Peace in Kenya Campaign
Author: Peter Ongera
Originally Published at Peace and Conflict Monitor on: 04/02/2008
Kenya’s post-election violence has been, to say the least, an unanticipated tragedy with far-reaching implications. Even as the country’s calm returns, albeit slowly, underlying tension is evident. With over 1,000 lives lost and over 250,000 people displaced in a record short period so far, the solution to the crisis remains elusive.
Needless to mention, the most affected are the poorest of the poor to be found in urban informal settlements as well as remote rural areas. According to the Kenya government, the mayhem returned a loss of well over one billion US dollars. From deaths, displacements, inflation and absence of basic services, the myriad challenges have dealt a severe blow to actors across all sectors.
Violent conflicts have adversely affected Kenya and the East Africa region. They have shattered trust, devastated communities and undermined international agreements designed to promote a safe and stable global commons.
Even as multiple remedial efforts are underway – at various political and diplomatic levels, community (and neighbourhood) level remain a key entry-point of conflict resolution. It is for this reason that I propose to run a long term campaign for peace in Kenya. I am looking for partners to help with ideas to help me achieve the objective of contributing to the long term peace process by mobilizing and rallying in members of the public at the neighbourhood and community level.
The campaign aims at addressing Kenya’s post-election crisis more as a “conflict” with longer-term interests as opposed to largely focusing on the absence and/or reduction of its’ by-product – violence (as a manifestation of peace). After all, violence is a confirmation that a conflict has come of age, and that it could be too late to effectively address it within a time so short.
Peace in Kenya is a proactive neighbourhood, non-partisan, non-racial and non-denominational campaign aimed at bringing together members of various communities/tribes from both formal and informal settlements. It also addresses internal conflicts as well as external conflicts, for instance, in cases where formal neighourhoods bordering an informal settlement have a conflict.
To move from the current efforts of conflict suppression, management, resolution, prevention and eventually transformation, a lot more needs to be done. From adjudication, arbitration, negotiation, mediation to reconciliation at the community levels countrywide, so will a true national healing process begin taking shape.
Beyond sensitization and capacity-building,the campaign seeks to recruit and train peace ambassadors at the grassrooots.
I propose to offer training on Conflict Analysis; Intervention; Negotiation and Mediation; Dialogue and Non-Violence. I also plan to use mass /public education tools to sensitise the public on peace.
You are free to contact me with advice on how I can achieve the above objectives.You are also welcome to partner with me in the project. Please direct all correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org
Bio: Peter Ongera runs an African cultural tourism agency that links up tourists who want to LIVE(homestay), STUDY (cultural and educational)and WORK (internship and volunteer)in Africa with local hosts in rural villages and towns.
As a social entrepreneur and consultant Mr Ongera believes that Africa can eradicate poverty through sustainable social investments in education, skills(especially information technology), and partnerships with companies, governments and communities.