It is increasingly seeming like my worst fears will be confirmed, and the Annan mediation talks will become a long road to nowhere.
Frustrated as we are, I think it is important for us as Kenyans to keep trying to find ways to wrest the fate of our country from these two power-hungry individuals. You can play your part by doing what you can to support the peace building initiatives and aid effortsthat I have listed below. These efforts are more tangible than signing petitions, wearing bands, etc.
Lets demonstrate that there is a better way to do things and that unlike our leaders, we as Kenyans are ready to do the HARD work necessary to rebuild our country…talk is cheap. I also encourage you to circulate this list widely, especially to people in Kenya who are in position to do something but might not necessarily access my blog…some of these initiatives just need a show of support.
2. Anyone interested in working with youth groups in Nairobi on sports, art, and music – drop me a line: kenyanpundit-at-gmail-dot-com
3. Media Producers are looking for peace stories about people who have shown bravery in looking for peace, these stories will be turned into 5 minute documentaries to be screened at Makutano Junction and elsewhere. If you have stories or can help find partners to air the stories drop me a line.
4. Korogocho has women netball teams and youth football associations that could use visits from groups who want to support their efforts. If you are interested, drop me a line.
5. Youth For Peace and Development: Does training young peace builders and does reconciliation talks in communities. Meetings at the Peacenet Offices in Nairobi every Monday at 11:00 am.
6. One Kenya One Nation: The Kenya Institute of Education is working on developing messages for school children. Meeting to be held on 3rd March 2008. If you are interested in participating, drop me a line (I think they could use help from those in the diaspora with an education/counseling background or resources).
8. If you are in the Coast, check out Pwani 4 Peace. They have been instrumental in helping keep Mombasa relatively calm where other big towns were on fire. They still need support.
EDIT: Tavia has just left a thought-provoking comment – “I agree that the stalemate is frustrating, but however tempting it will now be to reduce the political crisis to two power-hungry individuals, and to encourage a mass exit from political engagement into charity, development, and peace work, in my view that would only add to our challenges. On this point, I would suggest the excellent commentary of Sam Amadi, the “Kenyan Crisis and the Neo-Liberal Fallacy” available on allafrica.com: http://allafrica.com/stories/200802251378.html . Amadi argues that deemphasizing popular participation in politics, and instead grasping for technical and humanitarian quick fixes, is what prevents us from establishing lasting and workable democratic political structures.” My question then is what avenues do we have for popular participation? I have some thoughts on this train of thought but would love to hear your comments first .