The CPPR was started in 1997 by a small group of community members who were concerned with the increasing cases of violence and particularly the political crisis that was eminent in Nyahururu town and Ol Moran area within Laikipia County. During this crisis ( the so-called Ol Moran incidents where more than 30 people died attracted even the international media), many people lost their lives and property. It was a humanitarian crisis that had never been witnessed before.
Other incidents of human rights violations were evident and frequent within Nyahururu town. For example: First, a mob (in) justice under police watch; secondly, the rape and murder of a street girl at Nyahururu bus station and the denial of justice to the victim simply because she was a street girl; and finally the death of an inmate in Nyahururu prison as a result of torture. These and others convinced St. Martin to intervene and mitigate the situation. Around the same period, St. Martin was inspired by the work of ChemiChemi ya Ukweli (Fountain of Truth), an organization located in Nairobi and the international movement on active non-violence.
Based on experience with two other St. Martin Community Programmes, a committee of 11 people was constituted and the Community Programme for Active non-violence and human rights violations was born.
Through the years, the programme has continued to grow: numerous interventions, more partnerships with private organizations and public institutions, and increasing community involvement. It has worked in 4 prisons within its target area, organized, and conducted legal aid clinics, conducted training on The Sexual Offences Act, The Children Act, human rights, conflict management, peace-building, and governance amongst others. The programme now reaches out to parts of the Nyandarua, Laikipia and Baringo counties and works with a network of about 100 volunteers spread throughout its target areas.
The Programme has partnered with PAT (Autonomous Province of Trento) of Italy; Mensen met een Missie (MM) of The Netherlands and Kindernothilfe, Germany for the financing of its projects.
When her husband sent her away after many incidences of domestic violence in the year 2007, Anna, a mother of two was desperate with no source of income. She took her infant daughters and returned home to her father but her step-mother sent her away. So, she got herself a cheap rental house in the neighbourhood and started her life all over again. Through casual labour, she fed her family and provided medical care for her first-born daughter who has a chronic illness.
One day she received a court notice informing her that her husband had filed for divorce accusing her of deserting the matrimonial home. After sharing her predicament with a neighbour, she was led to a programme volunteer who brought the case to the office. Through the programme’s legal support, she was granted a temporary separation and the husband was ordered to provide maintenance for the children. The volunteer also presented the case of Anna to other volunteers in their monthly meeting and together they decided to mobilize for her support. They spoke to her father who agreed to provide a portion of his land to Anna and then mobilized members of the community to come together, collect some building materials and put up a three-roomed temporary house for her. Later the programme’s management committee (volunteers at management level) reached a decision to support Anna in growing food crops. Funds were provided to rent land and buy farm inputs.
Anna is a beacon of happiness today. The community around her remains surprised that they can come together in such unity to support one of their own. They identify every day with Anna’s success and are planning to go back one day and put up a kitchen for her. Anna lacks words to express her gratitude. She has a new house built by many hands with love; a place to call home, she has a new family and friends around her. When she stood up to thank the community she said “My hope is now a reality, without you, I would have remained the desperate Anna! Thank you”