The Jesuit Hakimani Centre launched the Desert Sailors, which is a theater group that uses media to undertake advocacy work. The Desert Sailors were launched on the 17th of June 2016 at Carmelite Grounds, where select schools attended the premier show of several set books that are examinable in national examinations. The response of this launch demonstrated that theatre is a powerful tool for generating information and building knowledge in more meaningful ways.
The Media and Advocacy Cluster hosts a National Conference on: Election Agenda 2017 and Beyond: Election Issuefication
The media and Advocacy cluster of the network led by Jesuit Hakimani Centre launched a research findings dubbed Election Agenda 2017 and Beyond: Election Issuefication on the 13th and 14th of July 2016. The findings were launched during the national conference that brought together, Civil Society Actors, the policy makers especially Members of the National Assembly and Senate and faith based institutions. The occasion was graced by the Lordship Right Reverend Bishop Cornelius ArapKorir (who is the Chairperson of the Catholic Peace and Justice Commission). The purpose of this research and subsequent national conference was to highlight the issues Kenyans would wish that politicians prioritized in their campaigns before, during and after elections 2017. Key in these findings were issues to do with corruption which was noted as alarming and youth inactivity considered as precursor to insecurity. The conference was addressed by the chief guest Honourable EkweEthuro the Speaker of the Senate. Others who spoke at the conference included Honourable Ken Okoth (member of the national assembly of Kibra constituency), Honourable Hassan Omar (Senator of Mombasa County), Honourable MumbiNgaru (member of East Africa Assembly (EALA), Honourable Thomas LudindiMwandegu (Member of National Assembly, Wundanyi) and Honourable John SakwaBunyasi member of National Assembly (Nambale).
The conference generated a lot of information regarding several thematic issues concerning Kenyans. One of the speakers Mr. Henry Maina of Article 19 shared with Kenyans the need to curb high end corruption in infrastructure development. Another speaker, Dr. Oranga of the Unievrsity of Nairobi spoke of why the media must remain vigilant particularly the reporting of issues that relate to general elections. He gave Kenyans a glimpse of what the Kenyan political scenario looks like in the eyes of the media.
On the overall this research and conference addressed two very important issues. The short term election agenda which was the fears Kenyans harbored about the possibility of a violence free electioneering process; and long term agenda which was the issues that politicians must address pre- and post-general election. Therefore the conference provided an opportunity for Kenyans to begin cementing public participation and governance on people driven issues.
After several attempts and efforts to put in place a strategic plan, Jesuit Hakimani centre launched its strategic plan on the 17th of June at Carmelite Retreat Centre, Karen. In the strategic plan, Jesuit Hakimani Centre focuses on three key areas of governance, youth and right of small scale farmers. Through this strategy Jesuit Hakimani Centre seeks to operate in five countries in the East African region, including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Sudan. During the launch, the Provincial of in-charge of the Jesuits in East Africa, Father Afulo, encouraged and challenges Jesuit Hakimani Centre to become a the voice of the down trodden, particularly the poor. As a social centre, he pointed out, Jesuit Hakimani required and must continue to be the advocate of those affected by unjust systems, and this especially demanded that they carry out researches on several thematic issues. Fundamental aspect of this strategy is the affirmation that Jesuit Hakimani centre pursue faith that does justice.
Following planning dating last year (2015), the Kenya Peace Network managed to organize for a training on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) focusing on mediation. This training which was facilitated by Leonard and Paulette Van Roekel from the Netherlands involved KPN members and National Cohesion and integration Commission (NCIC) staff members from various departments.
The training benefited from the wisdom of the Vice-chairperson of the National Cohesion and integration Commission, Commissioner Irene Wanyoike, who addressed the participants on the need to build a strong foundation on mediation. She made emphasis on the need to practice and exposure to real life conflicts. The training took place on the 19th to the 21st day of July 2016. Out of this training the idea of a movement of mediators was mooted, which begun by establishment of whatsup page for the trainees.
Key to this partnership between the KPN and NCIC is the Vice Chairperson Commissioner Irene Wanyoike, working closely with the Assistant Director, Research and Policy at NCIC Dr. Sellah Kingo’ro, the Chairperson of KPN Mr. Ochien’g Michael and the Executive Committee members Richard Ochanda Paul Adhoch and Vincent Okonya. Out of this partnership, away from the training a manual for grassroots ADR practitioners is being developed, now at its last review stage