Campaigning for peace

8th December 2013

The 2007 general elections in Kenya erupted in ethnic violence.

To prevent a repeat in 2013, the ACT Kenya Forum, made up of 13 members, carried out a campaign for peace.

The campaign was planned as a partnership between youth and faith communities. Focusing on the areas of violence from 2007, the campaign reached 15,000 people.

Events, media coverage and a travelling peace caravan encouraged people not only to register as voters but to choose candidates with a vision of development rather than to vote on ethnic lines.

By focusing on issues, the campaign deliberately challenged ethnically polarised narratives of politics and encouraged greater participation of women, both as candidates and voters.

“The campaign encouraged an examination of how young people had been drawn into violence in the past and what the consequences of that approach were,” said Benson Ireri, from the advocacy working group of the ACT Kenya Forum. “People were encouraged to sign a peace charter and become peace ambassadors, and this was signed by religious and political leaders too.”