Sisi ni Amani
The guiding aim of Sisi ni Amani chapters is to promote Community Conversations using allavailable tools at the local level: among civil society leaders, through SMS-based reporting,mobilization, and conflict-response, and workshops on conflict and peace in the community; for the broader community, through subscription to SMS-based alerts and updates about local peace andconflict, and participation in regular community fora for disscusions on the root causes of violence.
PUBLICITY & RESEARCH
Sisi ni Amani produces ground-breaking media about local peace activities in order to cultivate a greater awareness and appreciation within the public for the daily successes and struggles of Kenya’s peace heroes.
Sisi ni Amani uses a variety of media to enhance the visibility of itsmembers at the community and national levels, with the aim of promoting greater general understanding of the character of peacework being done throughout Kenya. Our website provides mediaoutlets with a resource for reporting positive news from otherwisestigmatized areas of Kenya. Sisi ni Amani trains its member groups toupdate and maintain group profiles on its website, which includegroup descriptions, interview transcripts, and short documentaries produced by Sisi ni Amani. Our interviews bring forth the stories of the youth who were directly involved in Kenya’s 2008 post-election violence, and whose current peace-building activities represent a direct response to whatthey view as the root causes of violence in their communities.
BABA NDOGO: The Story of our Pilot Community
In our pilot community of Baba Ndogo (“Little Uncle” in Kiswahili), one of Nairobi’s moreviolence-affected slums, we have catalyzed 12 independent groups, whose primary activities rangefrom performance arts and ‘edutainment’ to garbage collection and urban farming, to communicateand work together under the umbrella of Sisi ni Amani. Each of these groups began mobilizing their members – primarily youth (defined as about 16 to 35 years) in their area – to redress certain rootcauses of violence through their chosen activities. Their activities represent a form of second-degree peace promotion by going to the heart of central problems in their communities – unemployment,youth idleness, negative tribal stereotypes – while the fact of their existence serves to maintain peace in a more direct way, by uniting the youth, who are frequently the primary agents of violence,over a given area towards a positive cause. An example we frequently cite is Downstream YouthGroup, a collection of youths in Baba Ndogo who have employed themselves through a car-wash business. Of the many car-washes in Baba Ndogo, this one distinguishes itself as having beenstarted as a direct response to the unemployment that left its members vulnerable to manipulation by cash-weilding politicians, who entice youth in Baba Ndogo slum to arm themselves against rivalethnic communities with as little as Ksh500, or $6USD, during the 2007/8 election period.With a combined representation of over 150 members, these groupsorganized and spear-headed the launch of Sisi ni Amani in Baba Ndogo on September 25, 2010, an event that involved over 500members of the community to spread the word about our unique phone number to the community stakeholders and future SMS-alertssubscribers. Additionally, the groups have formed a formal Secretariat(Sisi ni Amani Baba Ndogo) to coordinate future peace activities andconflict response over the upcoming two years. By bringing together all of the youth who were“reading from the same page of peace” for the first time, as our community partners aptly put it, our launch imbued the leaders of Baba Ndogo’s peace groups with the energy and platform for
Empowering, Understanding, and Connecting Peace in Kenya