For years, the urban settlements in Nairobi, Kenya, have suffered various forms of structural violence, including: land grabbing, forced evictions, police abuse and extrajudicial killings, political impunity and other economic, social and psychological violations. This violence has been allowed to go on without any retribution to the community, especially as most of the community continues to live in fear of the consequences of standing up for their rights.
"What's social justice? Rights to food, rights to water, right to live, housing, health care and education" Juliet Wanjira
In order to address these issues, a collective of young community members and experienced social justice activists in Mathare came together in 2015, founding the Mathare Social Justice Centre. The MSJC’s mission is to promote social justice in Mathare by means of community engagement and the use of social movement platforms. Since 2015, the MSJC has undertaken a number of organizing activities with all cross-sections of the community and have focused on the documentation of extrajuridical killings.
"Unity. That's where our power lies" Juliet Wanjira
In just two years the MSCJ has developed from a loose group of individuals meeting on the streets and in their houses, to a well-organised and powerful voice in the public debate on issues such as extrajudicial killings in the urban settlements, land rights, gender-based rights and many more.
The centres aim to promote social justice in the informal settlements through community engagement and the use of social movement platforms. Since 2015, the movement has undertaken a number of organizing activities across all sections of the community and have focused on the documentation of extra-judicial killings.