Youth Ambassadors for Peace
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Building a sustainable peace in Kenya through youth empowerment, engagement, and unity.
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In August 2008 I spent three weeks in Kenya on an organized trip dedicated to learning about the post-election violence and the way it affected tribal relations on the ground. I realized that despite the fact that a cease-fire had been signed that technically ended the violence in Kenya, the root causes leading to that violence continued to exist. In particular, the main issues were TRIBALISM and IDLENESS.


Tribalism = Racism: Tribalism is an antiquated concept in which people of various tribes assign negative characteristics to members of other tribes. This stereotyping and prejudice, akin to racism, was a major factor that contributed to post-election hostilities. Tribalism must be erased in Kenya, and understood for what it is: an old mentality that does not help society progress. Together, people must not be identified by what tribe they are from, but rather what country they belong to – Kenya.


Idleness: In farming communities throughout Kenya, idleness plagues the youth. A direct result of idleness is alcoholism and narcotic consumption, and assistance should be given to help enable these youths to do something productive. If they are idle, they may easily be corrupted by politicians or urged into violence. If they are empowered however, and given leadership roles within the community, then their responsibility is no longer solely to themselves but to their tribe, community, and country.


With these two concepts in mind, my idea was to create a project aimed at eradicating both these negative elements in Kenyan society. The idea was to create a project that would bring youths together to participate in a football tournament, but while doing so, participating in a program designed to teach them about peace, tolerance, understanding, shared values, and brotherhood. In May 2009, I was able to start this project off and the results to date have been enormous.

This project is also the first time that these three tribes have come together to participate in a project of this kind.

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