The Mombasa County Engagement Forum (CEF) for the last two years had no support to bring various stakeholders together. For a while only a few stakeholders attended meetings when called upon and these meetings were also very much rare. Meetings could either be held four times a year or even less. The WhatsApp groups also created to ease and assist in collaboration were not yielding much results; stakeholders preferred undertaking their own initiatives or rather walking alone in PVE work.
CICC Trust’s ESCAPE project identified lack of consistent meetings for the CEF as a factor affecting collaboration and partnerships. For example, it was very difficult to identify which partners were working in which area and how their efforts could be harnessed toward the implementation of the County Action Plan. Through the support of ACT! the ESCAPE project has been able to support 33 CEF related activities; 29 pillar meetings and four secretariat meetings. These engagements have revived an interest in the CEF thus bringing more members on board.
The CEF has witnessed an increase in the number of stakeholders participating in various pillar meetings. There are even some pillar meetings where participation is done on an alternate basis to allow as many stakeholders to participate; Gender and Economic Pillars. In this quarter, the pillar participation has seen over 100 persons. This is an increase from about 30 who were consistent members before the ESCAPE project was launched.
The goodwill of the County Commissioner Office as well as the Office of the Governor have also played an instrumental role in unifying the CEF. These key offices have in a big way supported CICC Trust bring various stakeholders on board for buy-in and support.
CICC Trust hopes that the momentum will be maintained and has therefore ensured that CEF members' efforts are appreciated and praised for the sake of the future. CICC also hopes that more stakeholders will support CEF initiatives thus ensuring that more organizations and institutions fully participate.
CICC wishes to thank ACT! for providing platforms for the CEF to engage, learn and share their work. And it is the hope of the CEF, that these efforts will go a long way in making Mombasa safe and secure from violent extremism.