Global Peace Foundation Breaks Ground for the Kariobangi Community Cooker Project

On Wednesday, 11th May, Global Peace Foundation Kenya on behalf of the Environment Track Members hosted a ground-breaking ceremony for the Kariobangi Community Cooker project at the Kariobangi Social Hall Grounds in Embakasi North Constituency. The project which is valued at an estimate of Ksh 4.5 million is supported by a consortium of corporates that share a common goal on sustainable waste management. It advances the principles of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the use of combustible waste to generate energy for cooking. This reduces negative impacts on forests, cleans immediate environments, provides safe and clean cooking conditions for households as well as empowers youth with skills and sources of income to reduce the high unemployment rates which stands at 67%.

The patron of Global Peace Foundation Kenya, Dr. Manu Chandaria encouraged the youth to take initiative to lift themselves out of poverty besides relying on help from others.

Today I challenge you to do something that will have a positive impact for you and your communities. If you take it upon yourselves to solve some of this problems around you, this country will realize peace and develop into what we all envision,” said Dr. Manu Chandari

Speaking on behalf of the Environment Track Members, the Executive Director, M-Pesa Foundation and Chairman of the Environment Track, Mr. Les Baillie, outlined the achievements of the track and commended their efforts towards the implementation of the project.

“This is the first time in Kenya that more than 10 corporates are working together to support one joint program for social impact. This project is going to make a positive impact for our environment and transform the lives of many in  Kariobangi” he reiterated.

The Environment Track was initiated during the Africa Conference on Volunteer Action for Peace & Development (ACVAPD) in July, 2012 at the UN Headquarters in Gigiri and has since been supported through a Collective Impact Approach by over 10 corporate foundations. These include: Bamburi Cement, Chandaria Foundation, Cisco Systems, Community Cooker Foundation, County Government of Nairobi, EABL Foundation, Global Peace Foundation, KCB Foundation, KENVO, Planning Systems Service Ltd  , Safaricom Foundation, Tetra Pak, Total Eco Challenge, UNEP, UN Habitat, Unilever Kenya Ltd  and World Vision Kenya.

Gracing the ceremony was the Nairobi County Governor, H.E. Dr. Evans Kidero, who endorsed the project and emphasized on the need to empower young people with skills and the opportunities to develop their communities and contribute to sustainable peace and development of the nation.

“Today I pave way for the construction of the Kariobangi Community Cooker project. Once completed, the project will create employment opportunities for youth living in this area. This will also contribute to effective management of solid waste, reduce reliance on non-renewable sources of energy like charcoal hence promoting the use of clean cooking solutions for our women” said H.E Dr. Evans Kidero, Governor, Nairobi County.

The Director and Regional Representative, Regional Office for Africa UNEP, Dr. Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo urged the government to implement policies that would enable entities to work together for positive change.

“I urge the county government to make it a priority to create mechanisms and regulatory frameworks that incentivize partnerships for social impact and investments,” recommended Dr. Juliette Biao, “For this project to become successful, the youth must take ownership of this project and approach it as a business venture. They must prepare for challenges and have mitigations to solve issues among them,” she added.

In addition, the founder Community Cooker Foundation & Chairman Planning Systems, Arch. Jim Archer acknowledged that the rubbish menace has been a long time problem and is becoming a menace in urban areas.

“Back in the 60’s and 70’ litter became a nuisance in the city. This gave me a reason to think through on how to make rubbish attractive. I then thought of how I would use modern technology to burn rubbish in high temperatures to produce heat that would then be used for cooking and boiling water,” said Jim Archer, Chairman Planning Systems, “I want to build not just hundreds but thousands and thousands of community cookers around the world to address this social problem,” he added.

The Director, KCB Foundation, Ms. Jane Mwangi, in her statement endorsed the project and pledged to link it with KCB’s 2jiajiri (self-employment) program worth Ksh 50 billion that seeks to empower promising entrepreneurs to scale their business ventures citing that empowering communities is key in developing successful businesses.

The construction of the community cooker which entails a sanitation block, food café’ and resource center is set to begin and will provide youth employment opportunities through sustainable solid waste management technology to benefit at least 1,000 households. It will also provide practical training on waste separation at household level, fire briquette technology, compositing and plastic recycling for value addition, capacity building on entrepreneurship, leadership and sustainable peace & development among other training components. The project will be managed by Raslimali Enterprises Ltd, an umbrella group of 11 youth groups in Kariobangi and its environs under the guidance of the environmental track members.

Representing Kariobangi youth, the C.E.O. Rasilimali Enterprise Ltd, Mr. Erick Ravoga, accredited the support they had received from the Environment Track citing an improvement in their livelihoods. “Over the years, Kariobangi Waste Management Alliance has seen immense growth. Last year we registered Rasilimali Enterprise Ltd that now runs a business. We have received support from various organizations among them World Vision who donated us a plastic crusher machine that enables us recycle plastic materials among other things. We are grateful of this and look forward to more opportunities,” said Mr. Erick Ravoga.

The climax of the ceremony was marked by a tree planting exercise that was supported by total eco-challenge that resulted to 10 trees planted around the community cooker for decoration as well as to provide a breezing effect to the surrounding.  This project is in line with GPF/COMESA existing MOU; “When implementing any agenda on youth it’s always important to engage all UN agencies, the private sector and the civil society. The Community Cooker project should also be implemented in other COMESA countries and IGAD member states for broad impact,” suggested Dr. Manu Chandaria.

Media coverage:

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Youth Interfaith Forum Calls for Religious Cooperation and Understanding

Global Peace Foundation Kenya in partnership with the county government of Mombasa, Kenya Women Holdings (Tuvuke), Interreligious Council of Kenya, and Human Rights Agenda held an Interfaith Youth ‘Boot Camp’ on December 18-19, 2015 to emphasize the importance of inter-religious cooperation and coexistence and the threat of radicalization for youth in the Mombasa coastal region.

The two-day event, ‘Unity in Diversity: One Nation Under God,’ included presentations, break out discussion groups, and a visit to both mosque and church. Participants said it was rare in Mombasa for youth from different religions to interact, and some described it as the best experience in their lives. A majority of Christian youths said they had never entered a mosque due to misconceptions and deeply rooted misgivings.

“This was a life transforming experience for me. My parents may not understand why I entered the mosque, but I will let them know how this dream of One Family Under God is real and timely.” – a Christian participant

Kenya faces a growing challenge of youth radicalization, with extremist violence from Somalia and South Sudan threatening the border region and sensational terrorist attacks undermining security and exacerbating internal struggles between Muslims and Christians. The Global Peace Foundation conducts ongoing programs to foster religious tolerance and cooperation, especially among youth in coastal Mombasa, the second largest city in Kenya in a predominately Muslim region.

During the opening ceremony, Daniel Juma, Executive Director of the Global Peace Foundation-Kenya, explained how the Foundation’s global vision of “One Family under God” is also aligned with the Ubuntu spirit in Africa—the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity—the preamble of the Kenyan constitution and the national anthem.

Juma emphasized the need to understand that all people, regardless of race, nationality, or religion, come from one Origin or Creator, and are thus brothers and sisters of one human family. He explained as brothers and sisters under one parent, people have the ability to love each other beyond differences, to genuinely care for one another and to realize the same dream.

The camp concluded with a graduation ceremony officiated by Mombasa Imams and church leaders. Working with key partners, Global Peace Foundation through its Amani Pwani, or “peace at the coast” initiative, continues to promote coexistence and harmony among Kenyan people.

Shun Negative Ethnicity and Religious Conflicts; University Students Told

15 October 2015: Global Peace Youth facilitated an outreach forum on peace at the University of Nairobi. The forum attracted 30 1st Year students and members of the Peace and Conflict club who have specialized in Peace and Conflict Management studies GPY trained the youth in leadership development and is to open up internship opportunities for students with relevant training.

As first years’ the students are vulnerable of getting into wrong peer influence. The forum acted as a platform to learn best practices from others and also offered guidance on how to achieve ones dreams through having a realistic vision and consistency in what they envision.

“Our program guides young people on how to be leaders in their own lives through different education initiatives. We advocate for the greater good. In our own understanding we believe that this can only be achieved through having ownership in the different facets of life and working as a team to achieve different objectives,” reiterated Mr. Arthur Wasonga, the Director of Global Peace Youth.

Through GPY the students will receive more training on leadership development on return for their second semester.

We need your programs to address issues like ethnic and religious differences and eventually tackle radicalization of our fellow students into militia groups. We are grateful to have this opportunity and hope to be trans formative leaders by the end of our engagement with you,” said Johnson Barasa, the chairperson the Peace Students Department.

The students pledged to embrace the program. They also proposed to initiate a program called “Slum Experience” that would entail interacting directly with residents from informal settlements to enable them understand how perpetrators of violence live and think.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

Global Peace Foundation Commemorates the International Day of Peace in Kenya

Held under the theme: “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” this year’s celebrations of the International Day of Peace highlighted the importance of all segments of the society to work together to promote for peace.

In this regard, Global Peace Foundation through it’s youth program – Global Peace Youth –  in collaboration with a consortium of organizations that include: the 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 carry out the following series of buil-up activities from 18th September – 20 September in preparation for Peace Day Celebrations on 21st September.

Volunteerism and Community Service: 18th September 2015, in its bid to promote volunteerism as a platform for peace among the youth and in communities, Global Peace Youth engaged over 200 youth from Nairobi in a clean-up exercise held at Maina Wanjigi Secondary School in Eastleigh. The clean-up which was conducted inside and outside the school’s compound saw the participation of renowned TV personality, Ms. Nonny Gathoni, who formerly hosted the ‘Wedding Show’ program on Citizen TV, the National Youth Service and the Nairobi County Council.

The clean-up was followed up by a tree planting exercise that led to the establishment of a ‘Peace Garden’ inside the school compound. This was graced by the area administration that included a representative of the Area Member of Parliament, the District Commissioner, the Area Chief among others who planted trees to mark the Peace Day celebrations.

On the same day, the Global Peace Foundation led by the Executive Director Mr. Daniel Juma participated in the National Payers for peace held at Jamia Mosque in Nairobi. This was the first time ever in Kenyan history that both Muslims and Non-Muslims converged inside a Mosque for prayers. The prayers brought together interfaith  leaders to promote peaceful co-existence especially this time when the country is going through a security crisis that has divided the country along religious, political and ethnic lines. The leaders dedicated the weekend of Friday 18th Se September – Sunday 20th September for National Prayers for Peace. A request was made for all believers to visit their respective places of worship and pray for peaceful co-existence in the country.

The prayers were graced by the umbrella religious organizations such as 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 faithful as well as the Hindus among others.

Media coverage 

http://www.nation.co.ke/news/Church-leaders-now-visit-city-mosque-for-prayers/-/1056/2876586/-/drmle7z/-/index.html
http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/christian-clerics-attend-muslim-prayers-jamia-mosque
http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/christians-muslims-launch-peace-initiative
http://allafrica.com/stories/201509210226.html
http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2000176831/christian-leaders-hosted-in-nairobi-mosque-for-prayers-to-boost-cohesion
http://islamiatvkenya.com/2015/09/19/christian-leaders-hosted-in-nairobi-mosque-for-prayers/
http://www.nation.co.ke/counties/nairobi/Jamia-Mosque-Christian-clergy-prayers/-/1954174/2874808/-/format/xhtml/-/11efruuz/-/index.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qA_gO1Bft0&feature=youtu.be

Peace Symposium: 19th September 2015, over 200 university and high school students assembled at the Sarakasi Dome for a peace symposium which was moderated by Mr. Arthur Wesonga, the Director of Youth at Global Peace Foundation Kenya. The purpose of the symposium was to provide a platform for the young people to showcase and discuss their creative ways of addressing the major challenges that hinder peaceful co-existence in the country.

During the symposium the students interrogated the cohesion and integration challenges in their respective institutions and its resultant effect on their academics. Further, they explored the possible solutions to these challenges by bringing on board the contribution of other stakeholders towards the solutions.

The students however, committed to nurture a culture of peace and harmonious coexistence in their respective institutions.

Sports for Peace Tournament: 20th September, 2015 A Sports for Peace Tournament was held at the Olympic Grounds in Kibra for Christians, Muslims, Hindus and other religions to promote peace, tolerance and understanding by bringing people together across boundaries, cultures and religions. The sport was not played competitively; but rather, it embraced players from different informal settlements combining to form one team.

2015 International Peace Day: 21st September 2015 was the peak of week-long activities as the participants marked the International Day Celebrations of Peace held at the Nyayo Stadium Basketball Gymnasium. This however began with all partners and participants assembling at Uhuru Park for a Peace Walk that was flagged off by Hassan Mohammed, CEO, National Cohesion and Integration

Commission. The procession passed through Haile Selassie Avenue, Mombasa Road, and finally to Nyayo Stadium Gymnasium.

Among the people who graced the event include; Dr. Hassan Wario, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Sports, Culture and Arts, Mr representing Dr. Belio K. Kipsang, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Ms. Nardos Bekele Thomas, Resident coordinator, United Nations Office Nairobi, Dr. Francis Xavier Olekaparo, Chairperson, NCIC, Mr. Daniel Juma, the Executive Director, Global Peace Foundation Kenya, Mr. Hassan Mohammed, Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Marion Van Dijck, Managing Director, Sarakasi Trust, Ms. Irene Wanyoike, Commissioner, NCIC, Prof. Gitilie Naituli, Commissioner NCIC, Linda Ochiel, Commissioner NCIC and Mr. Kilian Nyambu, Assistant Director, Civic Education and Advocacy at NCIC among others

Various presentations on peace were made with young people showcasing their talents through music and dance.

Speaking at the event the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Sports, Culture and Arts, Dr. Hassan Wario was pleased by the role that NCIC is playing in promoting peace in schools and pledged to support the program.

This is the best time to be a young person in Kenya, there are so many opportunities” Says Dr. Wario, “students who don’t perform well in academics I take this opportunity to invite them to join arts and culture,” he continues, “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,” concludes

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

Due to the ongoing strike in Kenya Mr. Daniel Juma emphasized the importance of teachers going back to school to ensure there is the continuity of learning.

These students 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” he said “ I request the government to negotiate with teachers so that our students will get their right which is the right to education” he concluded

The day culminated with the launch of the Amani Club’s guidelines which is a reference document that will be used in training and capacity building for the patrons and members of Amani Clubs in educational institutions. Further, it will provide, among others, club activities at the school level. Amani clubs is a program being implemented by NCIC in primary and secondary schools. The clubs are a front line initiative aimed at enhancing appreciation of diversity among youth and learners in institutions.

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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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Mentor-ship: Tackling the Tough Skills

Nairobi, Kenya 4th September 2015 – Global Peace Youth in collaboration with the Humanity First (HF) Volunteer Program mentors 25 youth volunteers from Mathare, on “Tackling the Tough Skills”. The session was mainly to equip the youth with first hand skills that would enable them adhere to work environment. It covered wide topics on youth leadership, positive attitude, responsibility, communication, problem solving among others.

The training comes after an invitation by Humanity Trust to mentor the 25 youth volunteers who have successfully gone through their 8 months program that covers training on Entrepreneurship, Business Management and Financial Literacy. After the training the youth will be linked with internship opportunities in various organizations to improve their skills and later on jobs.

“Nurturing, Equipping and Developing young leaders is a challenging task yet an exciting adventure. As we equip you with all these skills you should know that your attitude towards life is what will take you to where you want to be. We believe that nurturing young people to be moral and innovative leaders is the beginning of change in this country,” Mr. Arthur Wasonga, Director, Global Peace Youth.

The youth were inspired to take leadership and drive change in their communities.

I feel motivated to initiate change in my community, I believe that through such forums Mathare will be transformed to a better place than ii is,” Says Kennedy Kamau, Volunteer at Humanity First, “Thank you for this insightful program,” he concludes.

So far the Global Peace Youth has worked with 2 youth groups within the HF program training on leadership and peace building. These youth will also work as volunteers for GPF and participate in our activities.

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Rt. Hon.Raila Odinga’s Daughter Represents Kenya at the 2015 International Young Leaders Assembly

More than 1000 young professionals, entrepreneurs, social activists, and student leaders representing 115 countries gathered in the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York on August 18, 2015 to discuss youth’s role in solving pressing global issues as the fifteen-year UN Millennium Development Goal target period comes to an end.
2015 International Young Leaders Assembly at the United Nations, New York. The International Young Leaders Assembly at the United Nations.

The UN assembly convened on the last day of the ten-day International Young Leaders Assembly (IYLA), which included forums and briefings at the World Bank and Capitol Hill in Washington DC and the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

Representing Kenya was Rt. Hon Raila Amollo Odinga’s daughter, Ms. Rosemary Odinga who gave a great speech on the role of Kenyan youth in stirring economic growth of their nation. She mentioned of her efforts in raising awareness for the government of Kenya to ensure that it provides Birth Certificates and Identification Cards to the youth so as to enable them access government services and qualify for employment as part of nation building.

Read full story: International Young Leaders Assembly Convenes at the United Nations Supports New Sustainable

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Vulnerability should not define who you are and where you go!

Nairobi, Kenya 21st August 2014 – 93 students currently supported through through Community Development Fund and YMCA Kibra take part in a mentor-ship program facilitated by Global Peace Youth at the Anglican Inland Church in Kibra. In attendance was Hon. Ken Okoth, Kibra Member Of Parliament, Ms. Wanny Angerer, Moving Cultures, Mr. Kenneth Owade, YMCA Programme Coordinator, Mr.Arthur Wasonga, Director, Global Peace Youth among others.

A true leader is one who invests in others, just like the CDF is investing in you” Said Mr. Ken Okoth, MP Kibra, “As a student you need to remain focused, have a vision, a goal and a purpose in life. Despite the fact that you come from a challenging background, it should not define who you are and where you go. You should learn to embrace the storm and use it to your advantage.” He said.

This program brought together partners from diverse sectors to inspire and mentor the students on character and academic excellence while at the same time encouraging them to be role models to others.

A true leader is one who invests in others, just like the CDF is investing in you” Said Mr. Ken Okoth, the MP Kibra, “As a student you need to remain focused, have a vision, a goal and a purpose in life. Despite the fact that you all come from a challenging background, it should not define who you are and where you go. You should learn to embrace the storm and use it to your advantage.” He said.

Mr. Wasonga gave a presentation on the importance of having a good character that will eventually help improve the attitude of the student thus impacting the thinking, perspective and skills of the individual students.

Education is an equalizer, it teaches one on how to earn a living but good morals and character will take you far because you learn how to live with others despite their differences in age, tribe, religion or even political affiliations,” said Mr. Wasonga.

Presentations from the various speakers inspired the students to dream big and take charge of their individual life. “This has been one interesting and encouraging session to me. It’s an eye opener since I have realized that even as a student I play a major role in shaping my future, my family’s future and the future of my country as well. I definitely have a different and better perspective of how I look at life.” Said one student from Kibra.

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Young Leaders from Kenya Participate in a Tree Planting Exercise in Commemoration of International Youth Day

Nairobi, Kenya, 8th August, 2015 – Every year on August 12th, the world commemorates the International Youth Day. This year, the celebrations were held under the theme “Youth Civic Engagement”, a key focus of the United Nations System-Wide Action Plan on youth. The theme sought to promote young people’s civic engagement at all governance levels in the society which is often low or non-existent.

In Kenya, the Global Peace Foundation through its youth arm, Global Peace Youth partnered with Action 2015 Kenya in its efforts to celebrate IYD. This was hosted by the Nairobi County Environmental Sanitation and Hygiene Movement (NCHESHM) and brought together 40 young leaders for a Clean Up and Tree Planting Exercise in Babadogo, Mathare Constituencies. The participants planted 30 trees in Mathare Church, Chandaria Primary School and Babadogo Primary School.

The celebrations brought together different stakeholders including the International Citizen Service Youth Volunteers from VSO Jitolee, NCHESHM, youth and women groups in the community among other participants.
(NCESHM is a movement of environmental youth groups in Nairobi County which has received Peace and Leadership training from Global Peace Youth under the United Generation Platform.)
In attendance were, Mr. Stephen Cheboi, Director, ACTION 2015, Mrs. Susan Kiraguri, Environment Officer at One Stop Youth Centre, Mr. Joshua Owiti, the Sub-County Officer, Mr. Arthur Wasonga, Director of Global Peace Youth among others.

The Mathare Sub County Officer was pleased to see the youth in that community take ownership of their poor waste disposal problem and clean up their environment. In his speech, Mr. Joshua Owiti was encouraged by activities the young people have initiated to clean up in the area.

“I am pleased to see young people take responsibility of their environment through such activities. My plea is that this becomes a daily practice for every household so that we can collectively maintain a conducive environment for our children,’ says Mr. Owiti “I would also like to emphasize that responsibility starts from you, through good character which eventually spreads to your immediate families, the communities and the society. Cleanliness in character reflects through the cleanliness and well-being of your environs.”

Youth volunteers from VSO Jitolee were also excited to be involved in the Clean Up exercise. “As I quote President Obama’s recent speech, …’we have borrowed this land from our children’, we are the present generation and we need to take care and add value to our environment so that our children and grandchildren can find a better place to live in” said Mr. Kimani, the VSO Youth Representative.

Mr. Arthur Wasonga applauded the youth for their innovative actions, leadership initiative and for participating in MILEs trainings offered under the UGEN platform. “The membership of NCHESHM has shown so much improvement in terms of character and you can see the results through the dedication they have shown today. As a person who views character as the focal point of change in a young person, I would like to urge the youth present to reflect on what they envision for themselves and for their societies and start acting on the change they want to see by joining other like-minded groups.”

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