Coexist

Coexist Initiative

Home About us

The Coexist Initiative is a Kenyan NGO working to promote gender transformation, human rights and social justice. Registered in 2005, Coexist has quickly established itself as a pioneer in promoting gender transformation, and advancing human rights by targeting men and boys as its key cluster.

Our approach

We work with men, boys and communities by focusing on addressing attitudes that generate traditions of terror and encourage the use of violence as enshrined in patriarchy, negative masculinity and the entire negative socialization processes. We reverse the trend by targeting the men and boys and working with them to change negative attitudes, practices and beliefs that put women and girls at even greater risk and vulnerability. Our strength has been our fostering of active and meaningful involvement of the program beneficiaries.

Our approach and strategies have had the efficacy for escalating community receptivity to our programs   by lessening resistance and for increasing the likelihood of community members taking an active role in the thematic focus area.

We do this through a multiplicity of strategies including capacity building, advocacy, peer education, media programming, tools development, edu- entertainment and community forums

We work with men, boys and communities by focusing on addressing attitudes that generate traditions of terror and encourage the use of violence as enshrined in patriarchy, negative masculinity and the entire negative socialization processes. We reverse the trend by targeting the men and boys and working with them to change negative attitudes, practices and beliefs that put women and girls at even greater risk and vulnerability. Our strength has been our fostering of active and meaningful involvement of the program beneficiaries.

Our approach and strategies have had the efficacy for escalating community receptivity to our programs   by lessening resistance and for increasing the likelihood of community members taking an active role in the thematic focus area. We do this through a multiplicity of strategies including capacity building, advocacy, peer education, media programming, tools development, edu- entertainment and community forums

Why we focus on men, boys and communities

  • Men and boys still remain the custodians of culture which is a key deterrent to women and girls’ empowerment and their subsequent vulnerability to HIV infection. We work with men, boys and community elders because we have proven over the years that they dramatically enhance the effectiveness of our programming
  • The traditional stereotypes, largely inculcated through socialization processes greatly influence women and girls in the context of their engagement with the health, economic, political and social spheres.

  • Men can substantially impart their traditions and beliefs onto younger generations yet most the information disseminated over the years enhances disparity and vulnerability. Traditional leaders have the authority needed to decrease the acceptance of risk behavior including unprotected sex and sexual violence. Their voices are particularly important when it comes to reaching out to boys and men working with spiritual leaders have proven paramount in opening a new space for dialogue, in teaching boys different lessons about manhood, sexuality, parenthood and other related activities
  • Our choice to work with men and boys is informed by the fact that masculine perceptions show traditional stereotyped mindsets, which shape the identity and behavior of men and young boys, thereby perpetuating gender inequalities rather than breaking patriarchal norms.

Our strategic Competence

  • Networks and Synergies: Currently, The Coexist Initiative is a member of over fifteen local, national, regional and global networks and synergies all addressing common and identified thematic areas

  • Systems and structures: The Coexist Initiative is imbued with functioning managerial, financial and logistical structures that continue to give us a niche. Our financial management structures have won acclaim.

  • Experience: Having been operational for the last seven years and successfully implemented programs solely and in partnership with other organizations, the Coexist Initiative stands tall and with a proven track record.

  • Personnel: The Coexist initiative is blessed with a blend of multi-talented, highly trained, fully engaged, resourceful and energetic personnel who keep propelling the organization from strength to strength.

  • Community mobilization: The ability to mobilize and empower diverse target groups is our strength. Our strength has been our fostering of active and meaningful involvement of the program beneficiaries. The target groups are involved as participants in the conceptualization, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the programs as decision makers, advocates, peer educators, change agents, campaigners and as planners.

Our Expertise/ Skills

Innovation

We employ innovative, tested and integrated approaches that are simple, home-grown, participatory, holistic, and ones that reinforce existing work.

Speak out strategy

We bestow a chance to community members especially men and boys willing to participate in given projects to artistically express and illustrate their fears, attitudes, ideas, experiences and encounters

Community appraisals

As part of the norm, the Coexist Initiative carries out elaborate participatory assessments on attitudes and perceptions on given thematic inclinations prior to commencing any program

Community outreach and awareness-raising

We  carry out community and public forums ,develop a common set of IEC materials including factsheets, fliers, handbills and posters with an aim of raising  awareness and influence positive behaviour change.

Media and community based information channels:

Media professionals and communicators play a pivotal role in helping societies advance the rights of the vulnerable. Information channels (audio, visual and print) are our key working group