By Joyce Wamae
Truphena Ayeka is a diploma holder in archive and record management from Kibera’s Mashimoni area. Kibera continues to be one of the most difficult conflict slum dwelling areas in Africa, and indeed the world. Truphena’s first contact with Shalom was during one of the center’s workshops on conflict paradigms in this location. She represents a group of women known as the Amazing Group, which organizes small-scale initiatives in Kibera that are geared at empowering young women, and improving their lives.
After attending the workshop on conflict paradigms, she and colleagues drafted an action plan to sensitize the youth in Mashimoni area of Kibera on the root causes of conflict. Five members who attended Shalom training from the Amazing Group then gathered the rest of their members, and trained them on how best they can understand the underlying causes of conflict. It was after this meeting that they decided to sensitize their fellow youth in their community using drama.
The drama took place in Mashimoni-Ushirika area on a very busy path. This place was strategic because most of the groups in Kibera hold their peace crusades there, and is known as the busiest point in the area. They collaborated with male youth groups, who gave the young women moral support and security as they taught the locals on the causes of conflict and showed them how to critically analyze them to identify the major factors and pathways to lasting peace.
The next activity was a clean-up that took place in Mashimoni-Ushirika area. This was also a joint activity with the group of young men. People came out because they were curious, wondering “why the sudden change by the young people to do a positive thing?” Old and young teamed up, bonded and made their surroundings clean, courtesy of these energetic and committed youths.
The project took hours and afterwards, the participants had a small gathering where they sat and discussed what they learned from the collaboration. They also shared with each other what they learned at the Shalom workshop and how with the proper techniques in peace building they can bring about real and progressive change for their community.