she shapes the city

Alberta Wambua ~ Executive Director for The Gender Violence Recovery Centre

“We’re trying to … bring back meaning to the lives of survivors. The saddest part is the cases are really severe … I keep wondering “when is the day when all this will all stop?” But then … they’re calling you for their weddings… and tell you how good things are…That keeps you going … You look back and think “ok so if I don’t do this who else will?”

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Alberta joined the Gender Violence Recovery Centre (GVRC) as a volunteer after
she went through a traumatic car jacking and attempted rape. Ten years on and Alberta now heads up the Centre as its Executive Director. GVRC is the leading institution tacking gender violence in the region. As well as providing free medical and counselling services for tens of thousands of women and men across East and Central Africa the centre is also at the forefront in training professionals, both in the medical profession and police force, to work with survivors of gender based violence.

Recently Alberta has been drawn into the debate over mass stripping of women in public places, where perpetrators accused their victims of wearing inappropriate clothing. In the local media she explained that these strippings “show a gender based hostility which leads to mass assaults and this is in addition to the already existing domestic violence and sexual assaults that we see”. For Alberta these incidents are a result of socialization and that there is a tolerance to the violence, it’s seen as a norm. GVRC’s response is the ‘Become 1 in a million” campaign calling on Kenyans to end gender violence in the country.

While addressing these issues at the work place Alberta also takes these lessons home to her family. She has both a son and a daughter and believes that teaching her son to respect women is an important step in creating a different future.

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