Social Justice Centres Wellness Café


Human Rights Defenders across the world sacrifice their entire lifetime agitating for adherence of the rule of law and speak up against human rights abuse and violations. In the course of their work most of them undergo a myriad of challenges such as burnouts, depression, threats and intimidations, trauma (both direct and vicarious) and even economic challenges.

They put their lives on the line every other day for other people but more often than not forget about their personal welfare. Due to the above reasons it was paramount that under the Social Justice Centre Working Group there should be a committee tasked with making sure all human rights defenders’ welfare under this umbrella are taken care of and that is how the idea of a Wellness Committee was born.

The committee is anchored on the following objectives;

  • Defending human rights defenders
  • Improving the socio-economic, psycho-social and welfare of defenders
  • Offering solidarity in all spheres during the course of defending rights
  • Strengthening bonds and networks among the defenders


For the past six months, human rights defenders under the Social Justice Movement have engaged in several vigorous activities without taking a break. This is because injustice and human rights violations do not take breaks.

Some of the activities that we have undertaken include but not limited to

1. Organizing the tano tano people’s congress on 5th May, 2023

2. A survey on the state of food sovereignty and awareness in Kenya

3. Twitter spaces, street storms and Grafitti advocacies

4. Organized more than 20 community dialogues and public participation

5. Offering court solidarity to victims of human rights violations

6. Sita Sita protests against the Finance Bill 2023

Despite all these events and many others, it has not been a smooth sailing for the over 500 Human Rights Defenders who made these activities a success for some HRDs are already breaking down due to burn out while others need urgent redress to curb possible mental illness.


It is therefore for these reasons that the idea of having monthly Wellness Cafes that will aim to rejuvenate and empower HRDs to recharge and continue serving the community with passion, zeal and zest. Currently many HRDs are suffering from mental break-downs , burnout and economic uncertainties which is dangerous for anyone who serves as a human rights defender due to the sobriety needed in this particular field.


The café is proposed to take place once every month rotationally in various Justice Centres within Nairobi with the first edition scheduled for 17th June,2023. It will be anchored on the following thematic areas

  • Capacity building
  • Team building
  • Self-care and Networking


Facilitates empowerment of HRDs through promoting their businesses, professions and also increasing their capacity through entrepreneurship training, sharing of jobs, promoting and supporting talents skills and scholarship opportunities for those who want to further their education.

It also focuses on their welfare by cultivating the culture of having contingency plans by having investments, saving through Saccos and insurance funds such as the NHIF. This will be done by inviting various speakers to the monthly café.

Expected Outcomes

  • Economically empowered HRDs who are able to meet their daily obligations
  • Address the long term sustainability debate among HRDs
  • Secure and protect their future through savings and investments
  • Providing avenues for HRDs who are talented and skilled in various areas to earn from their trade


Team building shall bring the human rights defenders together by resuscitating the spirit of collaboration and team work through various sports and games. This should in turn boost their morale to complete the underlying tasks for the remaining part of the year.

Expected outcome

  • Restore increased communication and collaboration among the HRDs.
  • Resolve conflicts among HRDs.
  • Create a team that is cohesively working together towards a certain goal which is to Organize Educate and Liberate.


Self-care promotes good physical and mental health at work place and improves people’s work life balance which reduces stress and unscheduled off days. Happy recharged HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS are less likely to be sick or take unexpected time off duty. This shall be achieved mostly through music and dance, screening of revolutionary films, cultural exchange programs

Expected outcome

  • Stress free HRDs who are free from burn out and mental illness.
  • Provide informal platform for networking and building alliances with other social movements, partners and the community



Date: 17th June 2023.
Duration: 2pm to 6pm

Venue: Mustard Seed Court Dandora
Participants: 70


  • Promote wellness and work life balance among HRDs.
  • Strengthen team bonding and collaboration.
  • Enhance networking among presents individuals, partners and the community.
  • Provide a platform for stress reduction and personal development.


  • The icebreaker activity helped create awareness and a sense of belonging among the present members and also enhance the focus of the members to the event.
  • The fitness session encouraged active participation and provided an opportunity for team members to support and motivate each other.
  • The team challenges and cooperative games promoted healthy competition skills among team members.
  • The team building exercises facilitated effective problem solving   and decision making leading to improved cohesion and communication within the team.
  • The networking session allowed the HRDs to exchange thoughts and ideas on the wellness techniques one can employ on personal level.
  • It also gave an informal platform for the present members to gain insight and understanding of each other though sharing.


The social justice centers wellness café successfully promoted HRDs mental wellness, team cohesion and personal development among the present participants. The various activities and sessions provided valuable experiences and insights, resulting in enhanced collaboration, stress reduction and a shared sense of purpose within the participants. By addressing and identified challenges and implement in the recommendation outlined in this report, future social justice centers wellness café initiative can be further and tailored to meet the evolving needs of the HRDs.



The Wellness event held on 09th Sep 2023 was a remarkable and innovative gathering that sought to promote holistic well-being by blending diverse elements such as music, a live band, spoken word performance, dance, financial literacy and insurance coverage education.


Date: 09th Sep 2023.
Duration: 2pm to 6pm

Venue: Dandora


  • Promoting Holistic Well-being: The primary objective of the event was to promote the holistic well-being by addressing physical, mental, emotional and financial aspect of life.
  • Artistic Expression: It aimed to provide a platform for artistic expression through dance and spoken word performance, fostering creativity and self- expression.
  • Financial Literacy and Insurance Awareness- The event sought to educate attendees about financial literacy ant the importance of insurance coverage, empowering them to make informed financial decisions.


2pm – 3pm

  • Arrival and registration of members.
  • Interaction and familiarization of the present members.
  • Welcome address and overview of the day’s activity.
  • Wimbo Wa Mapambano.
  • Icebreaker activities to encourage interaction and introduce   present   members.

3pm – 5pm

  • Revolutionary songs and dances graced the occasion as per the tradition of the Social Justice Movement. This aid in setting the event atmosphere and enable the HRDs to be present to the event. The energetic and expressive dance activity encouraged physical and emotional release.
  • Live Band 🙁 Tulivu Sounds) A live band featuring local musicians provided a dynamic music backdrop, enhancing the events ambiance and engaging the   audience. HRDs were able to sing along their  favorite songs as they requited the band to perform.
  • Spoken Word Performance: Talented poets and spoken word HRDs artists delivered captivating performance addressing themes of self-awareness, love, mental health and personal growth among others. These performances served as a means of catharsis and encourage open dialogue about emotional well-being.

5pm – 6pm

  • Financial Literacy Workshops: Financial experts from KCB Bank conducted workshop covering topics such as saving, investing and small business management.
  • Insurance Cover Information: Insurance professional from KCB Bank offered insights into the importance of the insurance coverage types and ho w they contributed to financial security. HRDs also received tools to assist them in selecting suitable insurance based on their plan and needs.
  • Refreshments


  • Vote of thanks from the wellness team.
  • Entertainment from the Dj.
  • Departure


  • Enhanced Well-being: Participants reported feeling physically and emotionally rejuvenated after experiencing the artistic performance. The event provided a safe space  for self-expression and reflection ,contribution to emotional well-being
  • Financial Empowerment; Present HRDs left with improved financial literacy, feeling more confident in managing their finances and making informed decisions. Many Expressed newfound understanding of the importance of insurance coverage for financial security.
  • Artistic Appreciation: The event promoted cultural appreciation and artistic expression, fostering creativity and a sense of cultural unity among attendees.
  • Positive feedback; Feedback from the participants was overwhelmingly positive with many expression a desired for future events that combine wellness, art, and financial education.


The social justice centers wellness café event that featured dance, spoken word, a live band, financial literacy, and insurance cover education was a resounding success. It effectively promoted holistic well-being, encouraged artistic expression, and provide valuable financial knowledge. This event exemplifies the positive impact of combing art and financial education to empower individuals to lead healthier, more financially secure lives. It stands as a testament to the potential for such  events to benefits individual HRDs and the whole community of HRDs at large.

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