WVL Programme Success Stories
Building a financial kitty for women to increase their preparations and participation in elections by Echo Network Africa.
Echo Network Africa is a women-led and women serving institution set up over thirty-seven years ago to advocate for the full inclusion of women in all spheres of the life of society. In 2018, ENA re-casted her focus and rebranded from being an implementing agency to a catalyst that empowers, positions, and advocates for women (including women with disabilities, women from marginalized and minority communities and young women) towards the attainment of their full potential. One of the key areas of focus for the re-branded institution is the Positioning and Democracy Program which seeks to bridge the gender gap in women’s leadership by identifying, preparing, and positioning women to participate in democratic processes. In line with the strategic approach of being a catalyst, ENA founded the Democracy Trust Fund (DTF) as a vehicle for implementing programs under the Democracy and Positioning Program.
Through support from URAIA, the institutional establishment of DTF continues to take shape as evidenced by the development and adoption of the DTF Strategic Plan covering the period 2021 to 2026 and the Finance Manuals (Finance Policy Manual, Savings Policy and Funds Management Manual, Savings Fund Registration Form) marking great milestones for DTF.
During this reporting period, ENA has successfully streamlined a mechanism through which members’ savings are invested to generate interest and thereafter disbursed to the members on or before the campaign period. This has been made possible through a clearly outlined Fund Management Policy Manual that will greatly aid the actualization of the Participatory fund concept. Three DTF members have already started saving for their political campaigns; Ksh. 450,000, Ksh. 51,000 and Ksh. 80,000 respectively, totalling to Ksh. 581,000 a clear indication of the willingness of women aspirants to adequately save for their political campaigns.
Currently, at least 100 (one hundred women aspirants), have shown interest in running for political office in the 2022 General Elections. The recruitment of a Membership/Finance and Administration Officer has greatly contributed to these heightened activities and interest in DTF. Separately, ENA has been able to raise Ksh. 500,000.00 (Five Hundred and Thousand Shillings) from the new registered members. This has again demonstrated that women are willing to contribute to their campaigns and that a participatory approach to the women leadership program is indeed possible. Participation is at the core of the DTF approach. ENA intends to pursue this approach more aggressively in the third quarter of the project as part of the institutional sustainability mechanisms and for resource mobilization. Besides, the Membership fee goes a long way in enhancing ownership and sustainability of both the candidature and the institution of DTF.