Students acting for Honesty, Integrity and Equality
This project is funded by
Why We Do It
SHINE (Students acting for Honesty, Integrity & Equality) is a project that aims at empowering students to act with and demand integrity in their school communities. We believe that integrity creates the conditions for people to resist corruption.
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The approach of lead partner Integrity Action starts from an expression of the solution (integrity building) rather than a problem (corruption). When we act with integrity, we can be able to demand integrity and this is how SHINE project was born.
Integrity Action developed the Community Integrity Building approach with the aim of empowering citizens to resolve problems that affect their communities. Problems identified have often to do with corruption, mismanagement, lack of competency, and fraud.
The approach is a successful and cost-effective way to improve the quality of public services, thereby improving the lives of thousands of people.
Until December 2019, Kesho Kenya implemented SHINE in 15 secondary schools within Kilifi County. 30 other schools joined the programme beginning of 2020. 25 more schools will be included in 2021.
How we do it
Our activities were geared towards achieving the aim of the project which is to empower citizens to act with and demand integrity, actively taking part in building institutions which are open, accountable and responsive to their needs and expectations.
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Students were expected to identify various infrastructure projects and services to monitor within their school communities. This in turn yielded fruits as a total of 21 projects were identified and monitored. In doing so, students practically learnt the virtues of responsibility, accountability, transparency, hardworking, honesty, inclusivity etc.
The unprecedented spread of Covid-19 early in 2020 led to indefinite closure of schools bringing SHINE activities to a halt. However, we realized that values do not stop with the closure of schools and we decided to capitalize on the free time students had at home to continue inculcating the values in the youth.
Formation of Youth Groups
We successfully formed 24integrity youth groups (over 100 youths reached) who supported in instilling the values to their peers. They also monitored projects and services within their communities to ensure that everyone complied to Ministry of Health guidelines in containing the virus. Some groups were fortunate enough to gain interest from stakeholders who supported them with various training such as Yoga classes, art designing, film production, music and dance lessons etc. The groups also supported in identification and documentation of any child protection concerns by working closely with village elders.
Virtual Integrity Youth Forum
The aim of the forum was to discuss the role of youth in building integrity in the community during the pandemic. The event was graced by EACC Upper Coast Regional Manager, CEO Uzalendo Afrika Initiative/Communication expert and Director Youth Innovation and ICT from National Government. The event was attended by over 100 youths from Kenya and other parts of the world.
Open Gov Youth Summit
The department was privileged to facilitate a session on Gender Digital Divide during the Open Government Global Youth Summit. The event brought together hundreds of youth across the globe. Open Government Partnership, Accountability Lab, Restless Development and the Open Government Youth Collective convened the two-day virtual summit that provided an opportunity to connect and engage with hundreds of young people across the world. The summit offered a global, online platform to explore the values and approaches youth can use for open governance during Covid-19 pandemic and catalyze action in response.
World Anti-Corruption Day Commemoration
On the 9th of December 2020 the project commemorated the day by conducting media engagements on TV47, Radio Baraka FM, and KTN news to discuss the importance of community integrity building as an effective and sustainable approach in the fight against corruption. There were mini processions conducted in all the sub-counties of Kilifi County using a banner, and community members were given the opportunity to write down on Manilla papers corruption issues they wanted addressed. Community members responded positively and for once, felt part of the fight against corruption by taking part in the processions.
The project believes in interventions of the people by the people for the people, just like the democratic slogan. In order to understand the ill in the society and to devise effective measures, community engagement is very crucial. The project successfully conducted 22 community dialogues across the county. From these, the most common problem cutting across was the issue of unfair distribution of bursaries, poor health services, ignorance of community members about Covid 19, negative influence of the media houses, high unemployment rates among youth, disconnect between community leaders and common “mwananchi”. Recommendations were given which the project incorporated in its advocacy plan.
We added 30 more project schools in 2020 to give us a total of 45 project schools with Integrity clubs.
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This in turn yielded fruits as, by the end of 2019, a total of 21 projects were identified and monitored. In doing so, students practically learned the virtues of responsibility, accountability, transparency, hardworking, honesty, inclusivity etc.
From the stakeholders’ review forum held in 2020, it was evident that integrity clubs have a great impact on the academic performance of the schools, discipline of students, the rapport between teachers and students, improved quality of services, completion of infrastructures to the satisfaction of all stakeholders, increased confidence in vying for leadership roles, gender, and social inclusion and reduced unrests in schools.
Examples for Projects
- Renovation of laboratories so that they are well equiped and student can carry out lab activities conveniantly
- Drilling of a borehole to save time for students who needed to trek long distances to fetch water at water points
- Power installation in two classrooms to ensure that students have more time to read in the evening
- Construction of toilets to prevent time wastage time wastage as students congested at the few available toilets
- Litter management to enhance environmental cleanliness and proper waste disposal in the school
- Mind your language policy to sensitize students on the use of words in relation to integrity
- Enrivonmental conversation to ensure the environment stays clean
- Boy-girl relationship project to sensitize students on engaging in early relationships
What students and teachers say
“Once the school ran out of water, the students did not strike as they might have done before, but sat down to discuss how the problem could be solved and water provided,” says a teacher working in a project school.
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“The CIB model has brought fruits, it’s working, students are taking initiatives and as far as I am concerned nothing went wrong”, summarizes the Principal of Sokoke Boys Secondary
“There was a book I could not find from the library for five years. After the library was organised and books arranged per subjects, I asked for it – and actually, it was brought to me!” A student and member of an integrity club.
’’The students are involved in decision-making processes and learn to be honest and act with integrity also when not being observed”, explains an Education Officer from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
“With SHINE project we protect our future”, says an Integrity Club patron.
“We could reduce cases of indiscipline and integrity club students have become responsible and they help bring calm in school”, summarizes a representative of Takaungu Secondary.