Although primary education in Kenya is free, many families cannot afford administrative, examination and desk fees, uniform and school supplies. In addition, older children are kept out of school to help with the house chores and their siblings’ care. Other children of school age do not attend school because of hunger and their guardians’ disregard for education.
In the beginning of the project, a group of impoverished women of the Langas community (Kasarani neighborhood) – the epicenter of the post-election violence – was initially gathered for a workshop. However, the project leaders were forced to change the nature of the meeting to address women’s’ complaints and offer possible solutions. This group was initially a vivid example of tribalism – violent quarreling erupted when women tried to elect multi-ethnic representatives for their group which undermined future cooperation and led towards an internal split. However, through the participating organization’s coordination, the women were able to reconcile and integrate, create an organized and registered group, elect official representatives and set a plan of action towards economic prosperity through establishment of a communal chicken farm.
In close collaboration with TEEN 2012, a youth peace forum was organized and attended by over a hundred people. A combination of talent showcasing and presentations by local officials1 and peace enthusiasts2 resulted in a successful effort to empower local youth. At the end of the forum, a list of 66 additional volunteers was collected.