On the 21st September the building bridges award ceremony was being held at the iHub Nairobi. Building bridges is a campaign to encourage, map and connect peace initiatives in Kenya.
The winner of the individual category was Jane Mweru Kamau from Kiambaa, Eldoret. Jane is the true picture of love that believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. Jane was hiding out in the Kiambaa church during the post election violence that was right after the presidential announcement in 2007. She managed to escape when the church was set ablaze. She did not escape unhurt that night as she was stoned. She hid in the nearby toilet with some children.
After the incident the adults tried to find ways to heal and reconcile the past but she saw the children were neglected. They still fought as they had seen the adults fight and judged each other on the basis of tribe. She decided that she would start a school in her two bedroom mud house for the children aged 3-6 years old. The children are representative of the different tribes in the area and are taught to live together in harmony.
She is active in peace initiatives; and she attends public barazas and women meetings to talk about peace. Her involvement in peace activities has earned her enemies, her house has been demolished 3 times, and she has also been attacked by thugs on several occasions. Her 3 year old grandchild was recently raped; she thinks that her active role in peace building may be the cause of this. She is happy to keep up the peace initiatives.
Winner of the Community Based Organizations category was Amani Kibera. The main focus of Amani Kibera is improved youth community participation in peace building, conflict management and active non violence through sports, culture and education in Nairobi’s Kibera slum. Their community approach is through mentoring, exchange and direct intervention and networking.
For more information on the winners visit: http://www.buildingbridges.co.ke