FROM SURVIVING TO THRIVING: IMPACT ON WOMEN`S HEALTH

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

Survivors Organization members protesting marking.END VIOLENCE AGAINST SEX WORKERS RIGHTS.
Survivors Organization members protesting marking.END VIOLENCE AGAINST SEX WORKERS RIGHTS.

ONCE BEATEN ………….

One morning while we were at the office we received news that one of our members had stolen from a client a sum of 22,000/- , as an office that fights for the rights of sex workers we had to do something about it so as to protect the rights of the client.

The co-coordinator Carol said that we should find the truth and not base on here say, so she called the sex worker who had been mentioned to come to the office and clear her name. Molly (not her real name) came to the office and she was asked about the issue, molly said that she did not steal from the client.

The said client is her regular client whom she knows very well and also the client know her too and even comes to her home to see her mother and children, so how could steal from a person who knows where to find her and also knows lot about her.

Molly deiced to call the client to come to the office, and say the truth because this was not being taken lightly with office, Molly being a peer educator and a paralegal and she was expected be a role model to other sex workers, the client never came to the office but Molly was given a warning the next any case like this comes about her or any other member who is a peer educator or paralegal they will be suspended.

Note: Names used  on the story are not real names due to security and public figure terms .

INSECURITY IN BUSIA COUNTY

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?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

WHEN GOVERNMENT OFFICERS ABUSE OFFICE

Its such a shame how some people abuse their office….

I met this gentle man one night when out on my daily hustles as a sex worker, when he called me I knew had found a potential client who would pay well. I was not wrong indeed we agreed on using a condom and the price, we got to the room and got down to the agenda of the day, we used a condom but after the act I realized the condom had busted.

on seeing this I was shocked how this had happened because I made sure the condom was worn correctly while still pondering on this, the man took me by surprise telling me that he wanted to marry me and that he loves me very much but first we have to go for a HIV test, I told him I will think about it and get back to him being that I had his phone number.

We went back to the car and to my surprise he had the test kits in his car, I inquired where had got it the kits from and told me that he works at local hospital in busia county ,as a lab technician. I Refused but he locked the car and I had no option but to do the test, after the first test he said that he did not believe my result so he wanted to redo the test and I refused ,he started beating me up.

I struggled with him and managed to get out of his car, then I called for help from my fellow sex workers who are paralegals, I was shocked to know that he is a senior lab tech at a local hospital. I came to find out from my friends that this client is fond of doing that to sex workers and that he not only forces one to have a HIV test but also tears the condom knowingly.

Am meant to understand that only senior personnel are in the position of getting complete test kits with out being questioned and am just wondering how many more sex workers are going through what I went through.

My question is how many senior personnel are abusing their office out there???????

 

SURVIVORS ORGANIZATION TO HOLD AN EVENT ON “END VIOLENCE AGAINST SEX WORKERS”

On 17 December survivors will hold a peaceful Demonstration which will be marked by sex worker in Busia, the procession start from Busia weighbridge to Busia customs and then back to the office premises where they will read out a speech.

Stigma and discrimination has been a big issue and also sexual harassment from our clients, police officers, health providers.DSC04542

To end violence and other negative attitudes, we shall let the community be aware that sex workers have their right like any other human being and is a profession like any other profession elsewhere. Despite our vulnerability, this is where we get our daily bread and assist our families and we are comfortable with it.

Our theme shall be red and black with the message end violence against sex workers and sex workers right are human rights. They will be music and dances with a banner my body my business.

You are all welcomed to join us mark and celebrate our day as sex workers.

Come one come all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!