“PBI was a true introduction to the meaning of solidarity”: Justin Mohammed on his time as a PBI volunteer in Kenya
As Peace Brigades International approaches its 40th anniversary in 2021, we are sharing the reflections of past volunteers from Canada who accompanied at-risk defenders in various PBI project countries over the years.
Justin Mohammed, who now lives in Ottawa, accompanied defenders through the Peace Brigades International-Kenya Project in 2015-16.
Justin tells us:
“PBI was a true introduction to the meaning of solidarity. It provided an opportunity not only to better understand the day to day challenges of human rights defenders in Kenya, but also stand beside these advocates as they carried out their work with courage and conviction.”
In December 2015, just after Justin started his work with PBI-Kenya, PBI-Canada posted: “Justin is trained as an international lawyer and has for years dedicated himself to human rights work in Canada, Jerusalem, Rwanda, and elsewhere. He has worked on issues ranging from justice for the crimes of genocide, to support for refugees and asylum seekers, and against forced evictions and house demolitions.”
At that time, Justin commented: “Due to the high levels of poverty in Kenya, PBI has sought to adapt its methods to this challenging context. We are exploring new forms of protective accompaniment and are positioning ourselves to make a meaningful impact in the lead up to the country’s elections in 2017.”
PBI-Kenya, which was established in December 2012, continues its work to this day supporting a range of grassroot defenders across Nairobi’s urban settlements, raising their profile in the national and international contexts. Notably, PBI-Kenya supports the Social Justice Centres Working Group and is part of the Missing Voices network and the Police Reforms Working Group network.
Please consider making an online donation to PBI-Canada to help us continue write and share the stories of the defenders PBI-Kenya accompanies.