Thursday, 29 May 2014


This year’s Kenyan Global Dialogues contest jury process took place on May 9-10 at Oak Place Conference Centre, organized by HIVOS. There were more than 3000 entries from young people of ages 25 and below. The members of the Jury were from diverse backgrounds- journalists, members of the civil society, film makers, academicians and even health care practitioners.

Kenyan judges- Global Dialogues 2014

The opportunity to be part of this great team came for me for the second time by virtue of being a former contestant. I was part of the national winners during the 2008 Scenarios from Africa competition. Back then it was a simple ceremony. Now it has evolved to Global dialogues.

The top twenty entries are going to be adapted into a short film to get the conversation moving. Last year’s competition gave rise to the film ‘Walk with me’- on the issue of disability, HIV/AIDS, sexual violence and secrets that young people struggle with.    

A number of the Kenyan entries this year came from primary school children, a good portion came from high schools while a few came from out of school youths. The beauty with this contest is that it is an avenue for young people to express the issues affecting them. 

There’s something about writing that is magical. The things that one cannot voice loudly suddenly come to life. This is what we the judges were privileged to read for two days. Some good pieces that made it to the top twenty, some not so good scripts and other ugly ones that were totally misinformed on HIV/AIDS and sexuality.

I had the opportunity to mobilize entries for the contest prior to the judging process. One 16 year old confided in me during the process that they were in love and having sex. The contents of our conversation will not be divulged here. This is just to show that young people need to air their voices in a safe, non- judgmental environment. The early sexual debut is just one of the challenges facing young people.
Another issue that came up in the entries was young people asking their parents tough questions. It was evident that there exists a communication gap between young people and their parents when it comes to matters sexuality. Parents are scared to start the discussion, while young people feel that they are not understood by their parents when it comes to such matters. 

The fact that domestic violence is rampant in the Kenyan society could not be overlooked. Several scripts had Female Genital Mutilation, rape and incest. At some point, we were of the opinion that maybe during the mobilization; the notion was created that articles that depicted such gory details would stand a chance in the contest. On second thought, having watched the goings on in the media, I guess the entries were just a mirror of our society. 

A thirteen year old girl being defiled by her mother’s lover, a 15 year old girl being impregnated by her ‘pastor’ father who has been defiling her together with her sisters and in these cases, the mothers assist the men in escaping the arm of the law. Who speaks for these teenagers?

Back to the Global Dialogues contest which was dogged by plagiarism. The education system prepares students for exams making them copy to become ‘the best’. This limits creativity and originality. One of the recommendations I have made is that there should be creative writing workshops in schools during the mobilization process. Another great idea by a Kenyan creative author is to have reading time incorporated into the lessons of the school timetable. This will improve the students’ writing abilities.

Deciding the top entries was not an easy feat because all fifteen members of the jury had to come to a consensus. Of course there were lively arguments in support of the scripts which each juror thought deserved to make the cut. That is the result of putting together a team that’s united by one passion- the young people. The winning scripts are going to go through an international jury process.

A parting shot is to our Kenyan men. The wining script was ‘A letter to Dad- my hero’. There are several men who are role models to their families. The few who have developed deviant ways of handling their families should not spoil the image of the African man. We join the young people in the dream of an Africa of positive masculinity.

Thursday, 8 May 2014


I have found the courage to complete a story I started sometime ago.....

Earnest's mother came around to look for me. I was always not there because of school. I packed my warm blue blanket, some few utensils and something she could prepare for Earnest's meal. I then left the parcel with our faithful mama mboga, "give these to my sister when she comes". She was indeed a sister, we had grown so accustomed to each other. Earnest too, had gotten used to my singing, which announced my arrival.

I checked that evening, she did not come for it. I did not lose heart, I kept checking for the entire week. Finally she picked the parcel a week later.

Then she went missing. She did not have a phone so I could not contact her. I wondered for months how they were doing.

Two months later, she came to visit me on a Sunday. I could not hold my joy when I saw them. They were doing well, despite a one month period of hospitalization. They had just been released from hospital that week. Earnest had developed complications and had to be admitted. Thanks to Blue House MSF, they cleared the hospital bill.

As I was escorting them that evening, the baby whom I had grown fond of pointed a recognizing finger at me, while looking at his mom. Oh! he had grown so much that he recognized me.

That was the last time I saw them together. One month later, I received a phone call from Earnest's mother. "We have lost Earnest he died in the house".

All the smiles, all the stares and sometimes the cries. Especially the weird goodbye that he gave me- pointing at me- they all rushed back to remind me of another hero gone too soon.

Juliet's CV

Juliet Jacqline Awuor Otieno





Juliet Awuor
Juliet Hephzibah


I am currently an undergraduate student at Daystar University completing my BA in Communication, with the hope of pursuing a career in Corporate communications.

I have over five years of experience working directly with communities focusing on HIV/AIDS education and empowerment for young women and girls. I have spoken and written extensively about women’s reproductive health and HIV/AIDS issues.

I also handle a high school ministry, educate young people on HIV/AIDS and sexuality, and volunteer as the media coordinator at River of Life Fellowship church.



Daystar University, Nairobi, Kenya
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication: Public Relations option
(Expected graduation date- June 2015)

Daystar University, Nairobi, Kenya
Diploma, Communication: Print and Electronic Media

Kenya Association of Professional Counselors (KAPC), Nairobi, Kenya
VCT Counselor training certificate

Institute of Social Studies & Advocacy (ISSA), Nairobi, Kenya
Diploma in social welfare and advocacy

River of Life Fellowship Church (October 2010-October 2013)
Volunteer Media Administrator, Nairobi, Kenya
 Administration of the church office
 Audio/ Video Recording, Editing and distributing Pastor’s messages
 Updating the church’s website and social media
 Designing Certificates, publications and Making weekly church bulletins

Daystar University (ILPD- Institute of Leadership and Professional Development), (August 2013-Present)
Work study scholarship, Nairobi, Kenya
 Photography and writing articles on the institute’s events in liaison with the corporate affairs department,
 I provide Assistance in administrative duties.

HIVOS- Global Dialogues competition 2013, (25th -26th May 2013)
Jury, Nairobi, Kenya
 Selection of young peoples’ entries in the competition- top scripts created Global Dialogues’ short films.
 Helped in coming up with a script for the Global Dialogues short film.

College of the Rockies campuses (COTR), (October 2007-October 2007)
Guest Facilitator, Calgary, Canada
 African Development Challenges Conference (MDG number six – on HIV, Malaria and Tuberculosis)

Student Ministry on HIV/AIDS (Speaker)
 High school ministry, educating students on HIV/AIDS
 Coordinator of the Daystar University’s Compassion and Care Center’s (DCCC) support group

APHIA plus Nairobi HIV/AIDS Facilitator, June 2011-September 2011
 Communicating positive behavior change against the spread of HIV/AIDS in communities, Community Based Organizations & Faith Based Organizations.

Casino Health center Member of the counselors’ supervision team, June 2010-October 2011
 Outdoor counseling and testing activities and also part time volunteering at the Centre as a VCT/ HTC/ CCC counselor.

PSI-APHIA II program, Advocate of Behavior change, January 2007- December 2010
 Raised awareness, positive behavior change against the spread of HIV/AIDS in workplaces, communities, Community Based Organizations & Faith Based Organizations.

APDK (Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya) Community Facilitator, 2006-2007
 Mobilization of financially constrained women into self Help Groups to encourage sustainable development and discourage the handout mentality.

UN HABITAT- Nanjing, China, November 2008
 Guest Speaker at the World Urban Youth Forum, part of the World Urban Forum for harmonious urbanization and safe cities.

National Organization of Peer Educators (NOPE) - 3rd National Conference of Peer Education, HIV&AIDS June 2008
 Presentation: “The Role of Community in curbing Stigma & Discrimination”.

Population Action International (PAI) and Action Canada for Population and Development (ACPD), May 2007
 Guest speaker at the Screening of Abstaining from Reality, at the Parliament.

Population Action International (PAI) MARCH 2007
 Featured in a Documentary (Abstaining from Reality) United Kingdom- London; Guest speaker before members of Parliament on International Women’s day.

KENWA (Kenya Network of Women with AIDS) Community Health Worker, 2004-2006
 Managed the Resource Centre, Provided Home Based Care for people living with HIV/AIDS, Mobilized Community and created awareness, Counseling for orphans and vulnerable children and People Living with HIVAIDS.
Awarded national winner, Scenarios from Africa Competition, Date, Location
 Created an outstanding scenario on HIV in Africa. Story: All that Glitters is not Gold.

International Essay Competition- World Bank, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cities Alliance (Best Authors), 2008, Nairobi
 Awarded a diploma among best authors. Story: The City I Long For.

Languages: English (Advanced Proficiency), Swahili (Fluent), Luo (Native)

Computer: Microsoft Office applications, online networking, Adobe Creative Suite, Sony Vegas. Skilled at using Windows 2000/2003/2007, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Linux, Windows 8