By Elisabeth Atieno
Moses Lenges from Tuum Village in Samburu County is an early childhood development teacher in a local primary school. For the first time this year, Moses attended a workshop conducted by Shalom Center for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation. He had been involved in some other peace initiatives and was thrilled to learn of Shalom and to attend the training given by the Shalom team.
For Moses, the passion for peace-building in his community is personal.
One late evening years ago, when he was a young teenager, his village was attacked by members of another ethnic community from a neighboring village. Most members of his village were asleep in their manyattas (the housing of many pastoralists). Caught unawares, his neighbors ran every which way and so did members of his family. As Moses left the manyatta to make his escape too, he was shot in the arm.
Some of the stronger members tried to defend their village but many were killed. When the chaos subsided and calm was restored some village members came back to find everyone dead; Moses was the only survivor among those who could not get away. Due to tough logistics of travel, it took a while for Moses to see a doctor. By the time he could seek medical help, his arm could not be treated and had to be amputated.
Moses was motivated by the fact that Shalom does not discriminate amongst communities or religious beliefs and this was another reason he attended the workshop. “Since I am a teacher, I am in a position to teach our young ones to embrace everyone as fellow human beings because I do not want them to go through what I experienced,” said Moses.