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KENYA PEACE PARTNERSHIPS: WOMEN AND YOUTH BUILDING NON-VIOLENT COMMUNITIES
The Innovation Center has partnered with International Peace Initiatives in Kenya to support youth and women in community-based peace-making efforts, through the program, “Kenya Peace Partnerships: Women and Youth Building Non-Violent Communities.
In Kenya, the serious rise of violence throughout the country following the 2008 national elections garnered world attention. Many lives were lost, property destroyed, and thousands of people displaced. Women and youth were disproportionately impacted. Many Kenyan citizens and NGO leaders anticipate another rash of violence before, during and after 2012 general elections. This program aims to create a different outcome of the upcoming elections, by building the capacity of communities to understand and address the issues that impact peace at the local, regional and national levels.
Using a “train-the-trainer” model, this program will bring together teams of youth and adult women peace activists from throughout Kenya for a national training (August 2011) to develop their community leadership and peace-building skills, as well as entrepreneurial skills. Following the national training, the youth-adult teams will return to their provinces to train additional teams. These teams will then lead local community forums—involving a wide range of community members and local organizations—to explore and understand the obstacles to peace and then community-based action plans that address those obstacles. Community members, led by the trained youth leaders and women peace activists, will develop and implement the action plans, supported by micro-loans to fund the work. Through this train-the-trainer model, thousands of Kenyans will have the opportunity to be involved in the program, and hundreds of youth and women will be trained as community leaders and facilitators of community dialogue and change.
Kenya Peace Partnerships is being launched in March 2011 with an intensive leadership training for youth leaders in Nairobi. These youth leaders will then co-lead the national training in August, modeling both youth-adult partnerships as well as a U.S.-Kenya partnership.
What makes this program powerful is its grass-roots approach to change, coupled with youth-adult partnerships and collective leadership models. It is not a short-term project or visiting “experts” who tell the local community what to do. Rather, it is a replicable model for building leadership skills and increasing civic engagement among youth and women, and a sustainable process for supporting local peace- and justice-building initiatives. The program is modeled on a 5-year program that has been tested and expanded throughout the United States, and evaluated with extremely positive outcomes for both participants and communities. The program has been adapted for use in Kenya, with additional evaluation to be conducted that will inform replication in other African nations.
For more information, contact:
For more information, contact: