Projects

1. Mt Elgon Peace Centre

2. Kakuma Refugee Camp

3. HROC in Women’s Prisons

4. Trainings in Kenya

5. International Trainings

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1. Mt Elgon Peace Centre

 

Peace center, Dec 2017

From right to left, center center hall, kitchen, and cow barn.

From 2006 to 2008, the Sabaot Land Defense Force (SLDF) conducted a guerrilla war on Mt. Elgon which led to the death of about 600 people, 500 disappeared, and 100,000 people displace from the mountain. The issue was the division of land between two clans of the Sabaot. This issue had been festering on Mt. Elgon since the time of independence in 1963 with no adequate resolution. In 2008 the Kenyan military entered Mt. Elgon, killed the SLDF leader and others, and imprisoned a large number of Sabaot youth. This restored order but left a lot of trauma, some SLDF rebels living in the forest at the top of the mountain, and significant community distrust and angst.

The Quaker peace organizations began working on Mt. Eglon in 2007 during the height of the conflict. At that point it was necessary to bring participants down off the mountain for their trainings. In 2013 Mount Elgon communities began calling for a neutral space to be developed on the mountain where diverse perspectives could be shared and  dialogues and trainings to promote peace and development in the communities hard hit by violence and persistent poverty. Their determination led to the collection of donations from across the mountain to fund the purchase of land and the building of a peace centre in Chepyuk, the initial settlement scheme where the crisis began. The first phase of the Peace Centre was completed in 2015 and today is the hub of a wide range of important community activities. The Centre promotes community dialogues and workshops, an early warning system with citizen reporters, support for birthing companions (untrained midwives), an anti-jigger campaign,  and  in a project exploring children’s rights in the nearby schools.

The two and a half acres of land are used to grow Irish potatoes and cabbages that support ongoing development and care of the Peace Centre. In addition the Centre earns income from four cows and four motorcycle taxis. One unique aspect of the motorcycle taxis is that when a woman is giving birth and needs to be taken to the only clinic on the mountain, the drivers are obligated to respond even if it is the middle of the night.

2. Kakuma Refugee Camp

Kakuma AVP certificates.png

Participants receiving AVP certificates at Kakuma Friends Church.

The Kakuma Refugee Camp was established in 1992 for the Lost Boys of Sudan. Currently it hosts almost 200,000 refugees. The refugees come from South  Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and smaller numbers from other countries. Since 2015 when fighting broke out in South Sudan, large number of additional South Sudanese fled to the camp so that now it is seriously beyond capacity and food/water allocations are stretched. Kakuma is a very dry, hot area. Since grass does not grow, there are no cows, but the local people keep camels, goats, and sheep. There are major conflicts between the various nationalities in the camp plus addition conflicts with the local Turkana people. 

In August 2013, TCSC facilitators introduced Alternative to Violence (AVP) in the Kakuma Refugee Camp, partnering with the Kakamu Friends Church. After AVP was successfully introduced with locally trained facilitators, the HROC program was added since the refugees had been traumatized in their home country forcing them to flee and then again a second time due to the hardships and conflicts in the camp itself. 

The project in Kakuma Refugee Camp has interceded in a number of violent conflicts. For example, in one case a Congolese motorcycle taxi driver hit a South Sudanese child and the South Sudanese retaliated by killing the Burundian passenger. The resulting conflict led to the deaths of ten people. TCSC/FCPT responded by calling its trained facilitators together to arrange listening sessions in the affected area.

3. HROC in Women’s Prisons

Women from Kericho Prison receiving their certificates after finishing a three-day Healing and Rebuilding Our Community workshop.

In July 2015 Lucy Karambu attended the Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC) international training in Rwanda. She returned home to initiate a program in women’s prisons in Kenya where her organization, Resilient Woman of Africa, already was working with female inmates. For more details see their webpage at http://resilientwomanofafrica.org/.

The program, assisted by TCSC, started with workshops for both staff and inmates in Langata Maximum Security Prison in Nairobi (the only maximum security prison for women in Kenya). The program then moved to Kericho Women’s Prison where in addition to staff and inmates, workshops were conducted for mentors who would be assigned to the women on their release. The most recent activity has been workshops with the staff of Meru Women’s Prison.

4. Trainings in Kenya

Experienced TCSC facilitators are available in Kenya to lead trainings in all its programs — Alternatives to Violence, Help Increase the Peace Program, Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities, Transformative Mediation, Citizen Reporting, and Non-Violent Campaign for Social Change. If interested in scheduling a training, please contact David Zarembka at davidzarembka@gmail.com.

5. International Trainings

Participants and trainers at the HROC International Training in Rwanda, July 2017

TCSC experienced trainers have been active in leading basic and training for facilitators workshops and mentoring apprentice facilitators in the eastern Africa region. They have led training for facilitators in Rwanda and Burundi; have mentored apprentice  facilitators in northern Uganda, northern Nigeria, and South Sudan; and also facilitated a basic workshop in Tanzania for people with albinism.

 

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