The violence that followed the 2007 elections threatened Kenya’s social, economic and political stability. Further mediation by the African Union mediation team lead by Kofi Annan deterred the catastrophe giving Kenyans hope for the future.
The elections that followed in 2013 presented a more complex and challenging situation but were largely peaceful. This was mainly attributed by the efforts and support made by the government, private sector and NGO’s through peace initiatives like the 2013 National Youth Summit that was held in Nairobi. Organized by Brand Kenya Board in collaboration with IGAD and Global Peace Foundation and other partners the summit included a forum on peace and leadership development for 2000 youth from various parts of the country. It was preceded by 8 regional forums that brought young accountable leaders from all the 47 counties.
Consequently, in 2017 Global Peace Foundation has set the pace for other civil society organizations to come together and implement a national peace campaign through a collective impact approach to build resilience among youth against political incitement and violence ahead of the 2017 general elections. The campaign dabbed “One Nation Under God” will inspire youth to be agents of change and remind them of their responsibility to build this nation. This was agreed during the Muthaiga Luncheon for stakeholders that was held on Monday 26th September, 2016 by Global Peace Foundation Kenya courtesy of Dr. Manu Chandaria. The meeting constituted participation of various government agencies, CSO’s and international organizations. Among them included Brand Kenya Board, IGAD-CEWARN, European Union, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), US Embassy, DANIDA, Sweden Embasy, National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), National Counter terrorism Unit, Administration Service Police and others.
Speaking during the luncheon Dr. Manu Chandaria, patron and chairman of Global Peace Foundation Kenya informed on the importance of running the campaign citing that political tension and negative ethnicity was highly rising in the country.
“We are heading to the 2017 general elections and the political fear is very high. Tribalism is also on the rise. The One Nation under God Campaign is timely and should avert this,” said Dr. Chandaria.
The Executive Director for Global Peace Foundation Kenya, Mr. Daniel Juma highlighted the unfortunate stereotype of tension among Kenyans during elections is passed by time.
“It is our constitutional requirement to hold elections after every five years. We need to mature as a country and stop killing each other because of elections,” said Juma ”The One Nation under God Campaign is a platform for our young peace to build resilience against political incitement. Elections will come and go, politicians will come and go but this country will remain,” he added.
In her remarks Ms. Mary Luseka, Ag. Director at Brand Kenya Board emphasized on the need to protect our social fabric to attract investors for economic growth.
“We cannot rebuild after every other five years. Kenya has evolved in terms of hardware but there is still need to build our software. We appreciate below the line campaigns like GPF’s that correct us below the raider,” said Ms. Mary Luseka.
Dr. Mark Leleruk from the Administration Service Police expressed his commitment to the program.
“We are ready to work with Civil Society Organizations, in the year 2008 when Kenya was burning we worked with GPF and gave hope to Kenyans,” said Dr. Leleruk, “Elections is an opportunity for us to choose our leaders not to kill each other and divide along ethnic lines” he concluded.
The event was covered by standard newspaper and KTN News. Find the Links below
Global Peace Foundation Kenya has signed a memorandum of understanding with Mount Kenya University to provide a platform through which young people can engage and share on innovative ways of promoting peace and reconciliation among students.
The agreement with MKU, a fully fledged chartered university committed to a broad-based, holistic and inclusive system of education, was signed at MKU Thika Main Campus on 21st January, 2016. The institution has a student population of about 50,000 spread across the Eastern Africa region who hail from diverse socio-economic, religious and ethnic backgrounds.
The two institutions will co-operate in the formulation and implementation of projects, technical support, capacity building, and sharing of learning in the areas addressing youth radicalization, especially among students in universities.
The impact of this initiative will have far-reaching benefits on peace, ethical governance and inter-community/religious harmony in the region.
“Through innovative leadership training, we shall also mold young, value-conscious and accountable leaders,” said Prof. Stanley Waudo, Vice-Chancellor, MKU.
MKU and GPF Kenya will also create awareness among the youth on the dangers of radicalization and recruitment to violent extremist organizations. Last year, 147 students of Garissa University were killed when terrorists attacked the institution.
Daniel Juma Omondi, the Executive Director of GPF Kenya and other key program managers represented the organization at the signing ceremony.
To kickoff the partnership, the two organizations are planning to have an Interfaith Peace Symposium at Mt. Kenya University- Mombasa Campus as the first joint activity.
The People Daily Reports; MKU in bid to promote peace
“Earth is a common home to every human being thus we all have a shared responsibility to take care of it and not destroy it.”
The office of JPIC Franciscans Africa (JPICFA) in collaboration with the Centre for Social Justice and Ethics of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CSJE-CUEA), Mother Earth Network (M-E-Net), Kenya Interfaith Network on Environmental Action (KINEA), United Religions Initiative (URI), Ecumenical Centre for Justice and Peace (ECJP), TOTAL Eco Challenge and Global Peace Foundation (GPF) convened the second interfaith youth forum on Environment and Peace on 9th and 10th October 2015 at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.
The Forum which is an annual event was started in the year 2014. It brought together over 800 young people from high schools, universities, communities and professional institutions in Nairobi with different regions backgrounds. The main aim of this year’s forum was to bring youth from diverse religious backgrounds to discuss the role they play in environment and peace.
The forum was graced by Mr. UWE Wissenbach from the European Union as the The Chief Guest. Among the invited guests were Dr. Hasmukh Dawda (URI), Fr. Charles Odira, Fr. Herman Bog, Prof. Dorcas Atieno, Mr. Abdalla Kamana (SUPKEM), Mr. Robert Njeru (TOTAL Eco-Challenge), Dr. Tuesday Gichuki (GPF) among other guests.
The peace component of the forum focused on sharing the knowledge about religions in the world and universal peace. This was mainly to help youth familiarized with the importance of inter-religious dialogue, coexistence, tolerance and the threat of radicalization.
On the other hand, the environmental component of the forum was mainly to create awareness about the forthcoming UNFCC negotiations in Paris and the role of young people in curbing global warming through environmental conservation.
In his opening remarks, Fr. Musaki from CUEA was delighted to host the Interfaith Forum for the second time at Catholic University of Eastern Africa.
“I take this opportunity to welcome you all to Catholic University of Eastern Africa. It is our pleasure to host the 2nd Interfaith Youth Forum on Peace and Environment,” He noted, “My plea to the youth here is that you may take this opportunity to learn about different religions and hopefully develop tolerance amongst each other. This in the end will address how to deal with radicalization challenges”
Sheikh Abdalla Kamana from Supreme Council of Kenyan Muslims (SUPKEM) and Brother Lena in their speeches urged the youth to embrace each other despite the fact that they come from different religious affiliations. They quoted different verses from different holy books which shared the need for everyone to value each other and treat one another as they would do to themselves. He said that the misunderstandings among religious groups can only be dealt with if the first step is to understand the perspective of the different books and to use the similar verses that value humanity to unite all of us as one human family under God.
The following outcomes were achieved:
- Youth understood the reasons why there were inter-religious conflicts, inter-ethnic conflicts and what was to be done to correct the thinking of young people.
- An improved level of understanding and a change of perception in the different religions
- The youth understood that taking care of the environment is each individual’s responsibility and this in turn will reduce climate change. They engaged in a tree planting exercise which ensured that 500 tree seedlings were planted in Catholic University of Eastern Africa.
- A statement of Declaration had been made on youth action on peace and climate change issue.
There was a proposal for more youth forums to be conducted so that more young people can understand the different perspectives of different religions and even tribes. In terms of environment the suggestion of more events to be created to promote tree planting activities.
Nairobi, Kenya 1st Sep 2015 – Ms. Rosemary Odinga, who is the first daughter to Kenya’s former Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Raila Amollo Odinga in company of four other young professionals under the youth arm of Global Peace Foundation visits Global Peace Foundation’s office in Kenya.
The visit comes after her participation in the 2015 International Young Leaders Assembly (IYLA) convened by the Global Peace Foundation in collaboration with Global Young Leaders Academy in Washington DC. This is an annual leadership conference that brings together young professionals, entrepreneurs, social activists, and student leaders from various countries around the world to discuss the role of youth in solving global challenges.
This year’s conference brought together over 1000 youth from the international community to address various issues affecting them and especially this time as the fifteen-year UN Millennium Development Goal target period comes to an end.
Ms. Odinga shared her experience at the leadership program that included sessions at the United Nations, National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, US State Department, World Bank among others.
“I have been to many international conferences but IYLA was a different and informed one. I had the privilege to interact with leaders from diverse backgrounds, learned their cultures and exchanged best practices which I am pleased to share with youth in Kenya” she reiterates.
She found the session at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia enriching with fundamental principles and values of Moral and Innovative Leadership.
“The Moral and Innovative Leadership session was very informative. It has shaped my role as a young leader in Kenya and inspired me to urge youth to acquire National Identity Cards which will enable them to access vital government services including the Youth Fund, Uwezo Fund and the Women’s Fund that would eventually enable them to improve their economic status,” Says Ms. Odinga.
The Global Peace Foundation proposed to bring together networks of young professionals working under each program and invite Ms. Odinga to share some of the best practices from the leadership assembly. The team also proposed to convene the 2016 International Young Leaders Assembly in Kenya and incorporate an environment track, service and entrepreneurship track as part of an international environment project.
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;
- 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.
- Publishing a handbook that highlights relevant areas in education that need improvement.
- Building the capacity of teachers through National Master Training and cascade the model through County Directors of Education.
- Distributing of materials and a national roll-out of the Character and Creativity Initiative (CCI) currently being demonstrated by GPF in 10 counties.
- Creating public awareness through radio and TV shows as well as newspaper features.
- 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.