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Peacemaking Initiatives To Resolve Tribal Conflict

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The Kenya Economic Development Human Advancement Project (KEDHAP) is the development, peacebuilding, and relief arm of the Kenya Mennonite Church in the Diocese of Kisumu East. Thanks to YOUR support, KEDHAP has steadily grown and now serves thousands of participants through a wide range of programs in impoverished rural areas.

KEDHAP’s primary work is in Female Empowerment, Education, Community Development, Health Education, Peace-making & Reconciliation, Food Security & Income Generation, and Leadership Development. KEDHAP endeavours to tackle harmful gender norms that continue to threaten the health and rights of adolescent girls.

KEDHAP’S PEACEMAKING MINISTRY

KEDHAP does a lot for their community; one of its initiatives is reconciling the deep-rooted conflicts between the Kalenjin and Luo tribes residing along the Kisumu-Nandi and Kisumu-Kericho County borders. Historical land tenure, disputed administrative boundaries, cattle rustling, and political incitement have divided the communities for decades.  Their century-old cycles of ethnic conflict, as stated in KEDHAP’s synopsis of their peacemaking activities found here, have “led to the closure of schools, the burning of homes, the torching of sugar cane, the destruction of family food crops, the displacement of residents, and has even claimed lives.”

KEDHAP is a true example of a project that ensures those receiving are equipped and play a role in breaking their cycle of brokenness. This is evident in how they approach restoring peace to their region. 

Event: Kenya Tribal Peacemaking with Dr. Ettang

Peacemaking initiatives in Kenya are important as they provide a medium for dialogue, reconciliation and healing for people affected by conflict and violence. They are important for preventing future conflicts and promoting peaceful coexistence between different tribal communities. ImpactHope aspires to not only share the work our partners do, but also empower them to succeed and grow through networking, training, and counselling.

 

We are so grateful to Nigerian Dr. Dorcas Ettang, a Senior Lecturer in Conflict Transformation and Peace Studies Programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, where she earned her Ph.D. in 2015, for willing to provide solutions to some of the challenges KEDHAP is facing in their tribal peacemaking initiatives. 

The event was held online on April 29, 2023. The audio recording is available below:

Dr. Ettang spoke on topics ranging from shifting culture, to targeting key stakeholders and youth, to teaching individuals how and why individuals would benefit from peace. Her experience in conflict prevention and management throughout Africa enabled her to advise our partners on ways to teach peace culture to transform personal participation in both tribes for future generations. Here is what Hannah, Gordon Obado, Kathleen Weary and Ruth Dueck-Mbeba had to say about the interview:

Hannah Campbell
Hannah CampbellDirector of Development, ImpactHope
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“Being able to offer your project partners valued training, connections and support is crucial to our work at ImpactHope. I was thrilled to be able to organize this time of connection with Dr. Ettang, a newly reconnected friend, to KEDHAP Executive Director Gordon. Together we broke down key challenges KEDHAP has been facing when working towards peace. It was a great reminder of the brokenness of humanity and how injustices can be passed from grandparents to the next generations easily through established cultural practices retributing old wrongs while creating new ones. Peacemaking is hard work. Although, this webinar also reminded me how important God’s word is to heal the hearts of the broken and hurt to bring about His standard for peace.”
Gordon O.
Gordon O.Executive Director, KEDHAP
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"On behalf of KEDHAP'S peace and reconciliation ministry, we want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Dr. Dorcas for her time, research, and the insights she gave in helping us answer some of our questions in the ministry. I was touched by how we can put aside past painful histories and begin the process of unlearning to embrace a peaceful culture."
Kathleen Weary
Kathleen WearyMSc Global Governance & Diplomacy Oxford Scholar
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“Attending ImpactHope’s event, ‘Kenya Peacemaking Solutions with Senior Lecturer Dr. Dorcas Ettang’ was profoundly insightful. I was struck by how Dr. Ettang was able to both offer tangible solutions to longstanding conflict in Kenya while acknowledging complexities, such as the impact of colonialism. I take away from Dr. Ettang’s talk the importance of engaging with individuals, especially community leaders and youth, to address their lived experiences and work to change their personal narrative of the conflict such that they come to desire peace. Overall, I was impressed by how the event ran; a leader of The Kenya Economic Development Human Advancement Project (KEDHAP) was able to directly share current issues and receive nuanced guidance from Dr. Ettang. It was a privilege to attend such an enriching dialogue.”
Ruth Dueck-Mbeba
Ruth Dueck-Mbeba Strategic Advisor in Development and Financial Inclusion with a 25 year African focus
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“While I have not been part of explicit "peace-building efforts" I have worked in organizations with conflict and also high levels of change. I fully appreciate the challenge of "shifting mindsets" -- in culture and in organizations. I believe we also need to understand something about human beings --- we are hardwired for survival --- and our human instinct around change or threat is "fight or flight." Moving groups from "positions" to "common interests" takes time -- especially with deep-seated historical wrongs. I love your programs for young people --- and think that investing in alternate activities in peace education that engage the stakeholders, families, young people and young leaders, and local community groups (e.g. schools, churches, mosques) is a good way to go. I enjoyed hearing about what you are doing with young people, and hope that you can continue learning, exploring, and testing ideas with them. Wishing you courage, curiosity, and wisdom in this journey.”
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We would also like to thank Robert Kruse, a long-standing Canadian supporter, donor, and advisor of KEDHAP since 2007, for his input on the historical context of the ongoing tribal conflict. ImpactHope looks forward to providing pathways for our projects to gain practical training and support from field experts. Our project leaders look forward to implementing her feedback to improve the quality and outcome of their peacemaking ministry. 

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