Participants were introduced to CEA and its work, mentioning also some of the counties where CEA has been able to conduct GRB trainings. Also mentioned was that, CEA will be hosting a GRB Conference on 25th – 26th June 2015 at Shalom House, Off Ngong’ Road, St. Daniel Comboni Road.
Introduction to GRB
GRB is about government planning, programming and budgeting that contributes to the advancement of gender equality and the fulfillment of women rights. The objective of this training is to;
See increased participation of women in public budgeting processes, Train both men and women on public Finance, Access and availing information on the budgeting structure and processes, Study together the actual budgets, participate in the public budgetary scrutiny meetings, push the involvement of gender responsive people in the budget committee, Motivate those formed from different counties to be able to attend the budgetary sessions in the county assembly sittings among others.
Millicent asked the participants as to why MCAs or County Administrators were nowhere to be seen at the training even though they know the existence of the training very well, as they were also invited too, the reasons being that these leaders are not ready to tell the citizens the truth.
Introducing GRB Millicent told the participants the reasons as to why there is a great need for GRB, giving examples of the different needs that women have, of which are completely different from those of men, and that women needs are mostly based on general care but that of men are general and differs completely from those of women.
She told them of their rights and that they should not go so low with their leaders, they should always be on the ready informed side as to which type of work their leaders have. And at the same time they should be able to know their rights, and have the freedom to choose which type of projects they want to develop for developmental purposes.
Asking the participants as whether any of them knows about the money that comes to the counties is theirs and that is for developmental purposes. She involved the participants by asking them to mention types of funds they know so far, some answered mentioning the types of funds such as uwezo Fund, O.V.C among others.
She went further giving the definition of GRB, and its purposes, relating the topic to women posts, she asked the participants as to whether there are enough women governors as men governors, that there seems to lack of power balancing, she argued the women that they should not always wait to be given , that they should try to elect their MCAs, not waiting for women to be just nominated.
She went further asking youths as to whether there are those who knew the existence of the youth empowerment programmes, whereby one participant responded by the show of his hand, she encouraged him to help other youths to know about the project and as to when it begins by getting more information from the youth office. Giving them an example that even those MCAs stated from somewhere, not from the house to the leadership, That they should have the tendency of closing themselves inside their houses. And if there is a way one can help the other let them do so, and not help by a show off.
Whenever one wants to engage in GRB, one should be also in social responsibility activities, thus giving back to the society.
She taught the participants on the approaches to GRB, such like they should be able to identify communal problems, among others.
Millicent advised the participants on making use of their resources, and also to learn on works like recycling of waste, to be able to start profitable projects.
She also talked on the issue of health and dieting. That they should increase understanding among themselves, forming working groups, attending ward meetings and chief barazas. That they should know how to compare the benefits they get between being taught & being given. She informed them on the importance of attending meetings that are summoned by the leaders.
That they should be motivating each other, they should be able to do follow ups on projects implemented. Millicent told the participants that those who will attend this training and other coming trainings will be adjoined with their leaders so as they can get the chance to work together and have forums.
Fiona facilitated on the discussion topic; ‘As to why women do not participate in political leadership’, where most participants gave their opinions such as;
Women do not love each other, jealousy among women
Women are being pinned down by husbands and society, being taken as just house wife material, being dominated by culture.
Women have all the priority to be leaders, but they fail to come out in the public to be heard.
Giving an example of herself Fiona said that she is not ready to be pinned down, whenever she is chasing after her rights and those of her people, and that there is a time she had posted a suggestion on the face book to the county administrator, that she would wants to start and a social audit team for their ward, but immediately the suggestion was erased, but she did not give up, advising women not to be afraid of the obstacles that are standing their way.
A participant also contributed, saying that as citizens we should not rely on money, because use of money in politics does not help one to know whether a leader is capable of making projects grow/successful, that is why when we choose a leader because of his/her pockets and at the end of the day projects remain stagnant.
Fiona advised participants on forming groups, giving an example of herself, that she is enrolled in different groups, and that she participates fully in those groups, and now she is forming a social auditing group for the youth of Mbotela, which will be involved in doing social auditing.
Also she touched on the issue of bursary, and that there are those who are given the responsibility to make sure the poor families get the bursary funds for their children, but instead they end up selling those forms to the rich, saying that those who also do buy the bursary and the sellers are all corrupt.
Some of participants said their complains on the issue of election, that in Makadara there are those people who monitors others lives, for example if one has been registered as a voter out of the county they already know and that after elections those who voted out of the county are being discriminated and that not given priority in developmental functions of the county, the same applies to those who supported a different contestant other than the winner.
The Chief of Mbotela was next, he commended on those who participated in the community forum, also talking about the bursary issue, advising the participants that it is not good for those who engage in such trade. At the same time a participant commented on Chief’s former work of distributing bursaries, and that those times they never experienced corruption, bursaries were distributed without favor.
The chief also commended on the rising cases between couples, which he receives in his office almost daily, asking the participants that they should try to be true to their marriages, and that youths should respect their parents.
Kaka facilitated on the budget cycles, asking the participants on the examples of budgets that they make in their homes, most participants mentioning on the necessary things that they include in their monthly budgets at their homes.
Introducing the national budget cycle telling the participants that it is their right to participate in the budget making process, and that the money used is the citizens’ own tax that is derived in different ways.
Kaka informed the participants on the important dates as to when the county budget making process starts, and when is the right time when they are supposed to engage into.
A participant contributed on the ignorance of the government, that whenever there is a call for a proposal, a citizen uses his own money, and in the end when the proposal goes through, the names of the developer are changed, putting someone else to be the developer of the same proposal, thus directing the benefits to someone else.
Another participant said that they are lacking funds which they need to help them participate in the budget making process.
Kaka talked further on the dates of the budget making process, and that 1st September Counties prepares and table county development plan, by then views of the public must be included in the budget.
By January the County Revenue Authority must submit the plans and views, by 15th February cabinet seat for a final submission of the budget statement to the parliament. By 1st march budget policy statement to be availed to the public.
Bridget facilitated on the social audit, telling the participants the meaning of social audit, and the purpose as to why the citizens need to social audit, she involved the participants by asking them as to how the public funds is derived, they responded to the questions, by saying that it is derived from tax payers’ money, which is paid in different ways such as PAYE, Licenses among others. With the help of an example of a cooking pot containing the tax payers’ money and that they should imagine all the taxes that are being paid by the citizens through tax enters into that pot , making the participants understand clearly as to why the public funds belongs to them.
She also told the participants that they have every right to participate in social auditing, but only that one has to be present at the budget making process, they should also form groups, because voices of many can be easily heard than that of an individual.
Informing them that they also have the right to report seeking for justice whenever projects are incomplete or well done as planed when social auditing. For example by taking the matter to Anti –Corruption Unit.
Millicent led the participants to the way forward; And each participant said their intent after the training, such like:
Always to be alert to public information
To train Community on what learned from the training
Giving awareness to the community
To follow up on projects
To participate on governmental conversational forums
Help women to accept themselves
Encourage women to support each other
To put what is learned to practice
To socialize in the community development practices
To bring communities together
To speak in one voice as a community.
To know GRB in fully
Millicent informed the participants on the HRBA, and that we can bring them the training in case they are ready to. At the closing session two participants were given a chance to address the others and to give a closing remark for the training. The training ended successful with a word of prayer from a participant.