Promoting Peace and Sustainability in Kenya

In Kenya, two Earth Charter Affiliates have been collaborating:  Green Cross Sweden and Green Belt Movement (Kenya).  These two organizations are promoting peace, security, and sustainability in Kenya. This cooperation began in 2005 under the direction of the late Professor Wangari Maathai.

The Earth Charter has been incorporated in two specific projects that these organizations are implementing in the Rift Valley region: Sustainable Communities Peace and Reconciliation Project (which started in 2013), and the Smart Water for Green Schools Projects (started in 2012 and still active in two schools: Kamara and Mau Summit). 

Some specific activities of these projects include the Peace Building Councils and Children’s Peace Clubs, which are run by the local schools. 

The peace project supported the production of 3,000 copies of the Children´s Earth Charter, and 500 copies of the Earth Charter Declaration brochure, as well as 100 posters, which were utilized as training materials and information dissemination tools. The Children´s Earth Charter was disseminated throughout the schools where children were encouraged to learn the principles of the declaration by heart .

The Children’s Peace Festival is an annual celebration with young participants. The first Festival was held in Molo Town in the Kuresoi District on 21 November 2012. Never before had so many youth from the different ethnic communities in the region gathered together in the same place and in the name of peace. The event, which featured the Earth Charter, began with a parade where the children marched into the town led by the marching band from Mooto Primary School.

The Children’s Peace Festival mobilized as many as 1,189 children from 39 schools, as well as teachers, education officers, and security stakeholders in Kuresoi District, and included politicians and dignitaries from the region. All gathered together at the Wangari Maathai Peace Park in Molo Town, which is in an area that was hit hard by the brutalities of post-election violence in 2007-08. The peace event, which utilized the message of the Earth Charter, aimed to encourage children of all ages to become Peace Agents in their local communities. It also provided an opportunity for the adults representing the different authorities to sign the peace banner messages sent to the Kenyan government prior to the last general election, in March 2013.