Kibera Sports And Chalk-Talk Peace Event.
Polycom in collaboration with Kibera Joy Initiative and other CSOs in Kibera in partnership with the Youth Alive Kenya,International Rescue Committee, Youth County Government through Balozi Mtaani organized for a Sports and ChalkTalk Peace Event that took place on 29th June 2022 at Kibera DC grounds.
Compared to our neighbors, our country has been peaceful, but it has had a considerable amount of conflict that mostly occurs around the election period. We did experience conflict during the transition from a one-party state to a multi-party state. This was because those in power then were unwilling to allow the transition to happen and those against this kind of a regime were determined to see change happen.
The Kenya of today is marked by increased tension between ethnic groups which is also how the leading political parties are formed. Most Kenyans tend to support the party headed by those within the same ethnic group. Due to this there has been increased tension around the election period. Kenya has experienced election violence several times in the last 20 years. The worst of these was after the 2007 elections that left 1,500 dead, over 3,000 women raped, and 300,000 internally displaced. Despite this kind of violence, Kenya has come a long way to uphold democracy but still has a long way to go as it works on ways to make this democracy better.
Few days left to the general election we saw it fit to use sports as a means to engage different community structures to promote peace during this electioneering period and beyond. Sports and Chalk-Talks are universal languages that are believed to be a powerful tool to promote peace, tolerance and understanding by bringing people together across boundaries, cultures and religions. Targeted population were the members of the community from all ages.
The event begun with an engaging Zhumba from the GYW that acted as warm up in preparation for the day. Zumba is a fitness program that involves cardio and Latin-inspired dance. We also had engaging teambuilding games that were geared towards bringingpeople together.
After, we went for a chalk-talk which was led by Kibera Joy Initiative (KJI).The Chalk-talk was an artistic presentation of a Peace Commitment from the participants to the community. The commitment will be Peace messages and arts illustrated on the road, they will be a constant reminder of how committed we are as a community to the maintenance of Peace.
This activity was fun as the illustrations were not restricted but open to all. Everyone took part in it including signing off. We would even ask the motorists what messages they had for peace and their expectations on the coming general elections. Our guest Sister Catherine from Association of Sisters in Kenya gave a powerful speech recounting that the last time Kenya had a peaceful elections was in 2002 and she is very hopeful and optimistic that this year 2022 we will have a peaceful one. She besieged the audience to condone divisive, tribal politics that usually ends up denting and sometimes destroying our national fabric. Embracing each other as brothers and sisters was the key message. She also expressed her expectations that even after this election we are able to meet again on the same platform, as this, and celebrate our achievement in fostering peace.Later we had a friendly volleyball match where different teams based on every age-group took part in. It was an exciting game with the aspect of competitiveness compelling players to learn more about the game as they competed with others. The match taught us something, that in every competition there is a winning team and a loosing team and not all of us can be on the winning side. We need to change our attitudes in regards to elections and be a bit receptive and
also handle elections matters in a diplomatic way.