Youth group discussion

‘Our youth are affected by radicalization, drug abuse, peer pressure and social media. I have been wanting to bring together Christian and Muslim youth in Mombasa for 10 years,’ said Reverend Jane Jilani. ‘Today it has happened.’. Alan Channer reports on the continuing influence of renowned Nigerian peacemakers Pastor Wuye and Imam Ashafa in Kenya.

District Commissioner of Eldoret Christopher Wanjau and County Secretary Phillip Arap Meli receive DVD copies of 'An African Answer' from Pastor James Wuye and Imam Muhammad Ashafa. Joseph Wainaina is third from left.

For Joseph Wainaina, to lead a peace caravan in his home city of Eldoret was a dream come true. In 1992, Wainaina and his family had to flee for their lives from Eldoret, after election-triggered clashes between the Kalenjin and Kikuyu communities. His house was burnt down and his aunt was killed. On 16 May, he led the peace caravan, through former conflict hot-spots of the city, with his close friend and co-organizer, Chrisostom Maiyo, former Area Chief of Eldoret, a Kalenjin.

Community leaders in Baringo

Pokot, Ilchamus, Tugen and Turkana communities came together over two days in March in Baringo, Kenya seeking the means to finding lasting peace. Joseph Karanja reports.

The Chaplain to the Kenya Defence Forces, Rt Revd Bishop Alfred Rotich, and Pastor James Wuye interact in group discussion

The Chaplain to the Kenya Defence Forces, the Rt Rev Bishop Alfred Rotich, gave his advice and blessing to participants at a workshop for peace practitioners in Nakuru, Kenya. Addressing the final meeting on 23 November, he said, ‘I can see and I can feel, from your expressions and the way you are with one another, that you practise peace.’

Workshop participant Aysha Dafalla reads a Peace Declaration from an open-air truck at the scene of the bomb blast in Eastleigh.  Also present, from left to right, Pastor James Wuye, Imam Muhammad Ashafa, District Commissioner Omar Beja and District Commisioner George Natembeya.

Seven people were killed by a bomb that tore through a bus in the Nairobi suburb of Eastleigh on Sunday 18 November. At the time of the explosion, Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye were addressing a group of Muslim and Christian leaders in Eastleigh. During the night there were reprisal attacks, leaving six people dead.

The Nairobi Chamber Chorus

The Nairobi Chamber Chorus is in Britain to perform in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant at Windsor Castle, 10-12 May. On 6 May the Chorus performed in Slough, hosted by the Kenya Society. Among the speakers at the event were former Kenyan Attorney General Charles Njonjo, former British High Commissioner to Kenya Sir Jeffrey James, Mayor of Slough, Sukhjit Kaur Dhaliwal, senior Commissioner at the Kenyan High Commision, Dr Joe Sang and Dr Alan Channer from Initiatives of Change's FLTfilms.

The Area Chief of Marigat, Zaphania Lekachuma, attended several sessions of the workshop

Kenya’s Baringo County is home to several pastoral communities whose livelihood depends on cattle. These communities are also known in Kenya for cattle-rustling. The scramble for pasture and water often leaves people counting their losses. In many instances, death and injuries are reported, on top of the animals stolen. Thirty-five leaders, representing all the main groups, gathered in Marigat town, near Lake Baringo, from 20-22 April, for a workshop entitled ‘Trust-building for sustainable development.

Participants and UN staff at the workshop in Moundou, southern Chad, with Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye

Pastor Wuye, Imam Ashafa and Dr Channer were in Chad recently, invited by the United Nations. Their visit, under the theme ‘Media and Mediation’, was part of a bid by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to build skills in mediation and peace-building amongst a newly-forged network of Chadian mediators.

Imam Ashafa and Pastor Wuye with graduate students at St Paul University, Ottawa

Theirs is not a rags-to-riches saga or even a tale of a steep ascent from obscurity to power and glory. Yet when Imam Mohammed Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye speak, Heads of State, Heads of Mission and other world leaders listen in respectful silence. Sometimes they even sign peace accords after hearing their words of wisdom. Canadians of many diverse backgrounds had a rare opportunity to meet them and hear them in person at a panel discussion on 1 November at St Paul University, Ottawa.

The first screening of 'Inside the Process' - a studio interview that explores the peace-building methodology of Imam Ashafa and Pastor James conducted by Professor Margaret Smith of American University and Dr Imad Karam, film-maker and academic from Palestine.

Nigerians Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye were in Washington 26 - 31 October for the US launch of the documentary An African Answer