Initiatives for Nonviolence and Peace (INPEACE) PDF Print E-mail

Ela Ghandi

Initiatives for Nonviolence and Peace (INPEACE) is a program of International Peace Initiatives (IPI). INPEACE is a nonviolence and peace education organ that seeks to be a leader in nonviolence and peace education in Africa. The tools for INPEACE are transformative conferences and workshops, dialogue, intercultural communication and nonviolence and peace education.

INPEACE convenes transformative conferences that highlight gains made by women fighting HIV/AIDS, poverty and violence at the grassroots level; provides empowerment training in HIV/AIDS awareness creation and reduction of stigma and discrimination; and facilitates effective intercultural communication dialogues; and conducts conflict transformation and peacebuilding workshops through people-focused, gender-sensitive human rights based and participatory action approaches.

INPEACE funds special projects that promote peace across diverse communities, as well as participates in facilitating international peacebuilding initiatives for women.  In 2005, INPEACE sponsored its first world-wide Women’s International Grassroots Peace Congress of over 200 participants in Nairobi, Kenya. The second Women’s Peace Congress was held in Meru, Kenya in August 2009 and attracted over 200 participants from around the world, our keynote speaker was Naomi Tutu.

Ela Ghandi, Grand-daughter of Mhatama Ghandi
- Spoke at our 2005 Women's International Grass Roots Peace Congress

During post-election outbreaks of violence in Kenya, INPEACE funds supported IPI-K’s efforts to bring supplies to women in the camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), hosted peace dialogues to promote inter-ethnic harmony in areas where violence had not erupted and advocated for girl’s and women’s human rights within the context of displacement. As an ongoing peacebuilding initiative, IPI-K partners with high school and college students to hold peace dialogues and to brainstorm ways to sustain peace in our  individual lives, in the lives of family members, the community and the nation at large. We believe peace must begin within each of us before we can to share it out with others. Thus our motto is: “Peace begins with me.”

INPEACE Activities in 2012

In early October, IPI partnered with the Ministry of Education, local schools and other stakeholders in the larger Meru County, Kenya to organize an event dubbed "Education For  Peace Campaign."  The event‟s main goal was to grant students who are members of different school's peace clubs the opportunity to not only learn more about the importance of peace but also an opportunity to express themselves.  Regarding peace and conflict resolution, it was an opportunity for the voices of the young to be heard.

The pupils and students from different peace clubs were granted the opportunity to present poems and songs whose content was a peace message.  Leaders present spoke on the importance of listening to our children and bringing  them up on the foundation of coexistence.  The County Commissioner called on parents and teachers present not to sow seeds of ethnic discord in the children's young minds.  This, he said, would be the only way to prevent emergence of tribal violence in the future Kenya.

INPEACE Activities in 2011

IPI partnered with The Innocation Centre USA to organize a forum dubbed Kenya Peace Partnerships in order to train youth on the importance of peace building.  At IPI, we believe that sustainable peace is only viable when the participation, perspectives, needs, and concerns of all stakeholders especially women, youth, and children are recognized, included, and voiced.  That is why the Kenya Peace Partnership brought together 14 youths from different parts of the country to train them as trainers in building non-violent communities.  

The training under the inspired leadership of Dr. Carole McNeil (Innovation Centre USA), Dr. Karambu Ringera (IPI Founder and President) and Jamie Rezmovits (Innovation Centre USA), did spearhead a call for an adult-youth partnership in peacebuilding in the country.  Topics covered included: the role of youth in peacebuilding, intercultural communication, creating youth-adult partnerships, and peacebuilding and conflict resolution.

The 14 youth at the training also shared the various stereotypes that different ethnic groups in Kenya hold about each other.  The goal is to recognize how these dehumanize others and thus the need to discard them.   The youth were also granted a chance to practice some of the topics that were on the training.  For instance, they got to convene a forum and discuss a topic of their choice.  They also facilitated community dialogues among themselves and discussed the issue of HIV/AIDS in Africa.

INPEACE Activities in 2010

July 7th, 2010: IPI-K participates in the United Nations Open Day: Partnership for peace towards implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 in Nairobi. Women at the Open Day event explored and shared women’s perspectives on conflict resolution, peacemaking and peacebuilding within the context of UNSCR 1325. The importance of women’s participation in conflict resolution, peace negotiation and peacebuilding in Kenya was underscored and highlighted.

In view of the fact that when violence erupts women and their children suffer the most, the Open Day delegation made recommendations and suggested a way forward. These recommendations will be presented to the UN Assembly at their meeting in October 2010 as part of the global message on what the UN can continue to do to support women around issues of conflict and how they impact women, as well as enhancing women’s participation in peacebuilding.

June 21-25, 2010: PACT Kenya invited IPI-Kenya to a peace forum in Mombasa for organizations working on peace from Sudan and Kenya. The goal of the stakeholders meeting was to brainstorm ways to prevent referendum and election violence. The goal of the meeting was to come up with a strategy for ensuring there is no violence before, during, and after the referendums due in August 4, 2010 for Kenya (on adapting the new constitution) and 2011 in Sudan (for cessation from the north) as well as elections in Kenya.

June 19-20th 2010: IPI-K facilitated a peace forum between youth from the Maasai and the Kamba - two ethnic groups who have been fighting over animals (cattle rustling), water sources for their animals and pasture. The peace forum was organized by the Youth Alliance. The forum focused on nonviolent ways of responding to violence. For groups who have always ONLY known violence as the only way, it was so very touching and powerful to see them embrace nonviolence in their resolutions at the end of day two. When we started on Saturday, each side was sitting separate from the other side - i suggested mixing and no one moved. On Sunday, they were holding shoulders, taking photos, and exchanging contacts. I shared with them the Liberia movie - Pray the Devil Back to Hell - they were so moved and touched. Being groups that think women should not talk in public, it was gratifying to see them (especially elders) over and over again refer to the women of Liberia in the movie. They also got that war is not a joke - the devastation of Liberia war shocked even the most warrior-like of them all. They definitely do not want to see their country go that route. It was great.

June 1-6th, 2010: IPI-Kenya partners with the Institute for Inclusive Security to host a training of trainers workshop for women from the Eastern Africa region: Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Sudan. The training was geared towards building women’s capacity for training and creating understanding around the UN Security Council Resolution 1325. The 5 women from Kenya from different NGOs together formed a Kenya branch of Women Waging Peace.  The Women Waging Peace, Kenya branch hopes to play a key role in the creation of a National Action Plan on Resolution 1325, entrenching it in our laws, and creating awareness on the Resolution in the Eastern Africa region in general, and in Kenya in particular. This is the 10th year since Resolution 1325 was passed and globally, the UN is holding events to celebrate one decade since its inception.