What is Peace Initiative Kenya?
Peace Initiative Kenya focuses on the particular risks that females face in conflict and the specific contributions that women and girls can make in the promotion of a peaceful society. The program fostered a protective and peaceful environment before and during the 2013 Kenya elections. The program continues to work with communities through existing local and national networks to respond to and prevent conflict. Community leaders are trained to disseminate information and messages on key topics including the election process, conflict mitigation and gender-based violence.
Project Duration and Budget
June 2012 – September 2013
Who implements Peace Initiative Kenya?
International Rescue Committee
Where does Peace Initiative Kenya work?
Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, Tana River, Taita Taveta, Nairobi, Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, Bungoma, Kisumu, Migori, Kisii, Nakuru, Narok, Kajiado and Bomet counties.
What does Peace Initiative Kenya do?
Peace Initiative Kenya supports grassroots organizations and peace actors to prevent and mitigate violence, particularly violence against women. The program brought together the private sector, religious groups and civil society to support peaceful elections. Community youth, women leaders, educators and health volunteers receive peace training. County, regional and national peace summits address existing conflicts and develop strategies to promote peace.
Peace Initiative Kenya amplifies existing multimedia campaigns and works with journalists trained in conflict-sensitive reporting to increase the dissemination and effectiveness of peace messages. Communities are actively involved in the creation and promotion of these messages to ensure they resonate with the public.
Peace Initiative Kenya aligns local gender-based violence awareness, prevention and mitigation activities with national women’s forums and networks. Small grant opportunities are provided to women’s and gender-based violence organizations to support local prevention activities such as community conversations, awareness events and local advocacy.
Community organizations receive technical support and training to strengthen gender-based violence referral systems. Short message service, known as SMS, is used to communicate information on the availability of gender-based violence services to communities. Gender-based violence messages were incorporated into the existing early warning system. The system sends these messages to a gender-based violence hotline that disseminates specific threats and warnings regarding violence against women directly to local responders.
How is Peace Initiative Kenya making a difference?
The program is creating a cadre of ‘peace leaders’ that link emerging grassroots movements to larger peace initiatives at the county, regional and national levels. To date, Peace Initiative Kenya has trained a team of 302 trainers, who have reached 16,300 people at the village level with peace messaging and awareness-raising on gender-based violence. The initiative aims to reach 18,700 more people in the coming months.
The initiative trained an additional 109 facilitators using an innovative Kenyan approach designed to inspire, enable and structure effective community mobilization to prevent gender-based violence. Facilitators reached 2,800 members of the community using this empowerment model.
A 24-hour national hotline was launched to facilitate a rapid response to sexual and gender-based violence. In the run-up to the 2013 elections, 43 staff members were deployed to 5 hospitals in Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa and Eldoret, ready to respond to sexual and gender-based violence cases. A total of 166 people were trained on emergency preparedness.
Peace Initiative Kenya has engaged 1.5 million Kenyans in all four regions through radio dramas. The initiative also designed and disseminated comic books promoting peaceful elections to youth.
What key challenges does Peace Initiative Kenya face?
Women and girls in Kenya are disproportionately affected by conflict, as was the case in the 2007 post-election violence. In many cases, the influence of traditional cultural norms strongly limits women’s participation and decision-making power at both the household and community level. Women are not offered a place at the table in conflict and mediation processes in all Kenyan communities; therefore the full peace-building potential of women and girls is yet to be realized.
Peace Initiative Kenya recognizes and incorporates women’s needs into the peace and reconciliation process, and creates avenues where women and girls can play an integral role in the peace-building process.
For more information:
John Smith-Sreen, Director
Office of Democracy, Rights and Governance, USAID/Kenya
Betty Mugo, AOR
Office of Democracy and Governance
Tel: +254-20-862- 2394
Jebiwot Sumbeiywo, Director
Peace Initiative Kenya, IRC/ Kenya
Updated March 2013
Last updated: June 12, 2013