Building Social Justice in East Africa Through Climate Action

The Climate Justice Resilience Fund reached an important milestone in its development in June, with decisions to support seven new grants in Kenya and Tanzania.  In only its second year of operations, the Fund now has active grants in all three of its focal regions: the Bay of Bengal, East Africa, and the Arctic.

The newly approved East Africa grants foster climate justice through resilient land management, sustainable livelihood innovations, and policy advocacy.  Heather McGray, Director of the Fund, said, “These are grants that give voice and power to women, youth, and indigenous people in some of the places hit first by climate change impacts.” For example, with CJRF funding, Christian Aid Kenya will work with pastoralist women and young people in Northern Kenya to strengthen their participation in county climate planning, budgeting and governance. Another new grantee, IMPACT, will use CJRF funding to build a vibrant pastoralist movement to secure and promote community land rights and promote climate-resilient land management.

To launch our inaugural round of East Africa grants, CJRF hosted a workshop for new grantees on June 22 in Nairobi, Kenya. Workshop participants spent the day getting to know CJRF staff, the projects in the portfolio, and making connections and linkages between their respective work. Successful partnerships emerged as a strong area of interest among the workshop participants. Emily Wanja of new grantee Docubox highlighted the power of linkages: “For us as filmmakers, we…realize the film [Thank You For The Rain] is even more powerful if you work in partnerships with other organizations that are already in the field. What we can do is partner and bring our different strengths together in achieving the same goal, which is empowering communities to adapt and become climate smart.”

From Left to Right Bottom Row:  Kisilu Musya ( Thank You For The Rain ), Agnes Leina ( Il’laramatak Community Concerns ), John Tingoi ( IMPACT ), Violet Shivutse ( Shibuye Community Health Workers )   From Left to Right Top Row:  Hilary Heath ( CJRF ), Nicholas Abuya ( Christian Aid Kenya ), Heather McGray ( CJRF ), Yussuf Bashir ( Haki Na Sheria ), Jane Meriwas ( Samburu Women Trust ), Gino Cocchiaro ( Natural Justice ), Elizabeth Silakan ( IMPACT ), Dr. John Kitui ( Christian Aid Kenya ), Emily Wanja ( Docubox ), Rita Kahurananga ( Oak Foundation )

From Left to Right Bottom Row: Kisilu Musya (Thank You For The Rain), Agnes Leina (Il’laramatak Community Concerns), John Tingoi (IMPACT), Violet Shivutse (Shibuye Community Health Workers)

From Left to Right Top Row: Hilary Heath (CJRF), Nicholas Abuya (Christian Aid Kenya), Heather McGray (CJRF), Yussuf Bashir (Haki Na Sheria), Jane Meriwas (Samburu Women Trust), Gino Cocchiaro (Natural Justice), Elizabeth Silakan (IMPACT), Dr. John Kitui (Christian Aid Kenya), Emily Wanja (Docubox), Rita Kahurananga (Oak Foundation)

Beginning in August, additional details for each grant can be found on the Current Grants page of the CJRF website. The website also will feature interviews with workshop attendees in the upcoming months. Look for these features on our News page.