Friends of Lake Turkana is the focal point for the East African Indigenous Peoples (IP) Think Tank which has a mission to increase public participation and promote fair debate on critical social, economic and environmental issues affecting indigenous peoples of East Africa in both national and international forums.
The goal is to work in coalitions and networks to strengthen social movements, especially as we forge multi-cultural, cross-border and cross-focus area alliances. As a think tank our work is unique (in that we are bringing new approaches to social change including the awareness of economic, social and cultural rights) as we work with grass roots indigenous constituencies and help bridge policy think tanks with activist networks and social movements and strengthen the solidarity and cooperation of indigenous organizations and communities in East Africa.
The think tank engages in 4 main areas of interrelated work to encourage indigenous participate in decision making on issues that affect their lives.
1. Movement and Organizational Strengthening– To facilitate and coordinate priority activities and the implementation of a set of programs as well as to carry out information dissemination work in order to strengthen indigenous women’s movements in East Africa.
2. Capacity Building – to assist the East African IP members and networks in strengthening their capacity and skills to address the challenges they face through building organizations, stronger collective leadership, and better organizational management.
Community Organizers Training (COT)
Leadership Training (LT)
3. Indigenous Women– empowering the indigenous women through networking, education and capacity building activities. One of the objectives of this programme is to promote awareness of indigenous women’s rights for them to be able to effectively participate in decision making at all levels, from their communities, to the national, regional and international levels. It is imperative for the East African IP Think Tank to strengthen the mainstreaming of women’s issues and concerns and ensure greater engagement and participation of indigenous women in all the programme activities,
to empower indigenous women groups and individuals to advocate and lobby for the recognition of women’s rights with a focus on violence against women (VAW) in the customary laws and in local legislation.
trainings and support to the activities of indigenous women in awareness raising, advocacy, dialogues and community mobilizations in promoting indigenous women’s rights.
assist indigenous women in overcoming their material poverty and in asserting their rights, and to contribute to sustainable development through supporting access to micro-finance and capacity building.
4. Research – This comparative research builds upon academic research and action-researchers in local networks; both indigenous and non-indigenous to critically inform debates on indigenous and customary rights in legislation and policy, both to facilitate local action platforms and to influence law- and policy-makers