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  • Janet Feldman
    Dear Muchiri and All, Hello and how exciting to see this posting! I believe you had also posted to Kenya-aids a few months ago about a youth and ICTs
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 28, 2008
      Dear Muchiri and All,
      Hello and how exciting to see this posting! I believe you had also posted to Kenya-aids a few months ago about a youth and ICTs conference in Kenya:  has that taken place, or was it delayed by the post-election crisis?
      There are many peace-related arts activities now going on in Kenya, from visual arts to film/video to theater. The upcoming Peace Caravan in May (www.peace-caravan.org) will include arts as part of its peace program. Hopefully you can join up with the Caravan at some point (either in May or September), and I will cc organizer Rachel Kung'u of the Voluntary Youth Philanthropists (Caravan organizer) nonprofit to that end.
      I am posting this proposal to the ActALIVE (www.actalive.org) forum, as there are Kenyans (including Rachel) in this setting who are using arts to address HIV/AIDS and development issues, and they might respond with suggestions or help of some kind, including personal participation.
      I will also post to a forum I moderate called Holistic Helping, linked to the Minciu Sodas Laboratory for Independent Thinkers (www.ms.lt), where a number of Kenyans and international friends gathered during the past few months to work on an initiative called the "Pyramid of Peace", the name taken from an acrobatic act promoting peace created by the Nafsi Afrika Acrobats (http://www.nafsiafrica.org), located in Kibera.
      There will surely be some members interested in this proposal, including Rachel Kung'u, Ken Owino of Nafsi Afrika Acrobats, Dennis Kimambo of REPACTED (www.repacted.org) --an exciting theater-for-development nonprofit which has been doing theater work to promote peace--and George Onyango of SIDAREC (www.sidarec.org), a youth development nonprofit in Nairobi whose radio station, Ghetto FM, has been promoting peace via community participation. All of them are ActALIVE members too.
      There has been just this past weekend a children's peace forum in Kisumu, organized by Odyssey Arts Pioneers, Deaf Impact Ministry, and other nonprofits, which has used arts in its programming. Wilson Ouma of Odyssey recently posted here about this event, and he and others who participated in that might be interested in what you propose.
      One place where you might seek funding is the National Response Initiative (NRI). I'm not sure if they are still taking proposals for their initial phase (meant to be March-July), but I believe they hope to do a follow-on project which would support initiatives with longer-term goals related to peace, with a late-summer application period. They have already funded some arts-related initiatives, so they are "attuned" to an arts-based approach.
      I believe that I sent you a sample proposal and instructions for that already, but I will be happy to do so again. You might get feedback for your ideas and plans from Rachel Kung'u, who is part of the NRI effort. She might have other suggestions for places to seek support, and I will certainly keep my eyes open and network your proposal more widely.
      Will close for now on that note, and hope to hear from you and work with you on this and other exciting Purple Images projects.  With all best wishes and artistic admirations, Janet  (Feldman, kaippg@...)
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2008 9:42 AM

      Kenya is currently facing a serious humanitarian and political crisis. The crisis is a product of highly   contested elections that have seen over 1000 people dead and 400,000 displaced from their homes, having gone through untold sufferings and threats of death.
      The violence has seriously impacted on the social, emotional, physical and financial well-being of individuals and families. This has resulted in significant social and economic costs to families and communities. While the heavily contested election was blamed as the root cause of the conflict and violence, negativeviews on ethnicity and political incitements heavily contributed to the conflict and the ensuing uncertainties.
      Kenyans in the affected areas have to contend with physical injuries, deaths, displacements of families and individuals and sexual, emotional and social abuse, and economic sabotage and deprivation.  There have been many cases of rape and other forms of sexual violence reported during the attacks.  There is a need therefore for widespread sensitization on conflict prevention and management, and the promotion of peace and healing, and above all serious and sustainable mitigation efforts and structures to prevent such violence that threatened to tear the country apart.
      At the same time, affected families and households do not have the capacity to assure their future well being without assistance and will live in fear of ethnic violence for many years to come. Although the government is working on the implementation of the political accord, there is no mechanism to guarantee peace among conflicting neighbors, now and in the future.  There is an urgent need for intervention to preserve and rebuild the livelihoods of affected people and to reduce the causes of conflict and promote peace, healing and reconciliation. In the first instance, the people of Kenya are ready for peace. They are exhausted with the violence and the current disorganization of their lives by the just ended elections.
      Action Africa Volunteers and Purple Images Productions are seeking funding for the implementation of the  "Youth  Peacebuilding, Conflict  Prevention  and Management, Dialogue, Healing, and Reconciliation Arts Project",  whose objective is to engage youth in clash-torn areas and in camps for internally displaced people in the process of conflict prevention, healing, reconciliation,  and peacebuilding, the better to ensure that they live in harmony in future, and to hereafter prevent conflicts and violence, loss of life, destruction of property and displacement of fellow Kenyans. The project targets the youth who were equally affected by the violence as victims, inciters, and perpetrators.
      The project will be implemented in partnership with local artists,  organizations working in the reconstruction programmes and over 50 local community youth groups and 50 schools in Nairobi, Nyanza, and Rift Valley Provinces. These are the areas that were pockets of violent conflicts and clashes.
      In appreciation that performing and visual  arts can  greatly contribute to peacebuilding, conflict prevention and management as well as aid in the healing processes, Purple Images Productions and Action Africa Volunteers  propose to use interactive and participatory popular media of visual and performing arts to create behavior change communication that is rooted in the community¬ís desire to change after acknowledging the consequences of the violence and its impact to all sectors of the society in Kenya today. Unlike other intervention strategies, our approach will address the barriers to communication, such as illiteracy and impaired speech and hearing among community target audiences.
      The project will use the following intervention approaches:
      -Interactive Community Theatre Outreaches and arts and cultural festivals between schools and communities.
      -Creation of peace clubs in schools and the communities to sustain peacebuilding efforts in the future.
      -Painting of peace murals in schools, churches and shopping centres to sustain awareness on the impact of violence long after peace has been restored.
      Our approach is interactive and community members will directly participate (by acting, painting, role-play, singing, dancing and discussing) in the creation of relevant intervention messages depicting local situations,  emotions, hopes and expectations, hence the ownership of the same messages and overall strategy. Visual and performing arts are popular means of community awareness and mobilization.
      The project requires about US $ 71,428 or Kshs 6 Million but we are ready to start small and expand as resources trickle in. Your kind support in volunteer artists, cash or materials will go a long way in ensuring that the project is a success.
      Action Africa Volunteers and Purple Images Productions are seeking funding and volunteers to support successful implementation of the programme during summer this year.  Working with cultural and artistic volunteers to help steer and accelerate peace, reconstruction, and healing will greatly promote the appreciation and growth of the arts in Africa as a tool for sustainable development.
      We plan to launch the project with the unveiling of one mural in mid June 2008.  Volunteers willing to join the programme must be performimg and visual artists willing to work with local artists, and artists from other parts world, as well as with traumatized women  and children.  Partners and Volunteers requiring more information are requested to kindly contact us on the following addresses:
      Contact :
      MBUCHIA HOUSE, 3RD FLR, WoodVale Groove Road , Westlands, Nairobi , Kenya
      P.O. Box 58182- 00200Nairobi
      Contact Telephone
      254-20-4452674 / 4450937, 722-634947
      Fax 254-20- 4450937
      Cell Phone: 254-722-634947
      Contact e-mails


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