Concerned Citizens For Peace Meeting – Friday 18th February 2008

Concerned citizens For Peace Meeting – Friday 18th February 2008

Retired army soldiers have formed a peace initiative called the Kenya Veterans for Peace. They are interested in working with local leaders, the police and other groups to assist in the peace efforts within the country. They plan to launch their initiative next week or as soon as they get a patron.

A report on the National Response Initiative (donor funding to CSO’s and other organisations) was given. The nature of proposals that are acceptable by the NRI and on on which thematic areas was outlined. The NRI is set to operate for 6 months beginning February 2008 to fund Kenyan-originated emergency interventions in the post-2007 election crisis on a small scale and will be coordinated by Uraia.

The scouts are planning a cleanup at Kirathimo Red Cross Camp in Limuru IDP centre, where they intend to invite local schools to participate. The final details of the event are yet to be received, though the scouts intend to launch The Scouts for Peace Campaign. Need donations of foodstuffs, camping gear and clothes.

Peace initiatives need to be established in Majengo, so far it’s the only slum that is not represented at the Concerned Youth for Peace meetings. Winnie Wangari who is from the area volunteered to participate in CYP events. She was of the view that for initiatives to be a success at the community level, it is necessary to do work that will have a longer-term impact on the community rather than just providing food and other items. She talked of an initiative established by St Johns Ambulance, a few years back, which can be emulated by other organisations. The initiative trained youths on Human Rights and involved them in participatory theatre. The main issues at the slum that need tackling are Child labour, unemployment, prostitution and Khat.

Community policing was identified as a success in the Ruai area where little or no violence was experienced during the post-election violence. Purity Murimi, a member of the Ruai community policing programme, said that through training and workshops and division of the area into ten–house structures, it has become easier for the community to work together. They intend to have training sessions on community policing soon and also to have a major event in April to assist the internally displaced persons.

Questions were raised on how CCP can assist former parliamentary aspirants who were unsuccessful during last year’s general elections and were considered to have ran on “unfriendly parties”. A number of them have expressed fear over their lives, with many of them having their properties looted or destroyed. One stated that multi-party politics is theoretical in many parts of Kenya since many are suffering due to their political choices.

There is a need to go to the ground and not only speak to the young people causing the violence but also to the older generation who send them out with their “blessings” to attack others. There is a critical need to address this problem or else the situation will turn dire in future.

The Second edition of Amani Sasa Weekly is out. Check it out for a background on CCP, and its activities, on www.peaceinkenya.net.

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