Global Peace Foundation – Kenya Participates in Google/YouTube Workshop on Countering Dangerous Speech Online in Tokyo, Japan

On February 25 – 26 , Global Peace Foundation represented by Ms. Caroline Anne Amollo, Director, Education Programs in Kenya, participated in a consultative workshop hosted by Google at the YouTube Space in Tokyo, Japan. The participation was as a result of the robust working relationship between GPF and Google in Kenya whereby Education Programs encourage improved access to technology for youth and Google supports youth to be safer online.

Google organized the event having realized that, in recent years, technology and innovation have emerged as key enablers of economic growth and integrated education. As more content is being created and consumed online, challenges have arisen along side opportunities posing threats and concerns among internet stakeholders. The international workshop, therefore, addressed the issues that arise from dangerous narratives online. Participants of the workshop from 13 different countries discussed comparative experiences dealing with dangerous speech online and explored strategies, especially non legal ones, aiming to address these issues through partnerships between tech platforms, civil society and internet communities.

Ms. Amollo, in her presentation, outlined the strides made by GPF in improving access to technology for youth in schools through their partnership with Airtel internet provider who provide free internet to all Leap Hubs in Kenya, Intel and Oracle who provide online resources for teacher and student training. “The risk that our youth will encounter dangerous narratives as they navigate the internet is very real,” she said, “ and the impact has been measured by UMATI who carried out a study in 2012 that analyzed the role that hate speech online played in the 2007 post election violence in the country.” She went on to state that GPF in collaboration with Google Kenya is working closely with education stakeholders to ensure that young people remain informed of the dangers of online existence and that they are well trained to respond correctly when it happens.

“Narratives are central in exploring ideology online. As civil society we have a role to play in countering extremism and preventing radicalization both online and offline,” said Jonathan Russell, Head of Policy at Quilliam Foundation, UK. Other workshop participants included Asrul Daniel from Malaysia, Cheikh Ahmadou, Founder and CEO AlazharTouba.com from Senegal, Dr. Palmer, Vice president, Atlas Network, USA and Zororo Mavindidze, Senior Researcher, Freedom of Expression Institute in South Africa among others.

Apart from training participants to use Google services and resources like Google Analytics and Google Forms, the YouTube team explored various avenues of expanding their support of NGO work around the world to make the internet a safer place. They welcomed new innovative approaches to enhancing online safety and the use of Google as an education and peace platform.

One way we can expand GPF collaboration with Google and YouTube is through teacher and student skills development in Google resources as well as further collaboration in anti radicalization campaigns around Kenya especially with the ongoing Al-shabaab menace in the country,” concluded Ms. Caroline.

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Leap Hubs Students from Ngiya Girls Trained on Intel XDK

On 2nd February 2016, Global Peace Education facilitated a one day training for 25 Leap Hub students and 2 teachers from Ngiya Girls High School in Siaya County. The main aim of the training was to empower students to develop mobile applications for their business and social enterprise ideas using the Intel XDK platform.

The training began with welcoming remarks from Mr. Otieno, a Leap Hub teacher who was grateful to Global Peace Foundation for introducing Intel Corporation program in the school.

I am very grateful to Global Peace Foundation for introducing the Intel Corporation programs in our school especially the Intel XDK platform. This platform will enable our students to develop mobile applications for their business and social enterprise ideas.”

diana-trainingDuring the training, the Director of Education Ms. Caroline Anne Amollo, addressed the students. She emphasized on the importance of students using internet in research to help them be more innovative and creative when coming up with business and social enterprise ideas.

“ As the young people of the 21st century, you are very lucky to have internet at your disposal. Use it to research on your school work or coming up with innovative business and social enterprise ideas that will solve social and economic problems in our society.”

Ms. Diana Kwamboka, the Leap Hubs Assistant later on took the students through the Intel XDK and My Digital Journey Platform.

“Intel XDK is a cross-platform IDE that packages many different tools and frameworks with specific tweaks from Intel to simplify designing, debugging, building, and deploying cross-platform hybrid HTML5 mobile apps” she said. My Digital Journey on the other hand, is a web-based application with gaming mechanics where women are empowered to learn individually or in a facilitated environment, and with the support of a peer network. It uses case scenarios relevant to women in the form of challenges, which gives them the opportunity to practice solutions before moving on to the next level.” She concluded.

The students were then divided into groups of 5 for a presenation on their business and social enterprise ideas. 5 presentations were made, however, the highlight was a presentation of a business idea called “Swap Book App” . “Swap Book App” is a mobile application that allows students to share and swap different stories they have developed with their peers. It is geared towards improving the creativity and imagination of the students.

The training concluded with Ms. Emmaculate Mary, a Leap student being very grateful to Global Peace Foundation.

“ I am very happy to have received this training from Global Peace Foundation. I feel more empowered now more than ever. I can’t wait to start developing apps for my business ideas”

Global Peace Foundation Launches the Education Program in Embu County

January 28, 2016 – The Global Peace Foundation launched its education program in Embu County to empower teachers and students with skills and competencies needed to flourish in the world today. With its central location in the county, Embu High School was identified as an ideal institution for a demonstration school for the Leap Hubs and CCI programs. The school will play a major role in spear heading the two programs in the county.

In this regard, GPF facilitated a one day workshop for 17 tutors at Embu High School to introduce the education programs: Character and Creativity Initiatives (CCI) and Leadership and Entrepreneurship Hubs (Leap Hub). The workshop was led by the director for Education Initiatives, Ms. Caroline Amollo who reiterated the importance of producing students who are all rounded and competitive in the work environment.

“The working environment today has changed drastically from mechanical, linear, static and predictable to organic, dynamic and changing” she said, “your roles as tutors must also be transformed to meet these changes, so that our students can compete fairly ” she concluded.

Ms. Amina Swedi who is the Programs Assistant of Education Initiatives, took the teachers through the main objective of integrating Character, Creativity in classroom. She highlighted major aspects to incorporated in teaching to ensure students are mold into morally upright and innovative young people who execute leadership in their areas of responsibility.

Ms. Diana Kwamboka, the Leap Hubs Assistant presented on the importance of using technology in classrooms. She also explained how the Leap Hubs and CCI programs use technology to improve learning.

Technology helps teachers prepare students for the real world environment. As the world becomes increasingly more technology-dependent, it becomes even more necessary to help our students become tech-savvy.”

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Oracle Academy Hosts the 2015 Leap Hubs Hackaton Event

10 November, 2015 – Global Peace Foundation (GPF) in collaboration with Oracle Kenya hosted 30 male students from 5 schools who participate in the Leap Hubs program by Global Peace Foundation for a Hackathon event at Oracle Offices in Nairobi. The event which attracted notable speakers from various international corporates and learning institutions; including Google and Strathmore University created a platform for the male students to showcase their innovative ideas to a panel of renowned judges from oracle’s senior employees and Global Peace Foundation. The main idea behind this was to mentor and encourage the male students to pursue courses in Computer Science as a means to contribute positively to the demands of the society in the 21st century.

In addition to this, the students got the rare chance to meet Oracle Kenya’s Country Leader, Dr. Gilbert Saggia who was recently nominated to the 2014 top 40 under 40 men in Kenya. He mentored them for over 20 minutes in an interactive session where the students bombarded him with loads of questions for inspiration. During the session, he dared the students to dream big and believe in their dreams.

Quoting Eleanor Rooseevelt he said, “The future belongs to those who believe in beauty of their dreams.”

Dr. Saggia’s mentor-ship was followed by other mentor-ship sessions conducted by other senior staff from oracle.

Later on the students were taken through the Oracle Academy Platform and were encouraged to log in to the platform and access resources available primarily on programming in languages like Java among others and also how to create oracle databases and even access Oracle Certification exams.

The climax of the event however, was reached when the students with the best presentation were awarded with goodies from oracle as an encouragement to motivate them to continue working hard. Emerging the winner, were students from Moi Forces Academy who presented an idea dabbed “Blue Drive” works as a pen drive and has the capabilities to transfer data wirelessly via Bluetooth. The drive which has a bluetooth chip embedded, allows users to save, access and transfer data by pairing the device with other blue tooth enabled devices.

This innovation amazed judged and as they considered it important in transforming how people transfer information using cloud computing. The other schools were also appreciated with small tokens and encouraged to do more research on their projects for perfection.

The five schools represent Global Peace Foundation’s robust work in establishing Leadership and Entrepreneurship Hubs (Leap Hubs) in secondary schools with the aim of equipping students with fist hand skills required to succeed in the 21st century and their ideas are a success of the impact the program has made across over 40 schools in the country.

The partnership between Global Peace Foundation and Oracle through the Oracle Academy program (the only free program offered by oracle), offers an opportunity for leap hub students to access to the Oracle Academy Online platform which contains resources in computer programming and Oracle Certification Exams.

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Atlanta, Georgia: GPE Participates in the National Forum for Character Education

October 15 – 17, Altanta, Georgia: Global Peace Education participated at the 22nd National Forum on Character Education that was  held in Atlanta, Georgia. Organized by Character.org in collaboration with Global Peace Foundation, the conference was held under the theme;  “Mapping Success: Linking Smart & Good”. It brought thought leaders from around the globe to explore cutting-edge efforts to spread character research and best practices to classrooms, communities, and governments. It also attracted exhibitors from 13 countries implementing character education that opened up networking opportunities with new potential partners. The forum highlighted challenges educators face with high-impact strategies and solutions from hundreds of other like-minded educators to latest research on what works in character education.

Represented by Ms. Caroline Amollo who is currently the Director for Education Initiative in Kenya, Global Peace Foundation presented on best practices applied in Kenya that bring about cutting edge efforts in spreading 21st century character through classrooms and the communities. Her presentation focused not only on the strategies developed by Global Peace Education in Kenya but also the impact of collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and other partners in creating new possibilities in educating a total child through modeling and nurturing character and an entrepreneurial mind-set.

The highlight of the forum however was the launch of the new sports track, led by keynote speaker, Dale Murphy, a former All-star Atlanta Brave baseball player and Founder of ‘I Wont Cheat Foundation’, who provided ideas for building character outside the classroom. Other notable speakers included Darcea Narvaez, Director of Moral Psychology Lab at Notre Dame University and Clifton Taulbert, Pulitzer nominated author and entrepreneur.

A luncheon for character was done where 67 National Schools of Character were celebrated for implementing the 11 Principals of Effective Character Education to an impressive degree.

These schools stand as models of holistic character education to be emulated around the world,” concluded Clifton Taulbert in congratulating the National Winners.

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High School Students Mentor Primary School Children on Hygiene in Celebration of the 2015 Global Hand Washing Day

October 15, 2015 – Kiambu, Kenya: The Global Peace Development Division of Global Peace Foundation, invited Leap Hubs students from the Education Division to demonstrate to pupils and teachers at PCEA Kandengwa Primary School in Kiambu County how to make economical liquid soap as a best practice in commemoration of the 2015 Global Hand Washing Day to promote hygienic practices in the school. The school which opted to invite class 6 pupils from their neighboring school, Fair Lawn Primary School to also learn from the day’s event, participated in various activities which included: demonstration on best hand washing techniques, tree planting exercise and a training on making soap.
This served as an opportunity for the primary school pupils to interact with their counterparts in high school for mentorship and inspiration. The excitement of the pupils could be seen through their faces as they looked the high school students with adoration.

The event was also graced by Ms. Lilian Mwende who resides the school’s neighborhood and has undergone World Vision’s training on Water Health and Sanitation. She volunteered on the importance of practicing appropriate and regular hand washing technics with the pupils in an interactive session that demonstrated the following steps as a best practice for keeping hygiene.

Step 1: Wet hands and apply soap. Rub against each other until soap concentrates with water and hand.
Step 2: Rub each palm over the back of the other hand.
Step 3: Rub between your fingers with both hand
Step 4: Rub your right hand’s finger tips against the palm of your left hand. Repeat the same procedure with your left hand.
Step 5: Rub around each of your thumbs
Step 6: Rub in circles on your palms. Then rinse and dry your hands
Unanimously, the pupils agreed that to avoid the spread of germs that cause diseases like diarrhea and others it is important that they always wash their hand before and after every meal, after visiting the toilet, after washing classes, after handling a pet or other domestic animals, after handling a sick person and before holding a baby.
The tree planting exercise that followed was supported by Kenya Forestry Research Institute (Muguga Regional Research Centre) who provided 240 seedlings (120 Grevillea and 120 Eucalyptus.) The seedlings were planted around the school compound and farm using chicken droppings from the green house project as a reminder to the pupils to always uphold best hygienic practices.
The climax of the day was however reached when the leap hubs students from Kariobangi North Girls Secondary School demonstrated to STD 6 pupils from both schools how to economically make liquid soap using industrial salt, citric sodium, ungerol, ufacid, and water through an interactive step by step session. This was mainly to impart them with skills that will not only sustain-ably promote hygienic practices in their respective schools but also enable the schools to save the money that they have been using to buy soap for other needs e.g. purchase of books.
Typically, the Leap Hub students use ingredients worth KES 100 to make a 5 liter bottle of soap which they sell at KES 250. PCEA Kandengwa Primary School uses an average of 15 litters of soap every month for cleaning which they buy at KES300 per 5 liters. In the long run, if the school adapts to this idea of making soap, they save up to KES 450 every month.
In line with the 2015 Global Hand washing day theme, at the end of the day we all raised our hands as a pledge to champion hygiene education in our schools and communities.

Youth Engaged in a Series of Activities to Mark the 2015 International Peace Day Celebrations

The International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September of every year. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all people and nations. Held under the theme: “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” this year’s celebrations highlighted the importance of all segments of the society to work together to promote for peace.

In this regard, a consortium of organizations including the Global Peace Foundation, National Cohesion and Integration Committee (NCIC), National Steering Committee on Peace Building and Conflict Management (NSC), Kenya Scouts Association (KSA) and Peace Ambassadors Kenya among others came together to prearrange the following series of build-up activities from 18th September – 20 September in preparation for Peace Day Celebrations on 21st September.

Volunteerism and Community Service:

cleanup

A cross section of pupils from the Kenya Scouts Association, Youth from the Community and the National Youth Service engaging in a community service at Eastleigh

On 18th September 2015  over 200 youth from Nairobi participated in a clean-up exercise held at Maina Wanjigi Secondary School in Eastleigh. The clean-up which was conducted along Easliegh’s 4th Street as well as inside the school’s compound was graced by Ms. Nonny Gathoni, a renowned TV personality, the National Youth Service and the Nairobi County Council.

This was followed by a tree planting exercise that was graced by the local area administration including a representative of the Area Member of Parliament and the District Commissioner among others. The exercise led to the establishment of a ‘Peace Garden’ inside the school’s compound to mark the 2015 Peace Day celebrations.

prayers

GPF Kenya Executive Director address the media during the prayers at Jamia Mosque

Happening concurrently, the National Payers for peace  were held at Jamia Mosque in Nairobi. The prayers were mainly to bring together faith leaders from different religions to promote peaceful co-existence and understanding.The weekend of Friday 18th September – Sunday 20th September was dedicated for National Prayers among faiths for cooperation and understanding in the country.

The prayers were graced by an umbrella of religious organizations including the Inter Religious Council (IRC), the Supreme Council of Kenyan Muslims (SUPKEM), National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), among others. Communities included; the Muslim community, the Seventh Day Adventists community, other Christian Faithfull as well as the Hindus and others.

Peace Symposium

The peace symposium was held on 19th September 2015, at the Sarakasi Dome in Nairobi. The symposium provided a platform for youth to discuss their role in peace building and national unity.  With a participation of over 200 university and high school students from Nairobi, the youth discussed challenges undermining cohesion and integration in the country today and showcased possible ways of addressing this.

Sports for Peace Tournament

Happening on 20th September, 2015, the eve of the International Peace Day Celebrations, a Sports for Peace Tournament was held at the Olympic Grounds in Kibra to promote peaceful coexistence and understanding among youth from diverse backgrounds. The tournament brought together hundreds of young Christians, Muslims and other religions to embrace diversity beyond play as opposed to the obvious competitive matches.

International Peace Day Celebration: 21st September 2015

The climax of weeklong activities was the commemoration of the International Day of Peace on Monday 21st September, 2015 that culminated with the launch of NCIC’s “Amani Club Guidelines” for primary, secondary and tertiary institutions implementing the Amani Clubs.

With a participation of over 1000 youth the celebrations began with a peace walk from Uhuru Park through Haile Selassie Avenue, Mombasa Road avenue, and finally to Nyayo National Stadium Basketball Gymnasium where people converged to mark the day.

peace

Students from different schools taking part in the peace walk from Uhuru Park to Nyayo Stadium during the celebrations.

The occasion was graced by the Cabinet Secretary for Arts, Sports and Culture, Dr. Hassan Wario who commended the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) and partners for their efforts in promoting peace in schools.

This is the best time to be a young person in Kenya, there are so many opportunities students who don’t perform well in academics I take this opportunity to invite them to join arts and culture, the government is in the process of constructing the best and most equipped National Theatre in the country, any school implementing the Amani Clubs program is free to use our facility,” Said Dr. Hassan Warion, Cabinet Secretary, Sports Art and Culture.

Speaking during the celebrations the chairman of NCIC Hon. Francis OleKaparo challenged the participants to embrace peace by making peace with themselves first.

“Peace is a journey of thousand miles and it must begin with one step. Great changes start with individuals, the basis of world peace is inner peace in the hearts of individuals, something we can all work for,” reiterated,  Hon. Francis Olekaparo.

Mr. Daniel Juma, Executive Director, Global Peace Foundation Kenya, emphasized on the important role of teachers in creating a cohesive society and urged the government to address their issues to enable them go back to school to ensure there is learning.

The students who are gathered here today are the leaders of tomorrow, they need to be in school in order to get the skills needed for the 21st Century world, I request the government to negotiate with teachers so that our students will get their right which is the right to education,” said Mr. Daniel Juma.

The National Cohesion and Integration Committee Launches a 5 Year Strategic Plan

Nairobi, Kenya 4th September 2015 – The Global Peace Foundation attends the launch of the NCIC’s 2015 – 2020 strategic plan at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi.

The strategic plan unveils the direction that the Commission, on behalf of the Government of Kenya, shall undertake in its efforts to build national cohesion and integration. The commission is committed to provide a shared vision and laying a solid foundation for social cohesion and nationhood.

The Global Peace Foundation has been working in partnership with NCIC to promote sustainable peace and reconciliation in communities through community dialogues and launching of “Amani Clubs” (Peace Clubs) in schools that are implementing the Character and Creativity Initiative.

The Commission’s Chairperson, Hon. Francis ole Kaparo called upon individuals and all other stakeholders to rededicate their efforts to the grand objective of achieving cohesion and integration in Kenya. The launch also  recognized Global Peace Foundation as a worth partner with whom they have collaborated in various peace building activities in the Republic of Kenya.

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Initiative for Transforming Education Task Force Convenes a Meeting

Nairobi, Kenya 10th August 2015 – The Global Peace Education convenes a meeting for the Initiative for Transforming Education task force committee at the Center for Mathematics Science and Technology Education in Africa to deliberate on strategies to the implementation  process of trans-formative education program into the national curriculum.This was the second meeting since its inauguration on June 11th, 2015.

The Global Peace Foundation in collaboration with other education stakeholders is in the lead to push for a review of the education curriculum through the Initiative to Transform Education that is currently working on the activities to be implemented that would lead to quality education.

The meeting identified the following as target areas:

  • Education policies; To review current policies to fish out salient issues that can assist in transforming education.
  • Values; To focus on a social component that would instill values through relevant campaigns and best practices.
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation; To inculcate an entrepreneurial culture among youth as well as an environment that encourages innovation.
  • Teacher transformation; To enable teachers become role models who facilitate learning and classroom management through relevant professional development.
  • Vocational Education.

The Task Force agreed on the following implementation strategy to be proposed to the ITE members;

  1. Lobbying through sensitization workshops to get the buy in of the Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MoEST), the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) and other stakeholders including Quality Assurance.
  2. Publishing a handbook that highlights relevant areas in education that need improvement.
  3. Building the capacity of teachers through National Master Training and cascade the model through County Directors of Education.
  4. Distributing of materials and a national roll-out of the Character and Creativity Initiative (CCI) currently being demonstrated by GPF in 10 counties.
  5. Creating public awareness through radio and TV shows as well as newspaper features.
  6. Making “Community Service” a compulsory and measurable requirement for students.

For successful implementation of the initiative, the task force proposed the implementation budget to be met through various collaborations with the Ministry of Education (MoEST), Corporate CSR, donor funding and like-minded NGOs, for example, UNESCO, UNICEF and UNEP.

Additionally, the Task Force crafted the mandate of ITE as an initiative to spearhead relevant activities for trans-formative education towards the development of a total child. It recommended the importance of utilizing the use of social media to reach for a wide audience and proper documentation of the success areas of the education programs.

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