Meaning of Peace Summit logo

April 6, 2009

The Peace Summit Logo has significant meaning relating to how demanding peace is required not only in Kenya but in the entire continent.

Meaning

Kenya Youth Peace Summit Logo

Kenya Youth Peace Summit Logo

Africa– continent faced with enormous challenges including conflicts

The summit takes place in Africa a continent that has seen many if not most of conflicts, which result from poor governance, ethnicity, hunger for power.. and the list goes on and on.

burning Kenya- Symbolized with orange/ black on Kenya.

In 2007 Kenya faced one of the worst violence recorded in its History. when fighting ended we had 1,200 people dead and 350,000 displaced from their homes and living as Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s). Kenya was burning and country once baptised a heaven of peace in a territory of war. one may ask why in 2009? Kenya has not healed from the wounds of violence witnessed in 2007. situation is still volatile and victim communities are yet to forgive and forget since many lost a father, a mother, a daughter, a son in the violence. Most of the causes of war are yet to be addressed- poverty, unemployment among the youth, hate speech by politicians, inequity and inpunity. so the country is still burning even though we are not in the lime-light on the CNN, BBC, CBS…..

Dove symbol of peace

The dove symbolizes peace and it seem to be headed to Kenya where absence of peace has threatened many young people. We hope with the ray of light brough by the dove (peace) the summit will brighten many lives, provide hope to many who have lost it, motivate many who feel helpless with the system and enormous poverty being experienced.

The Summit organizers hope you will join us in this journey of transformation aimed at encouraging young people to dream and walk towards their dreams. Dreams can only be fulfiled in a conducive atmosphere where peace becomes a way of life.

Advertisements

Francis narrates his post-election violence experience

March 21, 2009

The post-election witnessed in December and January 2009 taught great lessons through the experience I had while working as a volunteer with the Kenya Red Cross Society. We were in-charge of relief distribution, offered first aid services to the injured, traced lost members of family, performed logistics including other operations. To date its only one experience that lingers in my mind since it was so traumatic.

It was in early January 2008 while in a Red Cross ambulance that we received a radio call from one of our seniors, of an emergency incidence in the heart of Mathare slums where people were said to be in critical condition and required urgent response. We set off and rushed to the scene. On our way to the scene we reached Mlango Kubwa where a gang of armed youths carrying all forms of crude weapons had lined up other men whom they claimed were from ‘the enemy community’. Beside the place we were laid five bodies oozing blood and had stained the enter place with blood. For a moment I shut my eyes in horror… it was too much for me to comprehend. I hardened my heart and had to be brave since I knew ultimately we were the ones to collect the bodies and scattered body-parts to mortuary.

Our team leader got off the ambulance and pleaded with gang to release the lined up men and not to harm them. The gang leaders couldn’t listen and replied in kiswahili- “tupatie chakula na sisi tuwaachie miili msipeleke mortuary” (give us food for us to release them to save you from taking the bodies to the mortuary).

After a lengthy pleading the armed gang opted not to kill the men. Before freeing them they performed all sorts of assault on their bodies… an action that left many of them bleeding profusely. We later conducted first aid to them as we waited for another ambulance to pick the dead.

In order to avoid repeat of the violence we witnessed I urge the Kenyan youths who count for the larger population not to elect leaders on the basis of tribal affiliations and for the government to speed job creation for the ever-growing youth population.


JUDITH’S STORY

March 21, 2009

The violence that followed the 2007 general elections was heart breaking, I still cant believe that people can do such horrible deeds to their fellow human beings, I witnessed killings, destruction, plunder and rape. The worst experience was on 1st of January 2008 when I witnessed the gruesome death of my friend. I was taking a walk with her and another friend of mine in the streets of Mathare North in Nairobi. We were stopped by two men and they started asking us which tribe we belonged to, they later asked for our national Identification cards, we didn’t have any on us, so they resorted to talking to us using their mother tongue to confirm our tribes. One of my friend understood and responded. She was released and asked to run as fast as she could and instructed not to look back. The other who didn’t understand was beaten and they started assaulting her sexually. She cried for help but it was too dangerous for us to return and help. She was rescued by police officers that were nearby, and rushed to hospital were she died on arrival. It was difficult to believe people we lived with could do such a thing to my friend.
Young people most of the time receive bribes from our leaders in order to vote for them. They do that because they do not have any other source of gainful employment since there are no jobs. The government can help create jobs to avoid youth idling for an idle mind is the devils workshop.


NAOMI MONTHE STORY

March 20, 2009

On the fateful day of the presidential results announcement, I was with some of my friends talking outside my home. Everything seemed quiet, until a crowd carrying machetes and stones came from nowhere chanting political slogans.

The chanting crowd demanded the exit of members of a certain community from the area ‘you voted for the opposition candidate’ they chanted. Curious to get a better view I ran towards the marauding youth unaware of the dangers of my action.

They were now threatening to break into houses of rival communities. Sensing danger I rushed back to the comfort of my home. Police on patrol acted swiftly to rescue and quell the growing tension to no avail. What seemed like one of my childhood games (hide and seek) pursued between the police and the heavily armed youth. Houses were touched in the process a situation that generated fear within my Mathare neighborhood. Curfew was quickly declared that evening from 7.00pm until morning and was to be followed strictly.

My family and all the neighbors adjacent spent the better part of the night in fear. We could hear screams and shouts of women, children and even men asking for help but it was too dangerous mission which could be life threatening. On peeping through our mad thatched house we could see one of our neighbours house on fire. With no help from fearful neighbours the fire quickly spread to our house which was burnt to ashes. We dashed out and did not manage to salvage anything including my personal belonging, clothes and books.

With no home we moved to the gates of Moi airbase camp and were later transferred to Mathare chief’s camp, where I lived in a tent with my family for eight months supported with food and clothes from Red Cross and the Lutheran church.

My solution to this unfortunate events is to urge the government to take responsibility and create jobs for the youths.


post election violence Jactons perspective

March 20, 2009

31st Dec 2007 is a day the residence of the lakeside city of Kisumu will never forget. The city was turned into a battlefield after the presidential elections results were announced. The police were all over the streets ready to deal with the crowds, which were threatening to cause chaos.

The situation got form bad to worse; the people lit bone fires, erected illegal roadblocks and wrote offensive graffitis’ on the walls. Members of certain communities were forcefully chased from their homes. The police were given shoot to kill orders and according to the National Human Rights Commission report, 75% of the Deaths in Kisumu were blamed on the police.

Food in the town was scarcely available, houses and shops were looted and arsonist took advantage to burn the structures. Rowdy gangs took advantage of the situation to assault women sexually.

My advice as a young Kenyan is directed to our development partners together with our local sponsors to organize more forums where youths from allover the country can be brought together, and be sensitized on the importance of living in harmony regardless of their ethnic affiliations.


Background information for the summit

February 19, 2009

Greetings to you in the name of the Almighty God from the Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church (KELC) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) . We have planned a week-long ecumenical peace summit in Kenya under the theme – Embrace peace fulfil dreams’ to be held in Nairobi from April 13th- 19th 2009 for youth to learn and practice peace building in response to the post-election violence that occurred in Kenya in 2007 and early 2008.

The Summit will be hosted by the Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, with assistance from, Church World Service and Anglican Church of Kenya. The conference will take place in Nairobi and each delegate is expected to register with Kshs. 500 (five hundred shillings only). When your nomination is accepted, we will send an agenda with further details. The working language of the gathering will be English and Kiswahili.

We are writing to invite  you to participate and make the Summit a success. It will provide space and platform for youth to set their dreams and potential in motion. It is our goal to build a strong youth network capable to collectively tackle ever-growing challenges among the youth. We also intend to connect youth in East Africa.

Between 150 and 200 young people from various faith traditions, countries will participate. We pray you will be part of this gathering. Nominate young people based on gender balance between age 15-30 years to participate in this conference. Please have the young people that your youth department/ ministry nominate request for registration forms at the following e- mail:  kenyapeacesummit@gmail.com. completed forms should be sent back before 28th February, 2009.

Participants are asked to bring examples of peace building initiatives in their localities and income generating projects, especially those relating to youth. Several events will take place:

  • Youth leadership council and media training (by special invitation)
  • Dialogue with different leaders
  • Tracks on Reconciliation, Empowerment & Employment
  • Field trips, interfaith worship services and cultural events throughout the gathering.

In addition, a team of youth journalists will be trained and produce a newsletter / blog (website) about the activities at the conference. Young people interested in participating in the media team are welcome to apply on the registration form application. We know that young people are the strength of the community and country at large. They are the present and future leaders, and they have a powerful role to play in creating peace and development. At this meeting young people from all over the Provinces of Kenya will meet youth from around the world and be empowered as leaders within and community and learn new skills to develop projects in their communities.

For more information do not hesitate to contact the peace summit organizers:

Georges Arende

Kenyapeacesummit2009@gmail.com

or garende@kelc.or.ke

P.O. Box 54128-00200

Nairobi, Kenya

Tel: +254 780454 (office)

Tel: +254 726 469 518 (mobile)

Christine Mangale & Emily Davila

Christine.Mangale@elca.org

Emily.Davila@elca.org

Lutheran Office for World Community

777 UN Plaza, 10B

NY NY 10017

+1 212-808-5360