Master's Degree Student's Peace Initiative Wins Global Backing
A Kenyan teacher who has been relentlessly pursuing peace and reconciliation among communities living in the Rift Valley region has won the backing of an international body that promotes peacebuilding initiatives.
Stanley Nderitu, a secondary school science teacher in Kuresoi in Nakuru County, has been spearheading peacebuilding initiatives in the area which in the past has been rocked by post-election violence.
His efforts are attracting attention in international circles. Nderitu’s proposal to build and equip Peace Centers and establish school-based Peace Clubs in Kuresoi is among 100 hundred projects being funded by the Davis Projects for Peace Program this year. Founded by noted peace philanthropist, Kathryn W. Davis, the program selects innovative peacebuilding projects from around the world for funding.
In partnership with Temoyetta Secondary School and the YGEP (Youth, Governance and Environmental Programme), the Peace Centers will build bridges between youth, mostly unemployed and school dropouts, who are routinely used by politicians before, during and after elections to foment chaos and intimidate opponents.
The Peace Centers will not only work with youth to tackle the problem of violence but also serve as resource centers to provide job training skills and counseling. The project is expected to launch in May.
In 2007, Kuresoi was among the areas most affected by the post-election violence that rocked the country following the disputed presidential election results. Hundreds of people died and thousands were uprooted from their homes as a result of the fighting.
Nderitu said that the initiative is geared to preventing a recurrence of the post-election chaos. “As we approach the next General Election, a new institution is springing up, one determined to beat the violence by building peace,” he noted.
Nderitu is currently studying for a Master’s degree under the Future Generations Graduate School’s program in Applied Community Change and Peacebuilding, taught in collaboration with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). In addition to the Peace Center, Kathryn Davis has also provided scholarships for students in the Future Generations Master’s program.
Nderitu and the residents of Kuresoi look forward to hosting his Graduate School classmates this summer. Twenty-one students will be in Kenya with faculty and staff during the month of August. They will use Kenya as a base for peace courses such as Building Bridges through Inter-Group Dialogue, Project Management, and Engaging Structural and Cultural Dimensions of Peacebuilding.
Wariko Waita, the Future Generations Kenya Program Coordinator, says the initiative mirrors Kenyans’ resilience to put the tragic aftermath of the 2007 post-election violence behind them.
“Having been born in Kenya, I am excited at the opportunity to share the experiences of the people of Kenya with peers in the course from diverse countries. Through this experience, they will learn and appreciate the admirable resilience of Kenyans and how they are rebuilding with a positive outlook for the future after much recent adversity.”
For more information contact:
Wariko Waita, Future Generations Graduate School Kenya Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stanley Nderitu, email: email@example.com
Mike Rechlin, Dean of the Graduate School at firstname.lastname@example.org