YOUTHS ARRIVE FOR THE SUMMIT

Story Agandi Victor

The first day of the Peace Summit marked the arrival of more than 150 youths at the Lenana High School venue. The participants came in full of zeal and enthusiasm of the conference milled around the main hall waiting to be registered. This process took quite a while with the participants getting to know each other and getting psyched up for the occasion. Long queues stretching through the hall, of anxious youths gearing for the big event that would take them through the causes of post-election violence and its sustainable peaceful solution, never seemed to end.

In his opening speech, the organizer Mr. George Arende reiterated the main causes of the 2007/08 violence to be as a result of manipulation of youths by politicians, unemployment, negative ethnicity and tribalism. He narrated a story of an infant being hacked by a machete into two to death by a mob rowdy of youths. He also stressed the importance of youths building strong relationships and avoiding being used by politicians for their selfish gains in exchange of ‘peanuts’! “Youths should be ambassadors of Peace and help quell the already in building tension”, he concluded. The youths attending the seminar agreed unilaterally that All human are equal; All life is sacred.

Later during the day, Hope Mumbi a facilitator, described greed, power, stereotyping and prejudice to be some of the drivers of negative ethnicity in the community. She advised the youth to appreciate themselves when making decisions and shun being used by politicians.” Deconstructing the vicious cycle of negative ethnicity begins from oneself then spreads through to the family, community, nation, region and finally globally. Above the world (Global) we have God”, she recited.

The day also saw youths watch and discuss, from a theological focus, videos of the post-election violence presented by Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in the Great Lakes and The Horn of Africa (FECCLAHA) created by Centre for Right Education and Awareness (CREAW)

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