GALCK TRANSITION UPDATE
Dear Kenyas LGBTI Community
Earlier this year the LGBTIQ community in Kenya began airing concerns that GALCK was erring from its mandate. A number of incidents had taken place during the year that highlighted this and fed the communities dissatisfaction, including the handling of the safe house complaints and the lack of visibility of GALCK at key moments in the evolution of the human rights movement in Kenya. This not only led to increasing lack of community ownership but also saw an existing local LGBTIQ news platform publicly taking GALCK to task and the parallel promotion of a new body to address the shortfalls at GALCK.
As a result of this, GALCK sought the support of three independent, experienced and non-partisan moderators, namely, NguruKarugu, Angus Parkinson and PoulineKimani. These three moderators volunteered their time and expertise to take GALCK through a lengthy consultative process of community engagement, member group consultation and ultimately the Annual General Meeting. The first community engagement meeting, held on August 4th, saw more than 120 community members and representatives attend and vocalise their concerns and sense of disconnection from GALCK. Following this meeting, further community consultative workshops were held, an on-line survey was launched (to which more than 60 people responded), in-depth interviews were held with key stakeholders, including with some of the founders of GALCK, and consultations were held with the then six member groups, all of which fed the AGM held on 31st August /1st September.
During the AGM, which saw the addition of 8 new member groups, resulting in a coalition of 14 member organisations and the election of the new Board, the member groups present rejected the then GALCK secretariat presentation of the 2011 Audited Financial Report and demanded the formation of an internal financial committee to review the Report. Further, having been presented with the findings of the consultative process by the Moderators and the recommendation of the six pre-AGM 2012 member groups to undertake a transition process, the members present agreed and ratified a Transition Team to lead the organisation through a process of review, transition and transformation.
Thus, with a working time frame of 4 months (September to December 2012), the Transition Team comprises four individuals elected by the six existing organisations and ratified by all 14 of the member groups at the AGM, and comprises the Outgoing Board Signatory (Rhoda Awino), Independent AGM Process Moderator (Angus Parkinson), Secretariat Representative and Communications Officer (Jackson Otieno) and Independent OD Advisor (Pamela Atieno). The Team is led and coordinated by Jackson Otieno.
Amongst other specific tasks, the broad mandate of the Transition Team (TT) is to ensure the smooth transition of GALCK into a new phase as agreed at the AGM and as demanded by the community.Further, the TT is charged with the responsibility of reviewing the structure, function, staffing, programming and financing of GALCK. The TT is located within the Secretariat and is contractually accountable to the Board and is subject to the same rules, regulations and policies as the Secretariat.
In the process of reviewing the structure, function, staffing, programming and financing of GALCK, it has become apparent that GALCK is facing immediate staffing and financing concerns. As such, the Board, today (24th October 2012) reached the difficult decision of temporarily pausing programme spending and informing current staff and member organisations and the community of this situation. Whilst this is obviously of great concern to our Board, Member Organisations, Community and Donor Partners, we wish to state that member groups’ activities will still continue uninterrupted and that this pause in programme spending in GALCK will not affect, as far as is possible, the core functioning of GALCK, such as the drop-in and resource centre, the safe house, the legal aid and the income generating activities. Further, this pause allows a full review of existing GALCK programmes, activities and financing. Once this review is complete, we intend to restart any affected programmes.
We encourage the community to continue utilising these unaffected services as we go through this process and request your support and cooperation.
We will be making further public updates and continuing consultations with the member organisations and the community to ensure transparency and open communication.
We wish to thank the LGBTIQ community in Kenya for continuing to take ownership of GALCK and assist us in fulfilling our vision and mandate.
(Please also continue using the above landline for legal aid)
On Behalf of the Chair of the Board
Gay & Lesbian Coalition of Kenya