By Elisabeth Atieno
Communities previously devastated by conflict are using the skills taught by Shalom that enables them to combat issues in a non-violent way. The villages of Tuum and Parkati, in Samburu County, are just two of the many communities who appealed for the capacity-building training given by the Shalom Center for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation.
Last month, the Shalom team traveled to the villages in the northern-central part of Kenya. Tuum is largely populated by the Samburu Community and borders Turkana County and has experienced clashes between the two communities. The dry and hot village of Parkati, though part of Samburu, is inhabited by the Turkana community.
The two have in the past lived peacefully but the area has seen escalating violence over recent years. The harsh climate has prompted the community members of Parkati to move into Samburu villages looking for pasture and grass for their cattle and this sometimes results in clashes. Knowing that positive peace would enable them to develop in other areas, e.g. economically, the participants sacrificed their daily routine to benefit from the peace-building skills.
Shalom held a workshop in each of these location with an aim of building the capacity of influential community members to manage identity based conflicts. This would be advantageous because the communities are both pastoralist communities and have common interests-their cattle. Realizing their similarities and differences may enable them to realize how much they have in common and how they can complement each other with their differences for the sake of peaceful coexistence for all.