Everyone Can Be A

“Champion for Change”

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things to fight gender-based violence in Kenya

Everyone Can Be A “Champion for Change”

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things to fight gender-based violence in Kenya

We all have a role to play in ending violence.

From a hairdresser-turned-activist to a boda boda driver, a police officer to a trauma nurse, ordinary individuals all over Kenya are doing extraordinary things to fight gender-based violence (GBV). In 2018, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), traveled across Kenya to collect stories of individuals working to end GBV across sectors, regions, and disciplines. The result is “Champions for Change,” a photo exhibit which not only tells the stories of the champions, but also showcases how individual action can add up to a forceful, nationwide movement against GBV. 


The Government of Kenya also prioritized reducing violence against children and adolescents, understanding the many intersections of GBV and violence against children, and how both can perpetuate cycles of violence in communities. In 2010, the government conducted the first Violence Against Children and Youth Survey (VACS) and in 2011 they released a comprehensive Response Plan.  Results from a second VACS report were released in 2020, showcasing a reduction in overall rates of violence – but there is still work to be done.


In 2011, Kenya passed the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, which criminalizes female genital mutilation/cutting. Additionally, Kenya passed the Marriage Bill 2011, which consolidates all marriage laws in Kenya to remove any discriminatory provisions with respect to boys and girls, such as different ages for marriage. Kenya’s Vision 2030 outlines child protection as one of the areas of intervention under the objectives for gender, youth, and vulnerable groups, and focuses on strengthening child protection systems.


GBV continues to increase the risk of HIV infection and is a barrier to HIV prevention, treatment, and care. Over the past 15 years, PEPFAR has helped not only save and improve millions of lives, but also transform the global HIV/AIDS response. One program focused on preventing GBV is the DREAMS partnership, which aims to reduce new HIV infections and violence among adolescent girls and young women ages 10-24 in 10 sub-Saharan countries (click here to read stories from DREAMS Girls in Kenya).

There is still work to be done.

Although we have seen great progress in Kenya, the data shows that sexual violence against girls and young women remains unacceptably high. A problem of this magnitude requires an equally powerful response. By working together, we can create a safer, healthier world for every girl.

Explore the stories

Get a glimpse of the people and partnerships who are working every day to prevent violence against children in Kenya and create a safer world for every child.

Explore the first-person stories and photos produced by 15 girls and young women who reclaimed their agency with the help of the DREAMS partnership.

See the data on violence against children and youth in Kenya and learn about Kenya's coordinated response across sectors to prevent and respond to violence.

Read an overview of violence against children and youth in Kenya and the partnerships and people that make progress possible.