This is so thrilling to see!
Full circle, you guys.
I haven’t been about to publicize much about it, but together with my friend Collins (Agape Hope for Kibera, Kenya), I organized a private viewing of A Chance for Peace for youth leaders of Kibera. After the success we had with 2 other peace events, and Collins telling me what a huge impact the film had on getting people to maintain peace, I decided we should reach out to local youth leaders. The ones that people were fearing would be violent. Instead of being afraid too, I realized that if we really wanted to have an impact we needed their support. As Collins recounts it, they watched A Chance for Peace, discussed the nature of peace itself, and even came up with peace initiatives and commitments. Gang leaders of rival gangs even came together to do this. And it worked!
To be honest, even after the success of these peace events, I wasn’t sure if peace would prosper. It was a case of “wait and see.” But then I saw this post on a Kenya Facebook page called Kenya Rising. The post read as follows:
The media won’t tell you that Kibera youth had an agreement between themselves that no matter the outcome [of the election] they will maintain peace. They have lived up to those words. Kibera is all peaceful.👏👏👏
That was us! I checked and there was no other group other than us that was hosting a private gathering of local youth leadership.
When we started A Chance for Peace, Kibera was known as the epicenter of political violence, an area to be feared. I knew that if we were going to make a positive change we needed to first think positive, and I refused to believe that these gang leaders were just gang leaders. They’re human beings and one they were heard, they united! And to our shock, after committing to peace, they all held hands and sang the Kenyan national anthem – in public, for all to see. This is the birth of our #PeaceMadePublic event series. Going forward, these men and women will serve as an example to the power of peace in the public forum. From what we can see as of today, this supposed hot spot for post-election violence is peaceful – and we have them to thank for it.
And, Solo 7, who we haven’t been in touch with since 2008, even reemerged with this message of peace (above). Full circle. May peace continue in Kenya – and may it thrive! Kenyans are ready to do the hard work of peace – and we’re ready to help them. Thanks to everyone who donated to make the peace events and film screenings possible. This is just the beginning.