AMANI SASA DAILY UPDATE: 29th February 2008

AMANI SASA DAILY UPDATE: 29th February 2008[1]

                                                                                                                                                                                

THE HUMAN COST: Over 1000 dead and over 350, 000 displaced

National Youth violence Prevention Week

  • The National Youth violence Prevention Week is still ongoing, it started on the 23rd February and  ends -1st March 2008 with a peace concert at KICC from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and a peace race from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Other events for today and tomorrow are also lined up. All are invited to attend.

Other Updates

  • CCP together with other CSO organisations including the Womens Coalition, National Civil Society Congress, Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice, PeaceNet and EVRI and the Kenyan National Council of NGos on Wednesday issued a press- statement on the ongoing mediation, tasking all parties to the agreements of February 1st, 4th and 15th, to abide by the contents of the agreements and to reach a mediated settlement swiftly.
  • LIKA had their meeting last Tuesday 26th February and it was resolved that there is a need to move from talking to acting, the Ministry of Social Services to be consulted for professional advice on cultural advice, Retirement benefits need to be reviewed for the benefit of the retirees as a priority, other items discussed include  the youth, money culture, tribalism, failure of democracy etc. The meetings are held every Tuesday at LIKA offices, on Kirichwa road near Masaba Hospital at 5 p.m. 
  • A number of websites detailing various peace efforts in Kenya have been launched go to: www.generationkenya.co.ke. http://www.africanews.com/site/list_messages/15332,  www.guardians-of-peace.blogspot.com, www.pyramidofpeace.net and www.peace-caravan.org
  • The Kenya Veterans for Peace (KVP) is holding a workshop at Ukwala building, Haile Selassie Avenue. Sponsored by the Interreligious and International federation for world peace. it was officially opened by former Nairobi Mayor, Nathan Kahara, hon. Ng’eno from kipkelion and John Kibet from Ainamoi. The workshop seeks to have 200 former security personnel trained. KVP is appealing for counsellors and peace-building facilitators to assist during this workshop, which continues for the next three weeks.
TODAY’S MEETINGS

08.00 The  Peace Makers Update, Bruce House 14th Floor                                                  OPEN

11.00 PEACENET offices, Maalim Juma road Opp Royal media, Hurlingham                   OPEN

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Dialogue Protects Life

African Proverb from African Wisdom on War and Peace, a compilation by Annetta Miller.

 

INSPIRATIONAL FEATURE

Today’s Feature is an article sent by Stephen Ng’anga, on the 23rd February 2008

On Monday this week, I attended a forum where a group of people were discussing the effects of the current post-election violence on; people, team work, and trust at the workplace.

In seeking to establish context for the discussion, one of the facilitators challenged us by suggesting that in fact every single person in that room was actually responsible for the violence that is being experienced in many parts of Kenya.  As at Monday, this had been going on for a whole month. 

I must admit I felt quite affronted by her suggestion; considering that my most ardent contribution to politics was waking up at 5.30 am on the day of the election so as to go and vote early, plus the occasional discussion on politics with family and friends.

However; the more I considered her position, the more I agreed with her.  By virtue of either our action or in-action, we have all contributed to the violence.  For every single derogatory, tribally slanted, or outright hateful email/text we forwarded; or any such discussion we had – we are all to blame!

What about those of us who consciously opted not to forward these messages?  Well guess what? If all you did was delete the messages, then you too are responsible for Kenya as it is today. YES – we were all responsible.  How dare she suggest that?  Well… by deleting those messages, we all lost a golden opportunity to neutralize the simmering anger and ethnic polarization that was building up before the election.  What we rather should have done is composed messages preaching love, peace and one Kenya, and sent them out to as many people as possible.

Sadly – the bees have been let out of the hive and it’s going to be very difficult, nay virtually impossible, to put them back in again. Many people are trying very hard, but it’s proving to be a mammoth task.

Here’s the good news.  Our actions or in-actions are in the past.  I sincerely believe that just as we may have contributed to an epidemic of political, ethnic and class polarization; we can start a wave of love, peace and reconciliation.  So that even as we recognize the role played by our politicians in creating the mess; it is imperative that we all individually acknowledge that we too have played a role (however small), in fuelling the violence that we are experiencing today.  Your contribution towards changing this starts with you accepting that indeed had a role, albeit inadvertently, in creating this mess. It is only by acknowledging your contribution however SMALL; to the problem, that you can begin to be part of the solution.

To use Malcolm Gladwell’s thinking… today you have a perfect opportunity to contribute to, and be part of a positive contagious epidemic.  Pass this message on to as many people as you zealously passed pre and post election messages to.  

An epidemic starts in a small way and becomes increasingly virulent and contagious until it reaches the tipping point.  Are you willing to be part of this positive influence on 5, 10, 50 or 100 people who are within your circle of influence? Or would you rather just delete this message?

 Even as the deeper rooted issues that may not be within our circle of influence (but are most certainly within our circle of concern) are deliberated upon; we must begin to preach and practice love, peace and reconciliation to and with everyone we interact with today. 

I hope you will join in and be part of this positive epidemic.

 

 


[1] This daily update is a service to all working for peace. It records the various independent initiatives currently underway to restore peace, assist the displaced and promote truth and justice. It does suggest that these actions are being centrally coordinated.

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