Groundwork Established by Partners at Arigatou and the GNRC to further Youth Peace Initiatives 

To see the full Report and view more photos, click on the pdf document here

Here in the Horn of Africa and beyond, the second Quarter of 2016 was eventful with peacebuilding and related activities being implemented in the region. The GNRC Secretary General (SG), Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali had several engagements aimed at partnership development and advocacy for the rights of children and youth. 

In all, along with our partners, we conducted these conferences, youth engagement forums, retreats and education outreach in four countries, servicing over one thousand attendees. Highlights from our work during this time period: 

  1. In Kenya: We held events in three different counties, including a June youth engagement forum in Kisumu County with BRAVE (Building Community Resilience Against Violent Extremism), which was attended by 400 youth from various schools and county religious leaders. Our focus for outreach in Kenya is critical because the threat of radicalization in Kenya remains a serious challenge to children and youth. The youth are associated with such high risk factors to extremist ideologies like guns, drugs, and gangs and bullying among others. These make high school students more susceptible to embracing violence coupled by their adolescent age, environment they live in and the daily stressors in their lives. The retreat therefore, was held as part of an effort to build resilience among the youth against violent extremism
  2. In Ethiopia: A high-level Symposium, attended by Ministers of Education from sixteen (16) African countries and other education stakeholders took place between 1st and 3rd June 2016, in Addis Ababa. As part of the Kenyan contributors, the GNRC was represented by myself, as I presented on “Building Community Resilience to Prevent Violent Extremism”. The presentation focused on GNRC’s two peacebuilding programmes; Community Resilience Against Violent Extremism (CRAVE) and Building Community Resilience Against Violent Extremism (BRAVE) and how their implementation strategies can be utilized to impact learning, Intra-Faith and Inter-Faith programs respectively.  Commitments were made at the end of the symposium to strengthen education policies and programmes so as to achieve SDGs and Africa’s Agenda 2063, notably the signing of the inter-ministerial communique and commitment to build on lessons and evidence to education policy and programmes.
  3. In Tanzania: GNRC-Tanzania and the Ethics Education for Children, Geneva organized a training workshop based on the principles and methodology prescribed in the Learning to Live Together (LTLT) Manual. The workshop was held from 16th-19th June, 2016 at the Radio Maria premises in Mikocheni Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as part of GNRC-Tanzania’s contribution to developing good citizens and leaders amongst children and youth. In all, nearly 50 participants received training, most of them between 18 -28 years. There were several educators that also benefited from the workshops designed to promote peaceful co-existence in Tanzania. Once trained they are expected to facilitate sessions in their various capacities within their communities and places of work. 
  4. In Uganda: We began the registration process for the establishment of an organization led by former child soldiers with the aim of building their leadership skills, enabling them to fund raise and allowing them to take charge of processes that would enable them and others be fully and properly reintegrated into society. The name of the organization chosen by the youth being “Youth Leaders for Restoration and Development (YOLRED). The process was privileged to have ANORAK, a team represented by two young experts from Denmark – Mr. Anders Donskov and Mr. Morten le Dous Bruun. They are currently on the ground, helping the YOLRED leaders design the organization.


Youth ambassadors participate in a June conference in Kenya


As always, we ecourage you to learn more and get involved:

It is clear that much deserved attention is being paid to the challenge of Violent Extremism globally, especially amongst the youth in the prone regions of conflict like the Horn of Africa. It is expected that the new partnerships being formed by the Goldin Institute and Arigatou International – Nairobi, along with other organizations such as the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and Somali Family Services (SFS) will scale-up action to address the challenge. Please continue to follow our work in the second half of the year. To view the full report that this article was excerpted from, please see this link.