We work with Kenyan partners to build a positive, nonviolent grassroots peace movement and help local activists to stand up for human rights and a just peace in Kenya.

Quakers in Britain partners with Kenyan peace organisation Alternatives to Violence Kenya Trust to deliver a locally driven programme which is largely reliant on community-based volunteers and trainers. The approach is adapted from the Quaker nonviolent training programme, Turning the Tide.

What are we doing?

    Resource

    Five years of success in Kenya

    This article is about work in Kenya supporting campaigners to work effectively for nonviolent social change. It was originally published in Quaker News.

    Our impact

    Young people who want to make changes in their communities are learning how to speak out loudly and strongly, but without violence. Communities are finding the courage to address root causes of their conflicts, rather than only dealing with the symptoms. Local citizens continue to make positive changes, big and small, discovering the power of nonviolent campaigning.

    Using the campaigning skills we teach,

    • students have exposed corrupt bursary disbursement practices at a University
    • motorcycle taxi drivers have put a stop to fraudulent registration scams
    • community members stopped the construction of a dam set to displace an estimated 50,000 people.

    In the wake of Kenya's 2007 elections, East Africa's most stable democracy erupted into violence. In the run-up to the election in 2013 and 2017, our partners Alternatives to Violence Kenya Trust launched civic engagement campaigns to promote peaceful elections and offer voting rights education. Kenyan peace activists organised forums in which civilians found a safe space to ask political candidates critical questions.

    Our partners recognise that while trauma recovery, mediation, and conflict resolution are crucial, the success of these initiatives will be limited while legitimate grievances about governance, corruption and basic rights remain unaddressed.

    How we work

    • Our work is built on authentic partnership which springs from the Quaker understanding of equality.
    • Our methodology is adapted from Quaker social change training to develop nonviolent campaigning skills specific to Kenya.
    • We use responsive training and ongoing accompaniment to ensure the training takes root.
    • We nurture community ownership and ensure that every campaign is locally driven.
    • We go where the energy is and start small.

    Our guiding principles

    We believe that:

    1. Much direct violence is derived from underlying and often invisible social injustice. In order to build peace we must be willing to make visible and challenge structural and cultural violence.
    2. There is something good in every person, even those who are perpetuating social injustices. Effective nonviolent action seeks that good and calls it out.
    3. Nonviolence requires risk, self-discipline and a deep commitment. It must come from deep within. It will never work when it is imposed from without.

    Learn more

    Listen to the Q:Witness podcast featuring former Programme Manager Laura talking about the work we do in Kenya:


    Listen to interviews with African peace activists, undertaken for This Light That Pushes Me, an photography exhibition and book created by Quaker Peace & Social Witness.

    Read about the water campaign in Nairobi

    Contact us

    Tobias Wellner
    East African Programme Manager
    020 7663 1075
    tobiasw@quaker.org.uk