IARF Kenya Chapter: Mission to West Pokot
Below you will find a short report from our Kenya Chapter about their recent activities.
Our two-day travel for the interfaith, peace and human rights education program to West Pokot, Kenya began on 1 June. West Pokot lies almost 700 km or about 400 miles away from Nairobi, the Capital city of Kenya.
The trip was initially scheduled for three months ago, but we were curtailed by heavy downpour as a result of which the roads were damaged and some bridges linking this area cut-off. Poverty and illiteracy are alarmingly high in this region. There are no houses, no shopping centers, only scattered mad houses / shanties in bushy surroundings. It’s a densely populated region and people here solely depend on cattle and goat rearing. They dress by wrapping themselves in special cloth garments of a particular color.
It’s a very volatile region experiences a lot of fighting and inter-tribal clashes, cattle rustling being the main problem. There are only a few religious organizations which are heavily traditional, speak only the local dialect and are very weary of strangers, particularly vehicles. They are used to wars so when having a meeting women sit at a separate area while men scatter themselves standing each with a weapon in hand as you will see in some of the pictures here. Pointing a camera at them is not tolerated but we managed to take some shots surreptitiously.
We found agreement, however, and had a good time with them. Our message was well received and we managed to get hold of opinion leaders and key people in peace building and human rights awareness program who, we hope, will continue to propagate the message to many.
The launch of our peace programme in these community shown how powerful IARF can be in bringing people and communities together.
We are working right now on a new idea for interfaith and human rights education days all over the 47 counties, especially where different religions coexist, as the crucial time for this country 2017 election is approaching.
We natured the community with a slogan “where there is peace, there is food, good school, good health facilities and there is a development”
Peace is about you. By marking the day you can make a real difference. Now is the time to start acting!
Lawrence Adera, Chapter Secretary