BHESP BLOGS

Every time I see the lawyer on T.V my heart skips a beat, my ulcers rise and I remember the pain of the accident, I relive the pain, the piercing chest pain, my back stuck on the bed, knives poking my body

, stomach on fire, my broken leg shaking in pain, I am drained in sweat, breathing through the mouth, tears rolling but too drained to cry out loud.

 This time the lawyer is being linked to the COVID 19 scandal. It is Thursday, the third week of August and the COVID19 scandal continues to unfold and shock, The Coronavirus that was first reported in China in late 2019 found its way to Kenya a few months later. Our Government, like many others, took measures to contain its spread. Medical supplies and protective equipment, a significant amount coming from donors, were procured and distributed through our government medical supply authority, KEMSA.


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“Times have changed, we need to acknowledge the fact that our kids are already engaging in sex”, says Wanjiku* who has a teenage daughter. With the closure of schools, the number of teenagers engaging in sex has risen.

Cynthia, a young mother to tell us her story; “In March, when schools were closed, we were excited that we would be spending the remaining time of the term at home. During the first month of the pandemic, my parents were quite strict on me and my brother moving around so we had no other choice but to stay at home.

After a couple of weeks, they were lenient and allowed us to leave the house but not later than 6 pm due to the curfew that had been imposed. During this time, I met this man. He was really friendly and he would take me back home at the end of the day. He told me he was still in university.


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Finally, the murderer of Peninah Wanjiru a member of BHESP has been found. David Megwi was arrested after the murder of yet another woman, same time exactly one year later, he had hired street boys to dump body parts in an estate dumpsite. The boys were arrested and led the police to David. We would like to remind the police of another murder same date the year before Peninnah's murder, same style, same dumping of the body in sacks. The victim was Cyprosa. There are many others.


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Vulnerable women such as sex workers are most affected by the lockdown. With bars being closed they are left with no other choice but to bring the client in their homes or even go to their client’s house. This puts sex workers at great risk of being abused.

A standard surgical mask goes for 100 Kenyan shillings; the basic requirements stipulate that a mask should not be worn twice. With most sex workers living from hand to mouth and the rise of Kenya’s economy, it is quite difficult to maintain this.


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LOCKDOWN THE COUNTRY, are the words uttered by most Kenyans during this COVID-19 crisis. However, many are yet to ask themselves; what about those who depend on movement for a living? Those who work casually and earn enough for only that day? Those girls who encounter violence within their homes?


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BHESP PrEP Work around PrEP

BHESP PrEP Work around PrEP

Project Name; Consumer Demand Driven PrEP for adolescent Girls and Young Women in Kenya

 

Project description:

Adolescent girls and young women (referred to as consumers in this project) of 18-24 years at high risk of HIV exposure will be identified for this project. We shall identify their influencers and networks. The consumers will be approached in their hang out/ workplace areas mainly salons, watering points, hotels, colleges, social groups/sites, etc. Awareness to create demand for PrEP will be key. Young musicians and celebrities or other influencers will be recruited and trained to create awareness and hence demand through their music, tweets, blogs and interviews. We shall generate messages that communicate the most information in the least time but speak to their wants, needs and aspirations. Communication will be done by musicians and other entertainers through concerts, music/road shows and other means as suggested by the consumers.

What African sex workers want

What African sex workers want

There are basically three things sex workers desire, and hope for

Rather than looking at the ethical, religious or personal stances on sex work, it is important to first acknowledge that sex work has borne the brunt of a highly stigmatizing society, and one whose sexual conservativeness has often clouded, and looked in aghast as those who freely, consensually, and of course, engage in sex work for money, pleasure or other mutual benefits.

A basic activist definition of sex work is ‘sex work is the exchange of sex, or other sexual services, in exchange for money, gifts, or other sexual services.’ I will not delve into the historical lineage of sex work in Africa, or even map the many ways society and others, has tried to regulate, punish, rehabilitate, and even kill off the sex work profession.

Internship Opportunity

Seeking Internship? Have you studied Communication, Journalism, Mass Communication or a related field? Do you have a grasp of research and are conversant with human interest stories?

Bar Hostess Empowerment and Support Programme {BHESP} is seeking to recruit an intern to source and write news and feature articles advocating for the rights of female sex workers in Kenya.

The intern will also be responsible for documenting the achievements and challenges of BHESP. The articles that will seek to amplify the voices of sex workers will be published on the BHESP website.

INTERESTED? Send a one-page letter of interest, CV and two examples of your writing to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Application DEADLINE: 22 JULY, 2016

Thika Man Remanded In Attempted Rape Case

A Thika court has remanded an attempted rape suspect after failing to raise a Ksh. 300,000 bond.

The Court heard that on 17th February 2016 at Thika town, John Mwangi Irungu attempted to rape and brutally assaulted Esther*, who is a sex worker.

Irungu appeared before Thika Senior Principal Magistrate Abdulqadir Lorot and pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Lorot directed that the accused be released on a Ksh. 300,000 bond with a surety of a similar amount and set 28th April 2016 as the hearing date for the case.

Esther, while narrating the full account of her torment, says Irungu approached her as a normal customer only for him to attack her when she refused to have unprotected sex.

“I told him to use a condom but he refused, fought me and tried to forcefully have sex with me. First he hit me on the head and then severally on my back,” explains the 27-year-old who came within seconds of being raped.

Esther, a mother of two, says the blindly angry Irungu endlessly beat her up while shouting at her saying she must adhere to his sex demands.

“He held my throat and began to strangle me with his bare hands. I bit his hands and that’s when he left me. I rushed to the window screaming and calling the security man,” says Esther who joined the oldest profession two years ago.

Luckily Esther says the security man together with her colleagues responded to the unrest and broke into the room and apprehended the suspect.

“He was taken to Thika police station where he was booked and put into custody,” she says.

Esther went to Thika Level 5 hospital where she received treatment for head and back injuries and was asked to come in the morning to fill the p3 form.

“Despite the pain I was experiencing, I woke up very early in the morning and went back to the hospital, filled the p3 form and took it to the police station,” she adds.

At the police station, Esther says she found Irungu’s siblings who tried to persuade her to settle the matter out of court but she vehemently refused and vowed to proceed with the case until justice is delivered.

“The police officer in charge of the case told me that Irungu’s family wanted to pay me Ksh. 50,000 but when I remembered what I had undergone I vowed to proceed with the case to its logical conclusion,” she reveals.

Esther hopes that upon completion of her case, a harsh sentence will be imposed against Irungu to act as a warning to men who have the habit of sexually assaulting sex workers.

*Name has been changed to protect the identity of the subject.

Get in touch

(+254) 728 952-231

        Email: info@ bhesp.org

Kasarani Near Do's office

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