Kenya: Union Mobilises Journalists for Support to Colleagues Affected By the COVID-19 Crisis

press release

In recent weeks, nearly all media houses in Kenya have either applied pay cuts or suspended certain work benefits temporarily, leaving dozens of journalists jobless or with a substantial financial loss.

Journalists participating in the KUJ's initiative and contributed to a fund to be used to buy food and other essential products for journalists in need. So far, twenty-two journalists have received this help.

The idea came from the Kenya Union of Journalists' (KUJ) General Secretary, Erick Oduor, and was supported by dozens of journalists who formed a committee to coordinate fundraising and the distribution of food to their colleagues.

The initiative generated solidarity, bringing together journalists from different regions to assist those who have been financially affected by the pandemic.

One of the coordinators, Mr Luke Awich, said that they identified journalists, especially those who work as correspondents, who faced serious difficulties to work.

"Imagine if a correspondent lives and works in parts where there is no network, how are they going to file their stories? If one can't file a story, that means at the end of the month there will be no pay," said Mr Awich.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: "In times of crisis, unions have again shown that workers are stronger when they are together. We welcome the KUJ's solidarity initiative and call on the authorities to support media workers in Kenya."

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