Phyllis Omido, the “Erin Brockovich of East Africa”, to the World Village Festival in Helsinki

Woman in yellow dress next to a wooden cross standing in the mud, surrounded by grass and sticks. In the background small brick houses.

Phyllis at the grave of a 3 month old baby who died as a result of lead poisoning from the factory nearby. Photo: Goldman Environmental Prize.

The Kenyan environmental human rights defender Phyllis Omido comes to Finland for the World Village Festival in Helsinki in May. Ms. Omido and will talk about the plight of environmental defenders and ways forward together with Iiris Laisi, an activist in Extinction Rebellion Finland.

Environmental defenders are leading the struggle for a more sustainable future for all. Yet their activities are being obstructed in Finland as across the world.

Kenyan activist Phyllis Omido, dubbed the Erin Brockovich of East Africa, and Finnish Iiris Laisi, an Extinction Rebellion Finland activist, will discuss the role and challenges of environmental activism around the world in an event called Phyllis Omido and Iiris Laisi: The Environment and Its Defenders in Danger at the World Village Festival on Sunday 29 May at 2:30-3:00 PM (EET).

What have activists in different countries achieved for the benefit of human rights and the environment? How are their activities being restricted and how can they conquer the obstacles? What can we do to make real changes happen?

We will also see a video message from the Indonesian environmental defender Nurain Lapolo.

Phyllis Omido is a Kenyan environmental human rights defender, who managed to shut down a smelter that was polluting the nearby community and to win a landmark court ruling that awarded 10.2 million euros to the victims of lead poisoning. During her activism, Ms. Omido has faced harassment and threats and unknown gunmen have even tried to attack her.

The need to protect Land and Environmental Defenders is extremely important as the work they undertake contributes immensely to the continued sustainability of the planet’s environment.”

Ms. Omido is the 2015 winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize. Last year she was selected on the Time magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world. Ms. Omido is the founder and executive director of the Kenyan NGO Center for Justice Governance and Environmental Action, which KIOS has been funding since 2015.

The discussion will be in English. The programme will be available on-site at the Tiivistämö event venue and through live stream on the Festival website.

The programme is produced by KIOS, the Siemenpuu Foundation and Extinction Rebellion Finland.

Welcome to the event on Sunday 29 May at 2:30-3:00 PM (EET)!

Read more about the event on the Festival website

Read more about Phyllis Omido’s and CJGEA’s work