We wish all Pathways To Peace graduates who are about to start their end of year exams Success and God’s Blessings. Special wishes go to those who are preparing for the end of high school KCSE National Exams and our WCK patron graduates who are preparing candidates. May Peace Prevail Within and Without in the coming weeks.
To all our graduates and friends from across the world, We wish you all a happy Global Peace Day!
In July 2010 a three day WCK Student Leaders Orientation Course was conducted in Mombasa at WCK Coast Education Centre next to Mombasa Marine Park. Participants were from Eastern and Coast Regions of Kenya.
Two weeks after the end of this course, I got a phone passionate phone call from one of the participants David Njue informing me how while implementing one of his end of course Action Plans (educating members of his local Wildlife Club on peace), his club patron was so impressed with the training that he approached the school deputy principal and they organized for him to scale up the training for the entire school population of over 200 students!
David signed off by saying, “Mwalimu (Teacher in Swahili), now we are all living in peace and respect for each other across our religious difference – Muslims and Christians. Asante Sana (thank you very much) Mwalimu” he said and hung up. This was just a few weeks before we had our new constitution elections and the campaigns for and against the new constitution had polarized the country between religious differences due to some contentious issues in the constitution regarding Muslim Kadhi Courts, which have been in our constitution since independence in 1963. We thank David and the others who went beyond the Action Plans they had outlined at the end of their courses to preach PEACE in their schools and villages at such a critical time. Our new constitution gives us even greater foundation within which to continue with our work of spreading peace especially as we prepare for the next elections in 2012. May Peace always prevail within and without our individual borders!
In June 2010 a three – day WCK Student Leaders Orientation Course was conducted in Langata – Nairobi WCK Headquarters grounds. Participants were from high schools in Nairobi, Central and Mt. Kenya Regions of the country.
During the first day of the course, one of the students complained that he expected the other participants to be from the other regions of the country especially with tribes that targeted his members of the community. (Central Kenya is predominantly settled by members of Kikuyu tribe who were the main target during post election violence outside their ancestral home and participants on this course were predominantly of the Kikuyu ethnic group). We reminded him that peace was a multi – layered medium which can only be fostered by first developing peace within ourselves, with our family members, school mates and to a great degree between tribes and even greater between nations. We also accepted his call for having participants from different regions/tribes come together during peace building efforts to better understand the difference and build respect across the divide and told him that is why in phase two of Pathways To Peace in 2010 we planned to select our top performing participants from every course to come together for a 10 day National wilderness expedition course later in the year.
In late May 2010 a three day WCK Student Leaders Orientation Course was conducted in Lake Nakuru National Park – WCK Education Centre. Participants were from high schools in Central and South Rift Regions of Kenya During the focused group discussion led by Mr. Gideon Odhiambo of Behaviour Change Consult as part of baseline survey of participants, one student shared with the group how her father and mother being from the two main tribes who were fighting during post election violence in Rift Valley had to separate. The father had to arrange for the mother to escape to Nakuru town and she only returned home after the violence had ended. It was very emotional as she shared how families and friends she had known as friends and neighbors were killed as they watched and some of the bodies dumped in pit latrines. For another student, the parents being from different tribes had separated during the violence and never came back together even two years after the violence. These stories brought great meaning and measure to the importance of PEACE to this group. All were excited at the end of their course to go make a difference in their schools and villages.
In April 2010 a three day WCK Patrons and Education Officers Orientation Course was conducted in Lake Nakuru National Park WCK Education Centre. Participants for this course were drawn from a cross the country; Western, North Rift, Central, Mt. Kenya, North Eastern, Eastern, Central and South Rift as well as Coast Regions of the country.
One of the participants from this course, Mr. Philip Gitahi who is WCK Education Officer Nairobi, hosted the Student Leaders Course at WCK Nairobi Education Center in June and during this course he shared with Gichuru and I how he attended a workshop after their course that was discussing issues to deal with PEACE. When he was given opportunity to contribute to the discussion, he said everybody was so impressed with his knowledge on the subject that they asked him which school he went to learn all he knew about peace and he proudly told them “ I am a graduate of Pathways To Peace Course held in Lake Nakuru in April 2010” We know many more participants from this course have organized courses for their colleagues back in their schools and the regions they represented. Well done everyone!
In mid May 2010, a three day WCK Student Leaders Orientation Course was conducted in Ndere Island National Park – Lake Victoria. Participants were from high schools in Nyanza, Western and North Rift Regions of Kenya. On the first day of the course, one of the participants’ Philleviah Cheptoo asked instructors during the course orientation how we thought it would be possible for her to go back to her elders and convince them that it was necessary to make peace with a tribe long considered as an enemy! At the end of the course, Philleviah was one of the most excited students who said she could not wait to go back and “stop discrimination by teaching my school mates and village mates on the importance of respecting each others differences” She is one of the four participants from her course who was appointed due to her great leadership potential to go on a full 10 day wilderness expedition in Nguruman/Loita Hills later this year joining other participants from three other regions across the country where we have run similar courses.
Peace Always! Shikuku