.T.Ds.
Survivors empower sex workers by teaching them about their rights and how to claim them when threatened. These tools enable sex workers to challenge physical sexual abuse by clients and police officers, and in some cases even prevent it.
Not only has Survivors observed a decline in the risks to these women`s health, but sex workers now have improved access to health care services.”At the time (of the detention), I didn’t know my rights. Thanks to Survivors Organization for training me as a paralegal .I am now able to stop the same situation from happening again. We simply tell the officers that we know our rights and that if they arrest us, we should be taken to the police station. If they demand bribe from us we refuse” says Eunice who is a member and also a trained paralegal.”It is a great privilege to be able to help others as a paralegal. Many sex workers who had never known that our constitution has a Bill of Rights now exercise those rights because of their experience.”
By ensuring the direct and central involvement of sex workers in the design and implementation of its projects, Survivors has remained attuned to the needs of the sex workers community and is better able to advance their rights and health in tandem.
REMEMBER ONLY RIGHTS CAN STOP WRONG
Busia have been terrorized by a two man gang in full police gear stealing from patrons in bars and shops, bringing fear to residents of busia county.
On Wednesday 26th of November 2014, it was just a normal day as any other , business was usual until 8.30pm when the power went off the whole town and it was raining heavily , the patrons at Sultana pub were enjoying their drinks and slow music when all of a sudden two men in police uniforms entered the pub, the patrons thought it was a normal routine patrol of the officer on duty, only to be told down! Down! And remove anything in you pockets. The patrons were robbed of any available thing they had including their phones and money ,the smart phones were smashed and left on the tables, the other old fashioned phones were taken away, they took almost one and half hours in the pub.
After Sultana , they marched to the nearest pub “cheers” they entered through the back door the cheers security guard saw them and ran , took a motor bike to the police station , but the police on duty, told him to go and look for the police officers on duty(on patrol) , the thugs ordered the patrons to lie down , one of the patrons tried to hold the leg of the man who had a panga , but the one with the gun told him to try , he will see a long day, they had to cooperate , and like in Sultana they robbed them of all valuable , they took two hours , leaving Cheers , they entered the neighboring shops and took all the money the man had sold during the day ,air time, the M-Pesa money and the M-Pesa phone.
At around 2.30am ,they went to another club called Changes , it was a ladies night so the club was parked , it was hard for them to enter the club , when they were still standing outside , one of the lady who parks at changes went greeted them asked if they are new in town because she didn’t know them and yet she knows all the police at the police station , they didn’t answer her , she went on with her business , the manager of changes came out and saw them and he went to them , he asked the same question the lady had asked , they sensed that they have been noticed , they ordered every body to lie down, the manager thought it was a joke and refused to lie down , the gun man shot him on the thigh ,they walked off pushing a motor bike which they left a few meters away and went on foot using the yuonear guest house route.
Something hurting is that all this was going on and the police had been alerted but they didn’t act, now the big question is WHO WILL PROTECT US IF THE POLICE CAN’T?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
One notorious police officer in Busia town with a habit of not paying sex workers after business was forced to pay the sex worker at the station before his colleagues.
One night he came at one of the HOT SPOT and he took a lady, They bargained and he agreed to pay KSH 1300/= for overnight . Upon arriving in his house he forced her into sex without a condom. After one shot he chased her out of his house threatening to beat her with a rubber whip commonly known as “nyaunyo ”without paying her. She left the house and went direct to the police station and reported since the officer’s house is at the police line. The officer s at the OB were happy that she had reported the case since the officer is known for that habit of not paying sex workers after sex. They booked her and asked her to come the next day at 10.00am and see OCS (Officer Commanding Station).
After that she came back to the hot spot and narrated the incident to the paralegal who counseled her and advice her to come to the office the next day. She asked her to come to the office since the next day the paralegals were meeting and therefore could find the proper way of handling the situation.
The paralegal narrated the story to the rest of the team and since they knew the police officer in question, they decided that they will call the officer for a drink or lunch and talk over the issue. At the same time they called a friendly police officer who happens to be working in the same department as the officer. She told us that the officer was out of the office for a back up raid in Eldoret. She also advised us to take the lady for PEP since no condom was used.
She was taken to the hospital for PEP and she went home. The next day she went with one paralegal at the station since they had been told the officer was back. Upon seeing the paralegal and the sex worker that he violated, he was so shocked but asked them to go in one of the office’s house so that they can talk over the issue. He did not want other officers to listen to what they were talking about but unfortunately the story had leaked out to the rest of the officers and they all came to the room and they were condemning him telling him that was not right. He should stop that habit of his and be paying for the services. He was so furious that at a point he threatened to shot his colleagues.
He eventually calmed down and apologized saying he did not know the lady was from Survivors and also he was drunk. He accepted to pay the lady one thousand shillings since that was what he had at the moment and promised never to repeat such behavior again. At a point he sobbed saying he does not understand what normally happens to him.
For sure, some sex workers rights are violated because people feel they have nowhere to turn to. But Busia sex workers have Survivors that are always ready to stand out for them and demand for their rights even if it is a police officer or police station they do not fear!!!!
Sex workers’ rights are workers’ rights and human rights — because sex workers are human beings doing work. That’s why the debate over sex work shouldn’t focus, as it usually does, on whether sex workers are “criminals” or “victims.” Instead, sex workers themselves should have agency and a say in the policies that govern their practices.
The Msm, s monthly P/E meeting is always held at Busia survivor’s office through the collaboration of survivor and APHIAplus western. The peer educators bring their reports and share the challenges they faced in the field during the month.
The 29th of October meeting we had visitors from NASCOP and OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE OF EAST AFRICA, thus we did not have the normal meeting procedure
The visitor from NASCOP introduced herself and shared with us new tools which were introduced in the new project in which reporting will be conduced monthly. Also Msm, s shared their challenges, achievements faced during the month.
OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE OF EAST AFRICA
Also at our meeting, Msm, s shared their challenges with the team from OSIEA who have been in the office from Monday 27th The visitors introduced themselves and said that they came to our organization so as to build and help on what we have to make our work easy. They have much to share with us until on Friday 31st. October.
Report submission was done as usual where by the entire peer educators submitted their report in which it was rectified by the programs manager who is also the supervisor. The meeting ended with the word of prayer from one of the peer educators