the peace caravan by James Karongo

Our stay at the Naivasha Stadium IDP camp came to an end and after breakfast, we went into un-pitching our tents and clearing our stuff from our two nights home. We were sad to bid goodbye to our hosts at the camp and the Red Cross staff who had been most helpful in ensuring that our first experience as IDP’s had been most smooth. We left Naivasha Stadium at 8am and started our journey to Nakuru.

At shell filling station in Nakuru, we were again sad to bid farewell to our visiting team who were proceeding to Molo for further visits. We proceeded to Nakuru Players theatre where we were to pitch tents for the next 48 hours. There we found our hosts – REPACTED ready for us and James Karongo, a member of REPACTED who was also with us on the caravan went ahead to show us our camping site and together with his colleagues from REPACTED made us feel at home.

After our sleeping quarters had been secured, we left for the Afraha Stadium IDP grounds to do abit of ground breaking but it did not start very well as someone had warned them to be harsh with strangers incase they were government agents sent to convince people to go back to their homes. Any way by the end of the day, we had been able to get through to some of them and went ahead to have useful discussions and also tried to understand their plight as Nakuru IDP’s. We went back to our camp for supper and then had an early night out in preparation for the following day’s activities.

On this day we were to have three activities so we begun very early with our breakfast then started off.

Our first activity was to be at one of the most affected areas in the town – Free area/Kaptembwa. We got there and immediately went into mobilization which was followed by a drama performance by one of the local theatre groups REPACTED who had hosted us in Nakuru. Our acrobatics team then took over marveling the crowd which also worked well for us as a crowd puller. We were then able to split the crowd into smaller groups to which we introduced the idea if dialogue and they took up from there and engaged in a most educative and fruitful dialogue session between members from different communities. They also had the chance to chat for themselves a way forward which they believed was workable for them. We then left for our second destination.

 

Our next stop was another affected area – Kaptembwa. Again we engaged in a fruitful mobilization making use of the theatre group and caravan participants to notify the crowds of our presence and our mission in their neighborhood. Here we had a curtain raiser by TEARS and REPACTED, our partners on the ground. REPACTED performed a skit while TEARS had a dance. We also had a performance by an upcoming artist from Nakuru –McJex. After this, we had caravan participants engaging the crowd in peace building dialogues after which they gave their opinions on the way forward. We then left for our last destination.

 

Our last destination was Menengai High school. Our history with the school goes back to the days of the violence when they were able to come up with an educative skit on living well as neighbors from different tribal communities. Having also graced our launch in Nairobi, it was only befitting that we honor their invitation to visit them in their school where they hoped to share with us positive ideas of how we could further pass our peace message in the course of the caravan and true to their word, it became a learning experience for us. After having lunch with them, they got to business and took us through a number of thematic games that emphasized on team work where we were also encouraged to participate. After the games, they explained to us the ideas behind the games and what message they were meant to portray most of them being on team work and the importance of togetherness. We then engaged them in talks on peace building since some students in the school were actually living as IDP’s and how they could be of positive influence to their fellow students in times of conflicts. After a few other entertaining performances, we decided to end the day after a word from the teacher in charge and headed back to our camp at the theater.

We had our supper then joined our hosts, for a few minutes of peace building discussions and they were led by their leader gave us more tips and encouraging words on how to go about our journey. We then decided to call it a night and got back to our tents for a long deserved rest.

 

 

One Response to “the peace caravan by James Karongo”

  1. […] is another piece by James Karongo called ‘the piece caravan’ which describes the outreach activities of the REPACTED team in different IDP […]

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