Let’s Build Bridges of Peace for Our Peace
a project funded by The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Internews in partnership with FHI360 under the program Safeguarding Democratic Space in Kenya (SADES-K).
This was a project funded by The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with Internews and FHI360 in the program Safeguarding Democratic Space in Kenya (SADES-K). The project’s overall goal; to enhance Kenya’s ability to hold a national conversation on reforms and national cohesion, and to safeguard democratic gains, including protecting civic space, respect for human rights, and observance of rule of law.
Let’s Build Bridges of Peace for Our Peace was implemented in Uasin Gishu and Bungoma counties. We sought to strengthen social and ethnic cohesion by encouraging dialogue between community members to achieve healing and reconciliation as a road map to building bridges for social cohesion among communities.
We endeavored to support institutional and legal reforms to enhance democratic and accountable governance and to strengthen social cohesion through healing and reconciliation, capacity building, and facilitating justice for survivors of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (CRSV).
The objectives of the program were to empower women, youth, elders, peace committees, and other structures to bridge ethnic divides, increase tolerance and acceptance; to promote inclusion and cohesion through multi-sectoral dialogues, trauma healing, and reintegration of ex-militia youth; and to improve community security through enhanced collaboration and partnerships between the security sector and the community structures.
To achieve these objectives, we advocated for and created awareness among the masses to promote inter-ethnic interactions; support memorialization to address community and personal trauma; create multi-ethnic and inclusive networks to curb violence and conflicts at the initial stages through transformative dialogues where people and communities can discuss and engage themselves peacefully; and build capacity aimed to improve community capacities and abilities to participate in peace processes through empowerment, knowledge transfer and formation of mediation teams.
The project emphasized collaborations and partnerships, diversity and inclusive participation, and removing structural barriers to achieve equality and equity. This helps in suppressing conflict recipes such as political alignments, shifting national alliances, tribalism, militia groups, and the persistent urge for revenge that stirs up inter-tribal and intra-ethnic conflicts. A close working relationship with government agencies especially the police and Court Users Committees (CUC) was an essential component to supporting the investigation and prosecution of some of the cases. This, to create a platform for healing for most CRSV survivors to bring peace, reconciliation, and work towards a cohesive society.