The Global Peace Foundation Kenya has embarked on a meet the people campaign in a bid to reach communities to teach them about the importance of forgiveness and letting go of politically inflicted anger.
The drive in collaboration with the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) involves sensitization forums that promote post-election healing and reconciliation among the communities in the Nyanza Region.
The Foundation’s Executive Director, Daniel Juma opines that there is a need for healing and reconciliation of the members of different political divides following the hotly contested 2022 General Elections.
He said the past poll outcome for the Presidential seat divided the country in the middle calling for an urgent healing intervention to bind the country together and move forward as one indivisible nation.
Speaking in Kisumu during the launch of the programme on Wednesday, Juma commended the lakeside county residents for heeding the NCIC’s clarion call on ‘Election Bila Noma’ to foster peace during the electioneering period.
He pointed out that the area remained relatively calm despite the foreign embassies issuing travel advisories to their nationals against visiting Kisumu over anticipated post-election chaos.
“People of Kisumu have demonstrated that our democracy as a nation has matured and that we will never be incited to take elections results disagreements to the streets,” said Juma.
To enrich the peaceful coexistence in the country, Juma added, the partnership has unveiled a three-year guideline dubbed ‘Amani Kwa Ground’ to foster the country’s economic growth in a tranquil environment.
The Executive Director urged the locals to prioritise peace with their family members by shunning activities that may trigger violence at the home setup.
“You kept the peace during elections, now we plead with you to do the same with your families by ensuring you take good care of your loved ones, your children go to school and avoid gender-based violence at home,” Juma urged.
He persuaded the youths, women and the elected leaders from the region to concentrate on matters that are beneficial and economically empower members of the community.
At the same time, Juma urged the locals to embrace the national government’s programmes including the recently launched Hustler Fund to obtain capital for self-advancement.
“I want us to focus on how we can economically empower our people for instance, how the youth can take advantage of the Hustler Fund. The Fund is not only for those affiliated with Kenya Kwanza. The moment President William Ruto was sworn in, every policy of the government that he partakes, is funded by the taxpayer. So utilise the fund fully,” he said.
The programme attracted participants drawn from the National and County governments, security agencies, academia, Sub County Peace Committees, Nyumba Kumi Structures, marginalised populations, Civil Society Organisations, Women Groups and opinion leaders among others.
By Robert Ojwang’