SHAYAWANA is based in Kwale County though our regional offices are located at the Kenya International Conference Center (KICC) building in Nairobi, Kenya. In Kwale town we are located at the Gulapkan building. Our organization is propelled by a culture of respect of human rights and dignity and focuses on sound community initiatives that responds to local, broader needs of the women and youth.
To promote active women and youth participation in there own development to achieve positive and lasting changes in their lives.
SHAYAWANA was founded in 2013 by Senator Dr. Agnes P. Zani (pictured left). Dr.Zani is a career educationist who has taught for many years at the University of Nairobi’s Sociology Department and is among the 18 nominated women senators. In the picture, Dr. Zani is receiving the Mzalendo People’s Shujaaz Awards on Wanjiru’s Best representative in Education.
Born in Kwale County — a highly marginalised area — Dr Zani talks from first-hand experience of what lack of opportunities means to people who are neglected by the system, especially women. To address the problem, from an early age, she got involved in community projects and gender issues to improve her people’s lives. Her passionate involvement in gender issues is what motivated ODM to nominate her to the Senate. Dr.Zani laments that the Coastal region is still underdeveloped and the only way to bring change is to empower the locals, especially the women, through education. Another solution is to tackle backward cultural practices like early marriage and violence against women.
From her childhood days, she recalls that any kind of injustice to anyone made her hair stand on end. At the university, Agnes occasionally acted as the chairperson of her department and started the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Alumni Programme, which she has been chairing since. When Kwale residents threatened to boycott the 2013 elections during the infamous “Pwani si Kenya” unrest, she took it upon herself to offer free civic education to her community. Education tops the former lecturer of University of Nairobi main agenda during her term of service at the Senate of the Republic of Kenya.