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A movement for Peace

Kelvin Arap
Written by Kelvin Arap
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One Kenya One Love

As Kenya’s presidential vote approaches on Tuesday, 8th August — the first since post-election violence swept the country in 2007 — young Kenyans  in our Yes Youth Can Program (courtesy of Kelvin Arap and the Entire Kampozone community) are standing up for peace.

Image result for kenyan peace

Ten years ago, armed groups of youth stirred up local politicians killed more than 1,500 people across the country. Kampozone has been working with the Kenyan community and thousands of youth groups, such as in JOOUST_Enactus,Christian Union,Share club,Blaze and among others , for the past two years to build a grassroots movement to choose peace.

Image result for kenya youths against political violence

Yes Youth Can  engages Kenyan youth in community outreach and small business creation, empowering them to transform their lives and their country. They are actively involved in finding productive solutions to the issues they face.

Read their stories and hopes for the future of their country;

 

Image result for kenya youths against political violence‘Let’s get ready to unite this country’
Victor Akubasu, Lecturer

We have come a long way here in Kenya since the disputed elections of 2007.

Immediately after we cast our votes back then, violence erupted countrywide. Most of my close friends were paid by politicians to participate in demonstrations which resulted in looting of shops and lighting bonfires on the highways. As a result, some were shot, killed and others arrested and are still in jail. The elections and the aftermath turned young people against each other.

My desire is that we join hands and embrace peace. We are not ready to experience what happened across 2007 and 2008 again. We appreciate the partners who have walked with us in bringing the young people together and helping them take center stage in decision-making roles in our society.

Image result for kenyan youths‘My loved ones are gone because they exercised their right to vote’
Edith Mercy Wambui Njuguna, Teacher

Peace is very important in our country because without peace there can’t be business as usual. Businesses can’t operate without it, students can’t go on with their studies. Our country would be at a standstill without peace.

I’m a peace ambassador here in Kenya because I value peace. I know we never appreciate the importance of it until it is gone and I felt the pain and anguish of our people after the botched 2007 elections firsthand.

My prayer and wish is to see peaceful elections. I call upon my fellow young people and the country at large: let’s join hands and cast our votes for good leadership, let’s all remember this country is important and bigger than any politicians. To our politicians: Let’s support whoever wins and whoever loses should concede defeat honorably.

I am ready to embrace peace, not violence. Let’s get ready to unite this country. God bless Kenya.

Image result for kenyan youths  ‘We call the peace pledge Tuko Rada’

Jane Maina, youth

Peace is very important. With peace people will not live in fear and the economy can grow. In future I hope to see a peaceful Kenya and citizens who will be happy to be Kenyans.

As a Kenyan youth, I have decided to do everything I can to maintain peace before, during and after the elections. We call this pledge Tuko Rada. Many other young people are making this pledge to keep peace, love each other as Kenyans and not to fight again. Tuko Rada is a movement now and in years to come we know peace will be a complete reality — we will realize our goals and own this country as true, peaceful patriots.

Image result for kenyan youths  ‘Peace is hope for a better tomorrow’

David Omondi, student

I hope to see a Kenya where people live beyond tribal affiliations and ethnicity. A Kenya where resources are distributed equally. A home where basic necessities like education, health, food and shelter are available to all its citizens.

As part of our project’s peace initiatives ahead of the elections this month, I have gone around to bunges (youth parliaments) and market places preaching peace. I recently invited all political candidates in my constituency to a peace forum to sign a pledge of peace, and did the same with many community leaders and officials and various government departments. We also held a big peace caravan, preaching peace in key communities, and culminating in a soccer match to encourage peace among the young people there.

 

Related image  ‘You don’t know how precious peace is until it is gone’

Emmanuel Kiprop,

My prayer and wish is to see peaceful elections. I call upon my fellow young people and the country at large: let’s join hands and cast our votes for good leadership, let’s all remember this country is important and bigger than any politicians. To our politicians: Let’s support whoever wins and whoever loses should concede defeat honorably.

 

Kenya’s people belong to different ethnic groups, races and religions, but those differences need not divide them. They must be able to live and interact as Kenyans.  It is a paramount duty of education to help the youth acquire this sense of nationhood by removing conflicts and promoting positive attitudes [….], which enable them to live together in harmony.

Image result for kenyan youth against peace

I am ready to embrace peace, not violence. Let’s get ready to unite this country. God bless Kenya.

 

About the author

Kelvin Arap

Kelvin Arap

“Think big and don’t listen to people who tell you it can’t be done. Life’s too short to think small.”

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