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Garissa NGO launches resilient program against violent extremism

Womankind Kenya, a Non-governmental organisation, has initiated a resilience, peace, and Stability Programme aimed at reducing violent extremism, political conflicts, and resource-based disputes in Garissa County.

The launch of the programme comes at a time when there have been frequent terrorist attacks in the North eastern region and parts of Lamu County, leaving dozens of security officers and civilians dead.

According to the WomenKind Kenya project manager, Osman Yahye, the project seeks to address the negative impacts of violent extremism on essential services such as education, healthcare, infrastructure, and business operations.

During a two-day workshop at a Garissa hotel, Yahye emphasized the need to strengthen and enhance the capacity of community peace committees and the Nyumba Kumi system in identifying early warning signs of radicalization and combating violent extremism in Garissa Township and Fafi Sub counties.

“The goal of the program is to enhance the resilience of the local community to prevent and mitigate violent extremism and resource-based conflicts,” Yahye said.

He emphasized that the project’s strategies will strengthen the resilience and capabilities of community members, government entities, and non-state actors, creating sustainable mechanisms for peace and security initiatives.

The program will also actively involve women, youth, vulnerable groups, the county government, the National Counter Terrorism Center, and community members.

“We are targeting the communities of Fafi and Garissa, including parents, women, and youth, as well as security apparatus in Garissa Township and Fafi, human rights defenders, persons living with disabilities, and county government officials,” Yahye explained.

Garissa Deputy County Commissioner Solomon Chesut, speaking at the workshop, highlighted the collective responsibility of community members in combating violent extremism. He stressed the urgency of addressing the issue while noting that a united front could effectively counter the growing threat.

Ambia Abdi, a resident of Fafi Sub-County, emphasized the pivotal role of mothers in nurturing children and preventing their involvement in criminal activities. She called on parents to remain vigilant and actively engage with their children to ensure they do not fall prey to extremist ideologies.

By addressing the root causes of violent extremism and strengthening community resilience, the programme aims to foster a peaceful and stable environment in the targeted areas.

By Latifa Hassan

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