Präsident Barack Obama in Nairobi, Kenia

Heal the Nation

Health Care for the Poor in Nairboi Slums


H. Danner/M. Kerretts-Makau/J.M. Nebe (eds.)

With a foreword by Dr. Fred Matiang’i, Cabinet Secretary
Longhorn Publishers Ltd., Nairobi, 2016
Unemployment is the big burden on the lives of youths. They are trapped in slums and in the informal sector, hardly making ends meet. Academic youths are jobless after graduation or not prepared for a job. Women and persons with disabilities face specific problems in the labour market. There are state programmes for youths but they are inefficient due to bureaucracy. Youth need education – education for life, for life skills and work ethics. They have to be trained and educated for entrepreneurship. Dual vocational education and training will make them fit for practical work skills as well as for a deeper understanding of a vocation. There are opportunities for the youth, e.g. in agribusiness and urban agriculture, but also in the jua kali sector and by being self-employed.
21 authors encourage a serious discussion on those issues for the betterment of youth employment.

Peace Building and Conflict Management in Kenya

The objective of this project research study was the assessment of the work of 22 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Kenya dealing especially with the effects of the Post-Election-Violence 2007/2008. Within the period of four weeks, German and Kenyan students from Kenyatta University interviewed CSOs, talked to victims and structured their findings which were presented in a two-day workshop in Nairobi in March 2012 and in this final report.

One of our main aims was to find out which ideas and strategies on peace-building and conflict management already exist. We discovered that there were numerous creative and innovative approaches, some of which had already been tested and can be considered best practices, geared towards establishing and maintaining peace and preventing conflict in the areas we visited and which were mostly affected. During the workshop, the various participating organisations had the unique opportunity of exchanging ideas.

The film which Boniface Mwangi, a human right activist, produced and showed “Heal the Nation” was of major importance at the beginning of the workshop. It brought to mind the traumatic and excruciatingly painful experiences of the Post-Election Violence. The harrowing images in the film were permanently present in the minds of the audience and gave us the strength and determination to convince others to take peace seriously and resolve to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future.

CSOs took the opportunity to engage in constructive dialogue with each other during the workshop and we were encouraged to see that some people in prominent positions in the Government were also present. This reinforced efforts to build a strong network. The fundamental work of peace-building within communities and regions is borne by CSOs. They facilitate coordination of trainings on mediation and conflict management, the establishment of platforms and systems for distributing objective information (e.g. slum radio stations) and intercultural and intertribal events where new partnerships can be forged for a better social cohesion and neighbourhood. They also lobby for the poor and disadvantaged people in the socity and often use methods such as demonstrations to put pressure on politicians to push the process of peace and reconciliation forward. CSOs work to train and promote young people who manifest a sense of personal integrity and are willing to take responsibility. Nevertheless, we discovered that there is a significant diversity of civil society and international organisations working in Kenya. In the last years, the number of organisations in the development and peace sector had increased, creating a business arena with a high degree of negative competition and exploitation. Not all CSOs are committed to the cause of peace-building. Some merely capitalise on the opportunity, aiming at obtaining financial security and the disappear as soon as they can.

The major impact of our workshop was that we contributed towards promoting efforts in networking. The enthusiasm of these people showed that events such as these are very much needed and important for those who carry the peace-building process with all their capacities. Having the chance to share knowledge and feeling that their work is appreciated encourages the activists who are often faced daily with the hard reality of conflicts and violence. The hope lies with all the individuals in the civil society who rise above ethnic conflicts and have the moral courage to help to avoid them.

During our project we discovered many graffiti murals in Nairobi which showed direct and courageous political messages and become a positive signal in Kenya in recent years. People are more aware of what is happening in thier country. This is mainly the work of visionary, bold and imaginative young artists, calling for a “ballot revolution”. Change in the political system might be not far away from now.