(WERK) is a Professional Association of researchers in education and social science. Though the seeds were sown earlier in 1993, the name WERK was formally adopted in 1995/96 and registered in 2000. It does not discriminate on grounds of race, ethnicity, religion gender or nationality. However, prospective members have to demonstrate commitment to the goals of WERK.
During this period, WERK was operating as a working group and embarked on the projects related to women empowerment. The main activities revolved around identifying key historical and political women and developing their stories. The historical women figures that were identified included: Menyaziwa wa Menza (aka Ole Mekatilili)- who was a freedom fighter from Coast; Wangu wa Makeri – freedom fighter from Central; Mang’ana Ogonje Nyar Ugu – was the first African female colonial chief in Western Kenya; Moraa Moka Ngiti – a female freedom fighter from Nyanza (Kisii); Field Marshall Muthon – a freedom fighter from Central; Eiokalaine O-M’barugu-an assistant chief in pre-independent Kenya in Eastern; Jemima Gecaga- First woman to be nominated in the legislative council (Legco), Priscilla Ingasiani Abwao- the woman who attended the Legco in Lancaster house.
During this period, WERK made major strides in bringing to the fore women who were involved in various development sectors and those involved in politics. The stories and experiences of various women were profiled most of whom are currently in politics or development. Some of the women in politics who were researched on include Hon. Josephine Sinyo, Hon. Mary Wanjiru, Hon. Catherine Nyamato, Hon. ZipporahKitonny, Hon. Charity Ngilu, Hon. Beth Mugo, Hon Marerewa Mwachai, Hon. Miriam Matano, Hon. Tabitha Sei, Hon. Grace Muema, and Hon. Martha Karua. Some of the women in development who were researched on include Dr EddahGachukia (an educationalist), Prof. Wangari Maathai (an environmentalist), Prof. Florida Karani (an educationalist), Prof. Leah Marangu (an educationalist), Elizabeth Masiga (a senior civil servant in education), Rev Lucie Okuthe ( a religious leader), Ms Jane Nyambura (a religious leader), Ms Mary Okelo (a banker), Dr Jennifer Riria (a corporate leader), Margaret…
By 2001, WERK had formed strong linkages and was the organization of choice for researches in development and education. This led to it becoming the focal point in Kenya for the Girls Education Movement that was headquartered in Uganda. The Seminar series that had been launched the previous year had picked up and an extensive research on street children was undertaken.
WERK was greatly revitalized during this period. Hosting of Uwezo Kenya initiative became the main re-launch pad for WERK. With time WERK has steadily transformed itself from being a purely research based organization to one with capacity to undertake national projects such as Uwezo. Other significant projects include: Education for Minorities, School Safety and Opportunity Schools. This is in addition to numerous studies across the board from education to gender based violence based studies (see details in WERK Organization programme report).