Global Peace Youth Meets Peace Ambassadors Kenya – Mount Kenya University

Global Peace Youth continues to inspire and nurture the next generation of leaders through reaching out to higher learning institutions. On 13th July 2015, the Peace Ambassadors Kenya – Mount Kenya University (MKU) Chapter hosted the Global Peace Youth team for a meeting to discuss possible partnership in implementing peace activities and leadership education in the University.

Peace Ambassadors Kenya is a nationwide youth peace initiative whose members are drawn from learning institutions (universities, colleges, polytechnics, secondary and primary schools) and the general youth population. It implements peace building and conflict management activities across all sectors in Kenya.

During the meeting, the members shared their experiences holding dialogue forums with youth in areas that are affected by conflict highlighting the need to have young people taking ownership to drive the change they want to see in the society. “When I joined Peace Ambassadors Kenya, I did it because I am a peacemaker and know that a country cannot function without peace. I did not know it would expose me to so many opportunities to change my country into a better place by simply engaging the community through dialogue and community service.” reiterated Fiona Muthoni, the secretary to the Peace Ambassadors Club-MKU Chapter.

The students emphasized the need for capacity building on how to conduct reconciliation through dialogue from institutions like Global Peace Youth and having guidance on how best to communicate and engage the community especially in regard to conflict resolution.

Mr. Arthur Oyange, Director Global Peace Youth shared the core values that Global Peace Foundation stands for and educated them on what it takes to be a good leader in the society. “As a young person who is engaged in peace building activities, it is important to embrace the values of Teamwork, Ownership, Dreaming Big and most of all Living for the greater good. If you apply the teachings I have shared in this forum in your day to day activities, you will definitely have an impact on the people you interact with” he said.

Mr. Timothy, the Club Chairperson concluded by saying, “having Global Peace Youth here today to offer mentorship to us is a blessing since we cannot give what we don‟t have. I am grateful for the fundamental values and lessons that we have learnt here today and hope that we can have more sessions and activities with this team.”

As a way forward the club members and the patron, Ms. Serah Kimaru agreed to have future collaborations with Global Peace Youth after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the school administration and Global Peace Foundation. Presently the club agreed to fully participate in the commemoration of International Day of Peace by organizing for a peace symposium in the university.

Mombasa County Government Hosts Post-GPLC Youth Planning Meeting

The 2015 Global Peace Leadership Conference (Youth Forum) convened in Zanzibar brought together youth leaders from the East Africa region including 10 representatives from Kilifi and Mombasa Counties in Kenya. As a post-conference engagement, the youth leaders from Kenya convened a consultative meeting on 29th July, 2015 hosted by the Mombasa County Government to map out strategic areas of intervention for youth development.

The meeting was graced by Hon. Mohammed Abbas, the County Executive Member in charge of the Department of Youth, Gender & Sports-Mombasa County, Mr. Arthur Wasonga, the Global Peace Youth Director and 10 Youth Leaders from Mombasa and Kilifi Counties. The aim of the meeting was to bring together young leaders from Mombasa and Kilifi Counties to brainstorm on the resolutions made during the Global Peace Leadership Conference in Zanzibar and domesticate local recommendations. The main focus was to encourage young leaders to own the program by customizing and domesticating the project proposal as designed by the Global Peace Foundation Kenya.

One of the resolutions made at the GPLC youth forum was to scale up the campaign against violent extremism and youth radicalization through the UGEN (United Generation) platform. During the meeting, the young leaders made various recommendations to initiate the “Amani Pwani” initiative geared towards empowering youth to participate in the development of their communities with life skills, peace education and entrepreneurship. The youth also recommended exchange programs to promote unity in diversity as well as exchange of best practices across the region. It was agreed that the two county governments would inject 60% of the resources required to implement the project.

The follow up planning meeting was held on 3 rd August 2015 hosted by Hon. Salma Muhiddin Ahmed, who is the County Executive in charge of Education, Youth Affairs Culture &Social service in Kilifi County. Both Kilifi and Mombasa County Government will later host an MOU ceremony between Global Peace Foundation – Kenya and the two Ministries of Youth.

Dr. Soonok Kang, Global Peace Women, Secretary General in Kenya

In the week of 1st August, 2015, GPF Kenya hosted the International Secretary General of Global Peace Women (GPW), Dr. Soonok Kang who was visiting to establish a foundation for GPW programs in Kenya. During her visit, Dr. Kang held various meetings accompanied by the GPW Kenya Coordinator Ms. Misco Mungai including courtesy calls with Dr. Ida Odinga, Dr. & Mrs Aruna Chandaria, National Assembly Lady Spouses Association, Kenya Women & Children Wellness Center (KWCWC), World Vision among others. The aim of the meetings was to establish partnerships to implement GPW program in Kenya.

GPW, a division of Global Peace Foundation is promoting healthy families as well as the extended family model as a foundation for world peace. In Kenya, the program is launching a mentorship program for vulnerable young mothers living in the slums of Kayole in Nairobi and parenting education for women groups working with other GPF programs. In the meetings, Dr. Kang shared the overall goal of GPW to promote the innate value of women and their leadership role from the home for social transformation.

“We cannot achieve world peace by enforcing laws only. For peace to be sustainable, it must begin from the home. We must therefore promote universal values from the family level and empower women to be good role models to their children and spearhead social transformation” she reiterates.

Mrs. Sunita Nathoo, Executive Director at Kenya Women & Children Wellness Centre expressed interest in the values-based approach used by GPW in implementing its programs. She emphasised the need to empower families which is the most important institution in a society. Dr. Manu Chandaria, Patron GPF emphasised the need to empower women with relevant skills and education to manage their homes and take up leadership positions in the society. “As we push for the 2/3 gender rule in our parliament today, we must also ensure that the women taking up those positions have the capacity to lead and be good role models for other aspirants” he reiterated.

GPW Kenya and Kenya Women & Children Wellness Centre agreed to establish a partnership to provide health education to the young women in Kayole as well as values-based education to the groups working under KWCWC. Follow up meetings will be initiated to firm up the partnership.

Zanzibar Declared a “Peace Hub” for East Africa at the Global Peace Leadership Conference

Former President of Zanzibar Amani Abeid Karume told an assembly of East African government, business and faith leaders on July 22, 2015 that Zanzibar offers a “real example of trust in bringing peace” in the East African region. He said that increasing hostilities in the East Africa and the broader region have led to “absolute poverty and despair.”

The former president addressed participants at the Zanzibar Beach Resort during a ground-breaking three-day Global Peace Leadership Conference in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

The conference, “Promoting Peace, Security and Sustainable Development in East Africa: A Call to Moral and Innovative Leadership,” was organised by the Global Peace Foundation, the East Africa Community, the Government of Zanzibar, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.

The son of the Zanzibar’s first president and co-chairman of the African Leadership Mission, His Excellency Karume said that growing instability in countries such as South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Congo not only impact the victims directly, but also threaten other countries who must accommodate refugees, while also causing psychological trauma for generations.

“The agenda of this conference envisions a society where all members are the shareholders,” the former president said, adding, “I have total trust and respect for each other as human beings in front of God.

In a statement, Zanzibar’s President Ali Mohamed Shein said the African continent can benefit from the leadership and partnerships generated in this important journey for peace.

“We are a tolerant people who resonate with the Global Peace Foundation message that all humankind are indeed One Family under God,” President Shein said.

The opening session of the conference included participants of a concurrently running Global Peace Youth Summit. Addressing the Opening Plenary of the conference, Former Prime Minister of Kenya Raila Amolo Odinga said he was proud to see so many young people participating.

“I shall join everyone in broadcasting what we shall agree on here,” he said, but warned that the people of East Africa have to resist the temptation to resort to measures like extra judicial killings targeting specific segments of society.

“Glaring disparities in economic wellbeing among ethnic or regional groups and the consequent marginalisation of certain regions and communities are among the root causes of insecurity and conflict,” Mr. Odinga observed.

The former Prime Minister said the people of East Africa must confront incidents of insecurity and conflict associated with regional grievances for there to be peace and stability.

“As statesmen in the region, as leaders from all segments, we have the moral responsibility of addressing these conflicts through moral and innovative leadership, influencing policy and encouraging volunteerism.

“As leaders, we should encourage ethical societies anchored upon shared values. When leaders model behaviours that encourage the opposite, it yields divisions in society,” the former Prime Minister added.

Kenyan Ambassador to Tanzania Chirau Ali Mwakwere told the diverse participants that Kenya fully supported the conference agenda because of the need for a peaceful East Africa “where young people are fulfilling their dreams,” a region “that can become an example to the world.”

The Kenyan ambassador told the participating youths that they have a heavy challenge in the present. He advised them that they should not destroy their future by impetuous acts, and they should respect, report to, and also advise the elders.

Global Peace Foundation International President James P. Flynn also addressed the conference and said that Africa can make dramatic advances and meet the serious challenges it now faces.

“You have tremendous spiritual and moral resources already at hand,” Flynn declared. “The traditional culture of East Africa remains strong, and the emphasis on the extended family and community helps to nurture the values of cooperation and mutual respect. Spirituality is deeply rooted here and is a natural part of daily life.

“Such spiritual resources are key to forging a shared identity that transcends tribal, ethnic, and religious differences,” Flynn added. “The shared values contained within them are the foundation for substantiating the motto of the East African Community – One People, One Destiny.  And the commitment to make that vision a living reality – One People, One Destiny (Tafsiri ukurasa huu) – provides purpose and motivation of the highest order.”

More than 500 people, including government representatives, faith leaders, business people, non-profit groups, and youth leaders from across East Africa, other parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia attended the conference.

The conference addressed the threat of religious radicalism from Al-Shabaab and similar groups in the region and beyond, as well as the role of faith leaders and the business community in fostering peace and sustainable development.

The Global Peace Leadership Conference concluded on July 24, 2015.

KEYC News: Conference Calls for Peace, Security and Sustainable Development in East Africa

Zanzibar, Tanzania: July 21 – 24, 2015, the Global Peace Leadership Conference (GPLC) will be convened at the Melia Hotel to examine innovative interfaith and youth engagement approaches to addressing identity-based conflict. This GPLC is being co-convened by the Global Peace Foundation, along with the East Africa Community, the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. Other partners in this significant gathering include the Inter-religious Council for Peace Tanzania, ZAYEDESA, and the Clouds Media Group.

Report by KEYC News. Read full story

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