BUILDING BRIDGES

The information in this post is from BUILDING BRIDGES.

Building Bridges Logo

Building Bridges is a campaign to encourage and map peace initiatives in Kenya. It aims to encourage and connect Kenyans to reach out to others to overcome conflict. It is aimed at those who want to find solutions to existing problems and deal with the sources of conflict. If that is you or your organisation then you can upload your peace initiative on their website. By doing that they help spread the word about your initiative and perhaps get help from others to grow the impact of what you are doing.

Building Bridges helps stimulate those initiatives which contribute to preventing or overcoming conflict within or between communities e.g. villages, neighborhoods, faith groups, families, businesses. Those conflicts could be related to land issues, ethnicity, and corruption amongst others issues. Building Bridges aims at motivating individuals to take action and register their initiative, activities or organization.

The Building Bridges platform aims to foster collaboration and interactivity on peace initiatives across Kenya, to support those doing great work and to create a sustainable culture of peace throughout the country.

Some of the projects it has helped include:

1.Hope Center, Kawangware.

This is a grassroots bridge building peace project that believes when poetry is connected and shared, it can create a sustaining power of human spirit to form healing, peace, justice, and tolerance around the world.

2.Redeemer promotion program, Mombasa

This project organizes tournament piting youths and also calls local artists to entertain them. Afterwards they address the youths on peace. The clergy and local administrators address them too.

3. Brotherly Promotion Youth,Kandara and Shaurimoyo

This project was registered 2005,for youth from all part of Kenya,activities are H.I.V. and DRUG ABUSE AWARENESS,SPORT,DEBATES,ETC…The  Group location is  Kandara(District) and Shaurimoyo(Nairobi). Their Goal is “TO UNITE and PROMOTE BROTHERHOOD for BETTER (KENYA) tomorrow.

4.Meeting and diversity in our tribes, Eldoret

This is a project that has a distribution chain that involves various age brackets and careers thus people must sit to have meetings and in the process celebrate our diversity.

5. Meeting and diversity in our tribes, Kakamega

This peace project is based on inter marriages among couples.

The above is just a drop of water in the ocean because theyhave 628 initiatives and peace partners in different regions all over Kenya. To view their partners you can go to http://www.buildingbridges.co.ke/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=5&Itemid=6 and click on the region that suits you.

With the help of Ushahidi they have created a mapping tool that provides various ways of linking individuals and organizations. The mapping tool gives an overview of Registered Peace Building Activities throughout the country.

Sample Map

I cannot find the words to summarize what this wonderful people are doing. If you have any project please contact them through: http://www.moseskemibaro.com/book-me/

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PICHA MTAANI (STREET EXHIBITION)

This information is from http://pichamtaani.org

This is a youth-led peace initiative that primarily seeks to create space for young people to reconcile and become agents of reconciliation to their respective communities. Picha Mtaani aims at providing a platform for national reflection and building local reconstruction consensus through photo exhibitions and conversation. This project aims at organizing target communities to play their part in the reconciliation and reconstruction process.

Picha mtaani logo

The Picha Mtaani national peace building initiative and exhibition tour, has successfully visited ten election violence most affected towns including Nairobi, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kericho, Kisumu, and has enjoyed tremendous support from the Kenyan public; this was illustrated by the participation of over seven hundred thousand (700,000) young people, the submission of over thirty thousand completed questionnaires (30,000) and the subsequent signing of over sixty-one thousand peace pledges (61,000) in our exhibitions series throughout the country.

This is one way how they do it by showing people the post election violence photos

In total, from 2008 to 2011:

  1. Picha Mtaani was exhibited in ten cities and towns: Nairobi, Naivasha, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kericho, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nyahururu, Kuresoi, and Mai Mahiun
  2. Subsequently, over 20 mini exhibitionswere held, over just this past year, 2010-2011 and plan for community action.
  3. 35,000 people completed surveys, offering important insights arising from views of ordinary Kenyans on community reconciliation, roles and contributions of individuals to peace building, effects of the violence of their lives and recommendations for national healing.
  4. 61,000 individuals filled in pledge cards that committed themselves to uphold peace and promote active nonviolence.
  5. Videos of the exhibition have been used as a model in 10 African countries by the Africa Youth Alliance of YMCA.

Most recently, October of 2011 marked the launch of Heal the Nation, the documentary film chronicling Picha Mtaani’s journey across the country.

The Project Director is Boniface Mwangi. He is an award-winning photojournalist and the author of THE PRICE OF TRIBAL POLITICS which is a book of his encounter of the Post Election Violence.  He started his career at The Standard, the second largest newspaper in Kenya, as a photographer and did various assignments of increasing responsibility in a number of countries including Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, China, Somalia, Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa, France.  He also covered the historic election of President Barack Obama in the USA.

They also offer counselling to those who were affected by the violence

After witnessing and documenting the post-election violence, he boldly took his photography to the streets in towns across Kenya, bringing the story of the violence directly to the grassroots in communities across the country, coverage that mainstream media had failed to provide.  This initiative was Picha Mtaani.

You can contact them through:

Email:  info at pichamtaani.org
Web: www.pichamtaani.org

This shows that we have the power in us to preach peace and healing. You dont have to do something mega you can just make that decision to be peaceful and that is change you have made to your country.