Uraia is the premier National Civic Education Organisation in Kenya. It has been in existence since 2000 and has been working to contribute towards the progress of Kenya through the development of Kenya’s most important resource – Kenyans.
After the peaceful elections in 2002, it became clear to NCEP that while civic education had played a critical part in enabling Kenyan citizens to understand the relationship between them and the state, the new political environment and the push towards constitutional reform would require a drastic restructuring and reviewing of the programme. In 2005, NCEP’s second phase (Uraia) shifted its focus to five key areas that were considered critical under the new political dispensation: nation-building; democratisation; good governance; constitutionalism; and human rights, with the three cross-cutting issues of environment, gender and HIV/AIDS. Uraia developed several key strengths through which the programme has been able to accomplish some of its initiatives, despite the many external challenges. For example, the programme included home-grown/indigenous ideas in its information, education and communication materials.
However, the 2007 general election and its violent aftermath forced Uraia to re-examine its mandate and re-formulate its objectives in relation to the second stage of the programme’s activities. This second stage was also a response to the new challenges facing the country after the elections, including large numbers of internally displaced people scattered in camps in many parts of the country.
Development partners and other stakeholders pulled resources together to respond to the post-election crisis through Uraia under the National Response Initiative (NRI), a rapid response mechanism that focused on promoting peace and resolving conflict among various affected communities in the country.
In 2010, Uraia began initiating mechanisms through which the programme could become more self-sustaining and less dependent on the basket fund provided by donors. The Uraia Trust, established in 2011, will allow for longer-term planning and bring synergy to the programme and enable it to reach a larger number of citizens and stakeholders wishing to be part of the country’s reform agenda.
What Uraia does
Initiate, develop, manage and monitor civic education and engagement in Kenya;
Initiate, nurture, supervise and coordinate groups formed for the purpose of promoting and developing the civic education programme;
Mobilize resources and develop partnerships to support gender responsive civic education and engagement;
Support the development objectives and/or support development of the organizational capacity of partner/participating organizations supported by the Trust;
Support public participation and engagement by Kenyan men and women in the programme of civic education either as initiators, trainers and/or trainees of gender responsive civic education on all existing and emerging issues regarding but not limited to the Kenyan Constitution;
Facilitate gender responsive civic education and engagement through affirmative action of the following groups: the youth, minorities, marginalized groups (including those suffering from HIV/AIDS), and persons with disabilities;
Foster free and fair elections, and participation of men and women in the electoral processes by way of voter education, monitoring all electoral processes and advocating the democratic values of fairness, independence, integrity, credibility, openness and accountability to all stakeholders, including the National Electoral Management Body;
Nurture the spirit of nation-building amongst all institutions of governance including the three arms of Government and the general public in Kenya; and
Ensure provision of effective accountability mechanisms and enhance transparency, equity and accountability in the Trust.