Wajibu Wetu programme

The Wajibu Wetu Programme (It’s Our Responsibility) brings together civil society partner organisations working innovatively with media, arts and culture to promote democratic culture, human rights and gender equality. 
Tuko Macho
In 2016, Forum Syd-supported web series Tuko Macho was featured at the 41st Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The series is produced by the Nest Collective, as part of Forum Syd’s Wajibu Wetu programme. Photo: The Nest

With the support from the Embassy of Sweden - Nairobi, Forum Syd is implementing the Wajibu Wetu Programme that uniquely supports the new frontier of media, arts, culture and gender focused civil society organisations using innovative approaches to strengthen democratic culture, accountability and gender equality in Kenya. Launched in 2016, the Wajibu Wetu Programme has supported innovative actors in 16 counties in Kenya. The programme's overall objective is to strengthen demand for democratic culture, human rights and gender equality through media and civil society organisations.

Wajibu Wetu works with grassroots organisations and movements who employ media, cultural and art work to raise women's, men's and youth's  level of civic consciousness, promote active citizenship and enhance responsiveness of duty bearers. The programme achieves this by supporting non-traditional civil society organisations working within culture and media spaces whose work, though small in scale, has impacted positively towards addressing injustices and human rights violations.

The programme has actively supported media which has a critical role in keeping citizens engaged in the business of governance by informing, educating and mobilising them. Importantly, media has been a vital tool for providing a voice for marginalised communities to become part of mainstream public debates. Key media-related work has been through support to investigative journalism, satirical features and community radio which, in turn, used the media as an effective and credible watchdog. The programme continues to nurture these grassroots organisations that operate in marginalised areas and support the advancement of democratic culture and gender equality at community levels.

Some key Accomplishments so far

  • Increased public participation in county governance processes across all the target counties, especially among women, youths and people living with disability.
  • Supported activism behind art and culture (artivism) a fast-emerging driver of democratisation expanding the civic engagement space.
  • Tuko Macho Web Series received international accolades including selection for screening at the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Investigative journalism exposed corruption and human rights violation leading to reparations for victims and ouster of corrupt public officials.
  • Wajibu Wetu has also created civic consciousness on human rights violations such as extra judicial killings, peace building and violent extremism.
  • Enhanced women's political participation with forty-seven women candidates directly benefiting from Wajibu Wetu Programme interventions in twelve counties.
  • Young Imams increasingly using religious counter-narrative to combat violent extremism in Mombasa and Kwale.