On our feet for the Pyramid of Peace
- I overview our day in Kenya and around the world. We're developing a
long term rhythm that will allow us to work, to care, to rest, to dream.
We're ignited by awesome reports from Kenya. I have organized today's
reports by city on this wiki page:
and I ask for our help to keep it up to date and also to include
material from earlier letters.
* Kuresoi: Collins +254 721 637 457 reports on Achami's +254 720 613 379
contacts with Kalenjin fighters in the Rift Valley
* Mbuinyei: Collins urges us to thank Henry Tonui +254 727 863 882 and
the youths he shares credit with: Symon +254 723 787 037, Cheruiyot +254
724 119 952 and Kibet +254 724 785 601.
* Also, Davis Weddi reports on refugees in Uganda.
Also Ory Okolloh now invites us to add peacemakers' reports at
http://www.ushahidi.com Our wiki should make that easier and help us be
noted by bloggers and the media.
Kenyans helping Kenyans! Dennis Kimambo reports: "I want to encourage
all of you that we are reaching people and just today Collins was called
by a lady called Alice +254721849019 who has sent him credit worth 1500
shillings specifically for him to reach more people in Kuresoi, Alice as
also been affected by tribal clashes I encourage you guys to call her
she lives in Mombasa but has an intrest with Molo and Kuresoi." Alice
Wathika has joined us at Holistic Helping! Her deepest value is "giving
a helping hand in any way we can". It's calm now in Mombasa. She belongs
to a volunteer organization that sends volunteers to Nakuru to help in
the chidren's homes and help as teacher assistants. They recently
visited children whose houses were burned down. They are collecting
clothes to distribute. She will think how Tanzanians might help. Alice
will encourage others to donate phone credits. Perhaps we might find
We've also had many people join us at our chat room
http://www.worknets.org/chat/ Kippot asked about online purchases of
SMS. Ricardo recommended https://www.mamamikes.com but you have to
look carefully to find the icon "send airtime" because of their current
focus on donations. You need to know the network (typically Celtel but
could be Safaricom or Telkom Wireless) so we should collect those. They
are also beta testing https://www.kikwe.com
Tomorrow I will be able to send at least $310 and whatever Janet sends
to me and I find when I wake up. Dennis please let me know if I should
purchase the airtime directly and what network you belong to, or should
I send cash. Also please everybody keep us posted how much money we
could send out if we could get more, and how it might be used. I am
presuming that we could distribute $5,000 per day. Our purpose for the
Pyramid of Peace is to stamp out any embers of genocide.
We're excited that the BBC television and radio have noticed our
Kenyans' amazing work. Paul Mason +44 776 435 4883
paul.mason.01@... invites direct reports on the Kenyan turmoil and
he especially wants video. Where are the two cameras now? I alerted
Kennedy Owino http://www.nafsiafriacrobats.org and he will work on
sending some of the acrobats' human pyramid video material to Sasha
Mrkailo and me and CC Paul Mason and also yourpics@... asks for
our pictures and videos along with explanations. Clark Boyd of BBC
World Service radio is also interested to speak with me about the
Pyramid of Peace.
I also ask Uyoga in Tanzania to send us your song of peace that you have
created! We can share that with the BBC and also mix it with the video.
We're therefore getting ready should the major media showcase our
project. I have trimmed down our main page http://www.ms.lt and at Greg
Wolff's suggestion have acquired the domain
http://www.pyramidofpeace.net (the .com having been taken, there is a
modern pyramid in Kazakshtan by that name!)
We remember Greg Wolff from our work for My Food Story
http://www.myfoodstory.com and I thanked him for that gift of work which
nurtured our team in Africa. I asked for his advice as we seek to raise
more funds. We found a common interest that we still have to formalize
but I propose as below. Greg leads the Unamesa Association
http://www.unamesa.org and they are interested that we audit how we
distribute our funds because that would allow them to encourage others
to donate and also might offer a new model. We agreed that what we're
doing now seems to work quite well and that we will play the auditing as
if it were a game that has us draw our Pyramid of Peace and be able to
point to what happened with the money. He will pay our team an extra
10% of what we distribute for us to audit our distribution, for now up
to $1,000 for distributing a total of $10,000 (we've done about half of
that so far). I will take this responsibility but forego any share so
that it might go to our leaders on-the-ground, at this time Dennis
Kimambo, Kennedy Owino and Samwel Kongere and further as they decide.
Their job will be to make sure that we have good reports from the field
including telephone numbers of the sub-organizers and the amounts
distributed, much as you have been doing. Photos would also be good if
that's possible, although most of our communication is "in the mind" by
phone and so I'm not sure there are very many, but let's see. Greg and
I agree that we're not trying to set the "rules of the game" but rather
understand what's happening (it's great!) and be able to explain it to a
concerned donor. My understand of the rules of our game is:
* I am at the top of this pyramid and must account for 100% of the money
entrusted to me.
* I rely on the good judgement of our leaders on-the-ground, Dennis,
Kennedy and Samwel. My rule of thumb is that they should make sure that
at least 50% (and typically more) of the money is distributed towards
the primary purpose of eliminating any current potential for genocide by
embracing enemies. I understand that some other worthy projects may
come up and then it is best to keep in touch and confer in Kenya and,
where possible, with me. I also allow up to 20% to be set aside which
they need not account for but may use to care for themselves, their
families and any personal or private charity they choose to perform.
This is because they must able to address their own obligations if we
want them to dedicate themselves to others, and also it is because they
are exceptional human beings whose personal welfare is our common
welfare. They convert the money into phone credits, they control the
phone credits and this 20% is our natural overhead. They overview the
* They distribute money to subleaders who must account for 100% of the
phone credits they receive. They may use some for their own needs as
allowed by the leaders. They must get permission from those to whom
they distribute phone credits to so that their names and telephones may
be posted on the Internet, or in exceptional cases, do as the leaders
permit. They should collect stories and report them.
* Where possible, the subsubleaders who are further out should relay
stories and news and be available for clarification, but especially if
they receive larger amounts.
* We should include the specified wishes of the donors because that is
the real criteria for our accountability, and often they aren't asking
very much, they're simply giving their gift that we are sharing and that
grows as we share. Indeed this is one advantage of giving through the
top of the pyramid because the gift is blessed and confirmed by more hands.
* In the spirit of our work, I think it would work best for us if the
10% was simply awarded as a "bonus" if our auditing is satisfactory.
* Our website http://www.pyramidofpeace.net would have a link to Unamesa
Association declaring that they are financing our self-audit.
Such "rules of the game" are producing wonderful results, so I don't
imagine changing them for now. My focus will be to draw this pyramid so
that all can see what I see as I survey everything, and also crunch some
numbers. Peter Burgess, I'm very interested what you might suggest,
what might interest you. I think it's very interested that we might be
paid to audit ourselves rather than the usual practice of having to pay
for others to audit us. The purpose of the audit is that larger
funders, typically "fictional entities" like corporations or non-profits
or trusts, can channel through us. Indeed, I will share with Greg my
perspective that auditing actually has nothing much to do with the
gift-giving, but everything to do with any entity that separates the
gift givers and the gift takers. That's the middleman, the fiction,
that has no capacity to give, but must be audited. Whereas our pyramid
is a very pleasant fabric of gift givers and gift takers. The fictional
entity is what needs to be audited because it has no heart of its own
but stands in between and segregates the givers and the takers and
profits from overcoming the gap between them. Which is to say that
we're trying to make our rules transparent so that the fictional entity
can do its job, but not change our rules to serve the fictional entity.
In the case of real people, our interest is to include them into our
fabric, and there's not much issue, as far as I see, at least not from
the people who are giving.
In other news, thanks to Tomas Cepaitis, foreign minister of the
Republic of Uzupis (a spirited neighborhood of Vilnius), I did
participate in a meeting with Lithuania's foreign minister Petras
Vaitiekunas. He was very supportive, but unfortunately, his two
subordinates were not, the ones responsible for Lithuania's donor
programs and also reconstruction of Afghanistan's Ghor province. They
were not interested in how we might work together, either in Kenya or
Afghanistan, whether for pay or for free. I did show, for the first
time, an Includer http://www.includer.org , or to be more accurate, half
of one. Which is to say, thanks to Ricardo's donation, I have bought
for $150 a very nice 8" digital picture frame which can read files and
pictures from USB Flash Drives and many other cards, and in fact, can
copy files from one device to another, as well as play music and video.
The screen is wonderful for email and it uses 25 watts. I will organize
some content for it and I hope that soon we can test out such devices
for reading content in Cameroon, Nigeria, Tanzania. Also, I would like
to find somebody in Kenya, but perhaps elsewhere, who might try out
Graham Knight's solar panel technology and explore if we might generate
25 watts with a panel? Also, Graham Knight suggested using rechargeable
mobile phone batteries, which are easy to replace, and the digital
picture frame uses a remote control for navigation, which might be
extended to a keyboard.
There is so much to do! and so I ask for our leadership to lead projects
that match our interests. Janet, perhaps you might select some readings
about nonviolence for translation into Kiswahili with help from Uyoga in
Tanzania? I imagine it would be good to have one leaflet that could be
distributed, and also one or more handbooks that might be posted at
http://traduwiki.org for translation, a couple of sentences at a time.
But I think it's very important that we invest ourselves in texts for
which the translation will be in the Public Domain so that there are no
limits on reuse. Janet, might you lead this effort, it is not urgent,
but rather important!
Sunday, January 13 is Lithuania's national holiday to commemorate our
victory of nonviolence over the Soviet massacre of the human shield at
the Vilnius television tower. I am dedicating the day to our support
for Kenya's rebirth. I hope each year we might support some country's
people power! We are also very concerned to address our country's
Thank you to Lorraine Duff and Brian Behlendorf for donations! We ask
for donations by PayPal at ms@... or with the button at the top of
+370 699 30003