ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES IN EAST AFRICA

PEACE PROGRAMME

“SAY NO TO VIOLENCE” PEACE PROJECT
Elections in Kenya have always been characterized by violence due to issues such as land, tribalism among others. The first national elections under the new Kenyan constitution 2010 were held on the 4th of March 2013. This created a charged atmosphere evidenced by the violence during the party nominations in the 47 counties due to the 2007/2008 post-election violence. Two major media houses reported violence during the nomination process, the Daily nation of January 21st 2013 reported that “demonstrations and pockets of violence in parts of the country as aspirants clash over party nominations.” On the same day, the Standard newspapers reported that sporadic violence, street protests and property destruction was witnessed in parts of the county. The youth have always been used by politicians to carry out acts of violence and destruction.

APSEA wanted to ensure peace prevail in the election period and undertook to send the message to the youth, churches and other community members to “SAY NO TO VIOLENCE ON MARCH 4TH ELECTIONS!  MAINTAIN THE PEACE.”  The project was aimed at avoid a repeat of Post-Election Violence that claimed 1,220 lives, 268, displaced 300 people and destroyed 41,000 houses according to a UN report.During the post-election chaos the youth were consistently used to cause violence and destruction of property, and for this reason APSEA saw the need to engage with the youth to spread the peace message to the people of Kenya. APSEA used its national wide networks as a platform for the youth and churches to own the process of promoting peace in their communities. These networks in the counties effectively helped promote the message of peace to Universities and Colleges and to reach out to churches to promote Peace to their members and community.
APSEA also played a facilitation role ensured that those involved in the project have the necessary materials and support to carry out a successful peace campaign.  This ensured that youth and churches across the selected regions namely MOMBASA, ELDORET and NAIROBI were engaged in spread the peace messages. APSEA was able to use it professional networks to successfully reach out to youth and churches in Nairobi, Mombasa and Eldoret regions urging them to be ambassadors of peace for the good of our country Kenya. The peace campaigns were very productive with every region sharing varying experiences and solutions.
APSEA used social media accounts, website and KBC radio stations to spread the message of peace nationally. The use of social media and website proved to be ideal and timely as it was noted that youthful Kenya used these social media platform to incite others and spread hatred. Kenyans were encouraged to embrace peace before, during and after the March 4th 2013 electioneering period.
Rift Valley Technical Institute Peace Forum
Using the APSEA professional associations network 18 different meetings were held in the following areas;
Rift-valley
1.    Three churches (Total number reached 187; 54 female and 133 male)
2.    Three Colleges (total number reached 231;67 female and 164 male)
Nairobi
•    Three Colleges (total reached 161; 48 female and 113 male).
•    Three churches (Total Reached 180;87 female and 93 Male)
Mombasa
1.    One Church (Total reached 51; 9 female and 42 male).
2.    Two Colleges (Total reached 128; 45 female and 83 male)
3.    Community Youth Groups (Total reached 183;37 female and 146 male)
The youths contributed actively in all these meetings/forums by sharing their experiences during the post election violence of 2007. Most sited that tribalism, ethnicity and pay outs by politicians were major contributors to the violence. The youth also felt that Kenyans had no platforms to vent their frustrations and so taking to the streets was the only way they could express themselves.  They suggested ways to ensure peaceful elections in 2013 by respecting other peoples right to vote and not inciting others to violence.
These meetings were effective as they helped in ensuring that the youth held constructive and participatory discussions helping them own the peace initiative in their unique/special way.
APSEA was able to reach a total of 1,121 youth in the entire campaign which was conducted in 7 churches, 8 learning institution and three community youth groups  in three regions with the message to "Say No! Don’t be used for violence".
These meetings were mainly attended by the youthful Kenyans who discussed and accepted to be ambassador of peace. The youth also resolved to be holding peace meetings frequently to ensure that they are able to reach out more people in order to prevent a recurrence of 2007/2008 post election violence.
IEC materials and T-shirts were distributed to ensure that the peace message is spread to other community members.
 
The message was also broadcasted through numerous radio spots on KBC English service and Pwani (Swahili) service. The APSEA former Chairman, Dr. Daniel Ichangí and Executive Officer, Grace Injene were hosted on a morning breakfast show to discuss the Peace Project
 
The message was also posted on the APSEA website for 3 months, and on social media (Twitter(APSEA KENYA) and Face book (Association of Professional Societies in East Africa) ) and among others.

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