I Beg Only for Peace
I recently saw a documentary on one of the "international television stations", telling a story of women who after being affected by the violence were trying to survive and rebuilt their lives, by advocating for peace at least among themselves, as a group of women. At the end of the documentary the journalist asked one of the women who had just joined the group if she had forgiven, “How do you forgive someone who has taken away our home, “ she replied; a home that took her years to build. That is why she had joined the group to learn how to deal with her anger and pain, yet not many have this opportunity.
Having heard this, I started thinking of women and the political situation in Kenya. I happen to follow keenly the politics of my country, leadership is just one of those things I interest me. The political leadership in Kenya has for a long time been a thorny subject, and one I do not wish to discuss in this article. I am calling on all women; to preach and seek for peace in whatever way they can, whether in a small scale or large scale.
As young woman, I have been involved in leadership activities and trainings in my country. I have attended and participated in political cafes, organised by the youth for the youth. I have been involved campaigns and conferences, which addressed the role of the youth in politics. I love to see women and young women for that matter in leadership positions, make sound decisions, and influence policies. Yet I fear there is one message that is not voiced loud enough PEACE and FORGIVENESS. Allow me to use this cliché as I feel it expresses the point vividly, let us not be accused of sweeping the dust under the rug, and carrying on with politics as usual.
Immediately after the post election violence women from all over the country, gathered to draft a conflict resolution strategy. How to cope with the conflict and what to do to avoid a replay of that which Kenyans had experienced? I had the opportunity to attend the meeting where women came up with the final draft. Many impressive ideas were floated and accepted, but not much has been done to implement this ideas. Yes we can blame the government, and they are to blame, but enough with the complaining only. Let us also do something.
A woman, who was tired of the hate she experienced in her community, started the above initiative. She gathered women from all tribes, started projects with them, and encouraged them to talk and forgive.
I agree that there are many how are working and advocating for peace, so lets us tell of them to create a positive energy in the country. For those who have done something lets us share, for those who have ideas and may need support and guidance, speak out. Let us create a feeling of hope not hopelessness.
We may not all be able to start a grand project, but wherever we go, whomever we met, the workshops that we attend, or even in the small women's group that you are a part of lets pass peace forward. Let us be leaders in our own capacity and preach peace first and foremost, because it is the women and the children who suffer most in times of war.
Let us use this forum to speak of peace, and come up with ideas of promoting peace. Those before me, those wiser than I once said, that a nation is not conquered until the women are down.