The first time Samson tried to get his identity card, he was 19. He and his friend went to the registrar’s office where they were both asked to “give something small” (a bribe) if that wanted to be attended to. His friend complied, but Samson did not have any money.
A few weeks later, he went back. He was not asked to pay a bribe, but the registrar turned him the away nonetheless, declaring—despite his birth certificate—that he was clearly “not from this community”.
It seemed to Samson that the registrar’s office was now an impossible avenue for him to secure his ID, but he did not give up. “I kept listening around whether there were any other opportunities that I can access outside the registrar’s office,” says Samson. “Because I knew if at all I will be coming to her office then she might send me back since I had tried earlier and she kind of marked me.”
A few months later, he heard about a mobile clinic. He tried that and yet again he was denied—as he was the time after that, and the time after that. On each occasion, there was a different reason or request.
Samson’s frustration turned to hopelessness. There seemed to be no avenues left for him to pursue. After years of trying, Samson gave up.
Life without an ID in Kenya was limiting, but it became infinitely more distressing when he became a father.
At 23 he married his wife and soon after had one daughter, followed by a second. Providing for them without an ID proved to be a struggle. “I tried to look for a livelihood as a laborer, but everyone interested in the job was asked to present their IDs and I did not have one,” says Samson. “I was hustling doing odd jobs, even if it meant farming at someone’s farm for payment or just asking people to carry their luggage. Anything that could enable me to take care of my family.”
“I tried to look for a livelihood as a laborer, but everyone interested in the job was asked to present their IDs and I did not have one.”
When his eldest child turned 5, Samson tried to enroll her in school but was told she needed a birth certificate. He couldn’t get her one without having an ID himself. The sympathetic teacher gave him a year’s grace period. “I was so happy that the head teacher was considerate enough,” recalls Samson. “But after one year, unfortunately, I did not have the birth certificate because I did not succeed in getting my own ID, and my daughter was chased from school. This really frustrated me.”
It was around the same time that an old knee injury that was never properly treated (due to his lack of ID) flared up. “It was evident that I needed to access a health facility immediately,” says Samson. But the health center was in the next county and traveling there required an ID. The police had checkpoints at the boundary.
“My father decided to sell his piece of land to ensure that I will get the medical attention I deserve, and this entailed paying a private doctor to come to my hometown from Mombasa every day to treat my knee. My family was fully dependent on my father for everything since I could not take care of them at that moment.”
“My family was fully dependent on my father for everything since I could not take care of them at that moment.”
“After going through all that, I finally reached a point in my life where I [realized] I needed help to salvage myself from this predicament and get an ID.”
“At that point is when I started looking for help and many people were talking about Gideon, a paralegal who assists community members with the application process. When I was directed to Gideon, I was a little skeptical that I would get help. But when I met him and shared my story with him, he assured me that we will work together.”
Gideon and Samson indeed worked together. Gideon helped him to understand his citizenship rights, what documents he needed and did not need to apply for an identity card, and how to navigate the administrative process. With this information and support, Samson secured his lD card in six weeks.
“When I got the ID I certainly did not believe it,” says Samson. “I kept on looking at it time after time and when I went home since it was something that I had longed for having for such a long time. The first thing I did when I got home: I opened the door I put it on the floor and kneeled down in prayer, and finally told my wife to slaughter a hen for celebration.”
Both of his daughters now have birth certificates and are in school. And while he has not gotten permanent employment, steady work, says Samson, is much easier to come by.
Last updated January 30, 2013.
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Last updated: May 25, 2018
This Policy describes our privacy practices and sets out your obligations and ours with respect to your use of the Site and the Forum. This Policy applies only to the Site and the Forum and does not necessarily apply to our offline collection of information.
Namati may collect and retain two types of information about Site and Forum visitors: (i) personal information that individual visitors voluntarily provide when interacting on the Site or Forum or on certain other occasions (such as via forms or in emails); and (ii) tracking data, which is data that is automatically collected from every Site and Forum visitor as they use and browse the site.
We may, from time to time, store and archive the information you submit to or through the Site and Forum. The information that we gather may include your name, title, and address, telephone number, email address, credit card number or other elements of personal information. In addition, if you contact us, we may keep a record of your correspondence, including any information contained therein.
You may decline to provide any personal information, but please realize that you thereby may be unable to register or to participate in activities or services offered on the Site and/or Forum.
In addition to the information you submit to or through the Site and Forum, we also may collect and store data from and about you gathered in the course of your use of the Site and Forum. We call this “tracking data.”
Such tracking data may include, but is not limited to, information regarding the number and frequency of visits to the Site and Forum, the websites that you access before and after you visit the Site and Forum, the software and operating system used to access the Site and Forum, and your IP address and Internet service provider.
Our use of your Information involves various forms of communication with you, including:
We will not disclose any personal information to third parties, except:
Information provided to third parties is limited to the information needed to perform their functions. We seek to limit third-party use of information; however, we are not responsible for such third-party use of information.
We retain the right to transfer or assign all information pursuant to a merger, purchase or other transaction relating to Namati or our assets.
The current list of third-party service providers we use include:
Personal information you submit via your member account, other than information provided or content posted by you to public areas of the Site as described below, is deleted from Namati’s records following the deletion of your account. However, such information may continue to be retained by third-party service providers to which it has been disclosed for one of the reasons listed above.
Your Information is stored on Digital Ocean servers in New York, USA.
We take reasonable precautions to protect your information from loss, misuse or alteration. You should recognize, however, that there is no such thing as “perfect security” on the Internet, and we cannot guarantee the security of your information. In addition, because Internet communications are unsecure, it is also possible that the information you supply to us or your access of any information via the Site will be intercepted during transmission. We are not liable for any breach of our systems or interception of our transmission, and we hereby fully disclaim, to the fullest extent possible under law, any liability associated with any claim relating to a breach of security, data or information.
You should be aware that any information provided or content posted by you to public areas of the Site, including but not limited to interactions on the Site and information posted to the Member Directory (via your profile), the Tools Database and the Forum, may be read, collected or used by other visitors of the Site, who may not need to log in as a member to view the information. Namati is not responsible for the third-party use of any information provided in such manner. By participating in the use of the Site’s interactive features, you consent to Namati’s use or disclosure of any content that you submit. For more information on posting content, please see our Terms.
The Forum uses data about your posts and other activity to make automated decisions about whether your posts are spam.
The Forum may also use data about your posts and activity to award you badges and calculate a trust level for your account. Your trust level may affect how you can participate in the Forum, such as whether you can upload images, as well as give you access to moderation and management powers in the Forum. Your trust level, therefore, reflects Forum administrators’ confidence in you, and their willingness to delegate community management functions, like moderation.
From time to time, we may email users of the Site or the Forum information regarding important developments affecting Namati and/or the Global Legal Empowerment Network. We may also email users on occasion regarding the Site or the Forum. Such emails may be sent to users of the Site or Forum even if they have not requested to receive any communication from us.
You may choose to unsubscribe from future emails by using the unsubscribe link included in all mass email correspondence from Namati and the Global Legal Empowerment Network.
If a user elects to use our referral service to inform a friend about the Site and Forum, we request the name and email address of the friend. Namati will automatically send the friend a one-time email inviting the friend to visit the Site. Namati stores this information for the sole purpose of sending this one-time email, and, while a third-party mail service provider may retain the information in its database, no additional emails will be sent by Namati without further action by the friend.
Because Namati is concerned about the privacy protection of children who access the Internet, we comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Accordingly, the Site and Forum are not intended for use by anyone under the age of 13, and we do not knowingly collect information from anyone under 13 years of age without the consent of a parent or guardian.
We reserve the right to disclose any information to comply with any law, regulation, decree, judgment, order, subpoena or any other governmental order (“Order”) without any obligation to contest or verify the accuracy of such Order.
This Policy will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York, without regard to any principles of conflicts of law. You agree that any action at law or in equity that arises out of or relates to any use of the Site will be filed only in the state or federal courts located in New York County, and you hereby consent and submit to the personal jurisdiction of such courts for the purposes of litigating any such action.
The section titles in this Policy are for convenience only and have no legal or contractual effect.
The Site, the Forum, and any third party services they use, may be subject to additional terms and conditions regarding privacy and use of information. Your use of the Site and the Forum is subject to those terms and conditions, which are incorporated into this Policy by reference. In the event of an inconsistency between this Policy and any additional posted conditions, the provisions of the additional conditions shall control.
We may need to change the Policy from time to time in order to address new issues and to reflect changes on the Site or in the law. We reserve the right to revise or make any changes to the Policy, and your continued use of the Site subsequent to any changes to this Policy will mean that you agree to and accept such changes. You can tell if the Policy has been updated by checking the last revised date posted on the top of this page.
You can also access, remove, update or correct your information, and raise any questions or concerns regarding the Site or the Policy, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or mailing:
Namati Data Protection Officer
1616 P Street NW, Suite 101
Washington, DC 20036, USA
If you live in a country which has adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (EU; 2016/679), you have a right to lodge a complaint with your relevant supervisory authority about this policy and its application.
The Policy was updated in May 2018 to comply with the General Data Protection Regulations.