Cohesion Building: Youth Promoting Respect for Diversity in Five Informal Settlements in Nairobi, Phase 2

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In 2019, CEEC with support form GIZ-CPS successfully implemented Phase 1 of the Embracing Diversity project which brought together male and female youth from Kibra, Kawangware, Dandora, Korogocho and Mathare. The project sought to strengthen the capacity of youth to promote cohesion building by recognizing, resisting and condemning manipulation of diversity. Project activities were a training on respect for diversity; community conversations; radio talk shows and an Embracing Diversity Road Show. The project was lauded not only by the youth but also by community members as one whose time had come. The beneficiaries, both direct and indirect, felt that as many youth as possible need to be reached as the country inches closer to the 2022 General Election. The youth in particular felt that their peers need to understand that diversity should not divide them but rather make them strong thus the slogan“Our Diversity, Our Strength/Utofauti Wetu Nguvu Yetu”. This, they felt would contribute to the mitigation of the electoral violence witnessed every five years especially in view of the fact that informal settlements are infamous for being the main hot spots for the violence in Nairobi. In addition, it is also true that the main perpetrators are youth. Against the above background, CEEC with the support of GIZ-CPS kicked off Phase 2 of the project with a training of an additional 22 team members in March 2020 bringing the total number of Embracing Diversity Champions per area to 10. The old team members then joined the new trainees for a joint planning meeting. The Champions came up with work plans on how they will facilitate the first set of community conversations in their respective areas. In a departure from the previous phase, during which a technical resource person facilitated the conversations, in this phase the Embracing Diversity Champions will facilitate the conversations themselves with support from CEEC.