Friday, October 20, 2017

How your support will make a difference for fostering peace in Kenya

Creators of Peace (CoP) Kenya will be celebrating 10 years this November and we are fundraising to support the next stage of their programme outreach for fostering peace. Mediatrix Masava, National Co-ordinator Kenya, shares more about how Creators of Peace Circles provide powerful spaces for healing and reconciliation and explains how your support through our Global Giving crowdfunding campaign will make a difference in providing further training to 200 women leaders.

How did Creators of Peace Circles get started in Kenya?
Creators of Peace Kenya began in 2007 in a small town called Subukia in Nakuru County. The first ever two Creators of Peace Circles were facilitated by Jean Brown from Australia, Ann Njeri from Kenya and Tehmina Siganporia from India. Ann Njeri then continued and involved more other women both from the Initiatives of Change Kenya team and others to proceed with other Peace Circles. This has seen the Creators of Peace Circles cross borders in 17 counties in Kenya reaching more than 2000 women.

What challenges are women facing across the counties you have hosted Creators of Peace Circles in?
There are different challenges that the women face. Lack of basic needs due to poverty is such a challenge to some participants. Domestic and sexual violence are experiences shared a lot by the women, some of them say that they share about it for the first time ever in their lives. Most women will share about broken relationships within the family set up and also with neighbours and friends. Tribal disputes are a major issue in neighbouring communities, some women before the Creators of Peace Circle reaches them, will refuse to sit together with women from another tribe and refer to them as enemies. Sadly some women will share how witchcraft has been done to them by people they had misunderstandings with, or sometimes by family members who were not happy with their children’s progress in school. It is usually a difficult matter for them to tackle even in law because of lack of evidence, yet it makes them suffer a lot. And in some communities the women can hardly communicate in the Kenyan national language, English, nor the official language Swahili. This makes it very complicated because we have to involve a translator to help them in understanding.

How does the experience make a difference for the women who participate?
The experience of the Creators of Peace helps the women in a very big way! The women learn the art of living reflective lives other than reactive lives in all situations. They then know their contribution in peace building and how to take conscious choices to be peace creators. They become more cautious in areas they could be destroying peace and make corrections towards the direction of creating peace. Then they are able to share with other women and get hope, inspiration and courage to face life.

What actions have resulted from their conversations and outreach in their communities?
We are glad that various things have emerged as a result of the CoP Circles, among them are self-help groups. Some have gone on to lead Creators of Peace Circles for other women. They have become more actively involved in peace work locally. Family relationships have been restored and reconciliation between warring communities have successfully happened.

How will the donations support you in celebrating and planning for future work for peace?
Donations will help cater for accommodation and travel costs for the less able women to participate in the event. The programme will be an opportunity for the women to meet and learn from one another both locally and internationally. They will be inspired to do more in peace work and build a platform to create support networks to foster peace at this time in our country. And of course, we will share an opportunity to celebrate and appreciate all those who have made this ten years life transforming journey possible.

Make your donation here. You can still contribute directly even after the close of our crowdfunding campaign, so contact for more information about sending a contribution to support our programme in Kenya.