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Happy Valentine's Day!/Pyramid of Peace: fundraising for further peace activities in Kenya only (to help IDPs et al)?

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  • Janet Feldman
    Hello Dear Friends, Happy Valentine s Day to everyone, and may I express my lovingkindess towards you all. You are each an amazing and inspiring individual,
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 14, 2009
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      Hello Dear Friends,

      Happy Valentine's Day to everyone, and may I express my lovingkindess
      towards you all. You are each an amazing and inspiring individual, and
      together you are an uplifting and unstoppable team for good in the world.

      I think it's a wonderful activity to organize and create public awareness
      (by which I mean at a website) around the Pyramid of Peace activities we
      engaged in last year. This might be a helpful model or learning experience
      for others seeking to do something similar, and we too can draw upon it for
      our own continuing work on this project and/or topic (peace), both
      individually and possibly together.

      So, thank you for that, Andrius!

      On the issue of retroactive funding, thanks to those who have already
      expressed their opinions and concerns. I need to say, in the strongest
      possible terms, that I do NOT think we should in any way be compensated
      "retroactively". I would actually be deeply embarrassed if we approached
      businesses, or indeed anyone, with the idea of being compensated.

      What we did last year with the Pyramid of Peace was done for "free"--and
      also for "love"--in a spirit of giving and service. In my view, there should
      be no retroactive compensation for that. Some of us incurred a good deal of
      debt, to be sure, but we also accomplished so much that I, for one, feel
      like I came out on the "plus" side of the ledger books in any case.

      If there is any fundraising to be done, there is only one thing I would
      support: that being fundraising and awareness-raising about the
      still-serious situation in Kenya for displaced persons, for example, and
      about the ongoing need for activities directed towards peace, understanding,
      and multi-ethnic harmony. Ken Owino has clearly and eloquently stated the
      situation of IDPs even today, and the still-tender and tentative foundation
      for harmony and peace.

      If any money is raised, I would want it to go for new and further
      peace-related activities: the Peace Caravan, Nafsi's Pyramid of Peace
      performances and other activities, REPACTED's theatre work, the tourism
      project that Sam and Tom are developing.

      The invaluable activities of Ken Chelimo and the women's groups to whom he
      has introduced us and who he himself has supported, arts and other uplifting
      activities in IDP camps, replacing damaged Bunge la Mwananchi equipment (as
      George N has written abt), and helping George Onyango and SIDAREC to rebuild
      their destroyed radio station, so they can once again broadcast messages of
      peace.

      What do people think about that?

      Other issues like privacy of info, publicizing our activities and those
      involved in them, et al definitely need to be addressed by all of us as a
      group, as there are clearly some big concerns and challenges that people see
      and feel related to the revisiting and possible revival of this project.

      I would love to see a renewal of some of our Pyramid of Peace activities,
      and I would especially like to be working with groups of women, IDPs, and
      our own members using arts and peer education. Income-generation and general
      "opportunity" for young people is another crucial area, esp as its lack has
      been linked to one major cause of the violence.

      This will have to be done in a different way that it was done last year,
      though, both in terms of the way it is internally structured and
      administered, and because we do not have the personal funds to support
      activities.

      One could argue, I suppose, that personal compensation could then be
      channeled into these activities, but I would strongly urge us NOT to take
      that approach. I think anyone giving funds would much rather do so for
      grassroots endeavors and current needs of people and orgs in Kenya.

      If we do anything now related to the Pyramid, we would need to think about
      what we can do that does not require money, first of all (and hope we can
      find some :)), and secondly, how to raise funds from other sources in the
      most appropriate and helpful way for Kenya and Kenyans. We need to figure
      out not only who to approach, but how to approach them, and for what
      purposes.

      I hope this is a helpful perspective, and that we can discuss some of this
      in the coming weeks. For the time being, it would be important not to carry
      the current activities further, until we have had discussions and decided in
      a mutual way if and how we can move forward together.

      With immense thanks and love to all, Janet
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