Monday, June 13, 2016


Kiserian means peace. This name was given during colonial times because the place was so peaceful and had warm-hearted people. Kiserian is mostly dominated by the Jemps (Ilchamus) who belong to the Maa community which is part of the Massai family. They are a community known for their soft spoken nature. However, things have changed over time due to the struggle for natural resources like grass for their domestic animals. This has seen them become rivals with the neighbouring communities.

This workshop was well arranged and attended.  It took place  on 16-18 April at the AIC Church in Kiserian.  There were 21 participants including their area chief who went through training with the ladies on day one. With his presence the women were able to engage with him about some of their community concerns and he gave promising solutions. He also asked the women to arrange a meeting with him in his office for further discussions.

With sadness, Brenda, one of the participants expressed, “CoP is God sent. This is the most affected place in Baringo. We were evicted from our homes by the Pokot community .Our husbands and children were killed, herds were stolen and houses torched.  But today I am touched.  I truly want to release all that bitterness.”  She pointed to a certain area and told us that it was originally part of their land, but this was the farthest they could now go because gangsters would kill them. 

Though some participants like Mary felt very relieved after sharing their personal stories, for others it was altogether a painful experience. They began a journey of healing in terms of taking the first step to acknowledge and accept some of the most painful experiences they had gone through in their lives and to finding solutions within themselves enabling them to move on. They pointed out that the story sharing experience was the most effective and helpful thing they have ever done.

Milka recounted, ‘I feel like my life has no meaning because I have not been at peace with my family.’   She tried to share her story but the pain was too much for her to bear. She walked out to cry behind the church. The session continued and after Milka had calmed down she still was willing to share. The Power of Forgiveness session touched her heart in such a big way that she left the room for the second time. Luckily it is she who was hosting the facilitators so they talked with her later when we were relaxing in her house that evening. She was able to share and even say that she would forgive her family which had hurt her for many years and that she would also reach out to them.

As Kiserian was once a community that lived very peacefully with it's neighbours, the women decided to embark on a journey as part of their way forward to bring back the love and restore the trust and respect they had shared with their neighbouring communities in the past. One way of doing it was to accept any opportunities that would bring them together with their rival communities and extend love by actions. For example, contribute in fundraisings; also sing songs that would send messages of peace even if it meant looking for other women from the other communities to sing together with them.

The area assistant chief sent by the chief to come and award certificates to the trained women was very pleased by what CoP was doing. He promised to assist the women by means within his reach to see that peace becomes like a natural resource that all can access and enjoy.

Facilitated and reported by Mumbi Wambugu, Rose Njeri and Mediatrix Masava