Background and objectives:
The Youth as Agents of Peace project was established in February 2008 to provide support to the humanitarian situation emanating from the post-election unrest following the Presidential elections in Kenya. The programme has established a network of youth peace builders at the community level in Kenya in support of peace building and conflict transformation among the young people.
The Youth as Agents of Peace Project has engaged 120 young people from identified urban affected areas surrounding Nairobi to play a proactive role in finding a solution to the conflict and peace building in urban areas.
As a leading humanitarian relief agency, the Kenyan Red Cross Society was identified as an implementing partner by UN-HABITAT to engage young people in the peace building initiatives with the Youth as agents for peace programme. The main component of the cooperation included training of young people from the urban areas in Nairobi most affected by the post election situation as peace builders to promote peace and reconciliation in the affected slum areas.
Identification of target areas of the programme was based on preliminary consultations with the Kenya Red Cross Society, affected youth, and on the recommendation of the UN-HABITAT’s Rapid Assessment on the Impact of Post Election Violence in Nairobi Report. Informal settlements in the Nairobi surroundings including Kibera, Mathare, Korogocho, Fuata Nyayo, Dandora, Huruma and Kawangware were among the areas to benefit.
The project aimed to assess the situation in these areas in order to determine the nature and level of assistance of youth, the extent of damage in order to make recommendations on appropriate interventions and strategies to support rebuilding and meeting shelter, livelihood and entrepreneurship needs in these communities. Further interventions in these affected areas is being carried out with the assistance of the 120 young people who have undergone the peace building training and they are now reaching out to other young people and members of their communities as Youth are agents of peace.
Blood Donation Drive
A blood drive was held from 31 January to 2 February 2008 with the aim of promoting peace by saving a life. Young people were encouraged to come out and donate blood and also make the same requests to members of their communities. The drive was targeted to raise 500 pints of blood and 480 pints were obtained.
Peace Building Training
The training sessions aimed at enabling young people understand and manage conflicts and differences in a proactive and non violent way took place in three one-week sessions from 13 to 28 March 2008. Training topics included:
- Understanding the nature of conflict
- Conflict Transformation
- Self Awareness and peace building
- Human Rights and good Governance
Youth trainees also benefitted from dialogue during the Kenya Violence Prevention Week that provided an opportunity for young people to exchange and share experiences on peace initiatives and youth-led best practices that are on-going in their communities. These dialogues also served as a platform to conduct in-depth training needs assessment, during which UN-HABITAT frameworks on crime prevention, post conflict rehabilitation and reconstruction were also emphasized.
- A resource pool of 120 young people (male and female) trained and equipped to serve as mediators, agents for peaceful change, training of trainers.
- Young people developed action plans to take to the grassroots level and within their communities.
- Cross fertilization and advance of youth ideas, cultural awareness and understanding towards effective peace building
- Best practices and the lessons learned from the Youth as Agents of Peace documented for dissemination and replication at local, national and global levels.