Mokua OMBATI, Kenya, February 2014
Indigenising Peacebuilding in Kenya’s Sotik/Borabu Cross-Border Conflict
There is no simple prescription or handy roadmap for peacebuilding in the aftermath of sustained violent conflict. Creating trust, understanding and bonding between previously warring factions is a supremely difficult challenge. It is, however, essential and must be addressed in the process of building a lasting peace. Examining diversity and differences, acknowledging and understanding them, and above all transcending them, is the best way to guarantee that there is no return to violence. Ethnographic studies on the experiences of ethno-electoral violent conflict in Kenya’s Sotik/Borabu Border show that each society must discover its own route for peacebuilding in the aftermath of violent conflict. Sustainable peace cannot be imposed from outside, nor can someone else’s roadmap be the highway to a peaceful destination. It involves a very long and painful journey, addressing the pain and suffering, understanding the motivations, bringing together estranged communities, finding a path for connecting, bonding, sharing, justice and ultimately peace. Faced with each new instance of violent conflict new solutions must be devised that are appropriate to the particular context, history and culture in question. The central significance of ensuring peace in the aftermath of violent conflicts is to make a sense of security, understanding, trust, and confidence; the heart of nonviolent alternatives.
There is growing recognition of the ubiquity and importance of locally led peacebuilding initiatives in violent conflict areas. Local peacebuilding programmes are usually designed to include a clear understanding of the social, religious, cultural, philosophical, economic and political dynamics of indigenous communities. Understanding local dynamics informs the planning of peacebuilding programmes and, therefore is a condition for their sustainability. Local peacebuilding initiatives are usually more relevant to their target population, taking into account pressing needs, as opposed to top-down interventions by foreign actors. Local initiatives are accorded high priority by citizens, and investment in them is often cost effective as they build on what already exists locally. Local peacebuilding interventions foster mutual self-help, relevance, and sustainability (Mokua, 2013). Hayman (2012) recounts that a “Local First” approach looks primarily for local capacity and only brings in external assistance if necessary. But, “Local First” does not mean local only. The most effective interventions must involve a partnership between local and external actors. Such partnerships, however, must be carefully crafted so that they do not destroy the local capacities but instead build on already existing structures. These are fundamental, both for the effectiveness of the interventions themselves and for the partnerships with external peacebuilding actors. Though external actors may facilitate and provide some of the required resources, key aspects of a good partnership include allowing the locals to identify the needs, set the priorities, formulate the approach, and determine the strategy. Locals must also be allowed to set peace impact indicators, to lead, to mobilise for resources, and to enjoy the rewards of conflict de-escalation. The non-material intervention motivations meet the psychological needs for self-actualization.
Genesis of the Conflict
This data is based on ethnographic studies that investigate cross-border peace initiatives among the Kipsigis and Abagusii ethnic tribes along the Sotik/Borabu border, a rural area in South-Western Kenya. The Sotik/Borabu border serves as the boundary and administrative border between the Bomet and Nyamira counties, as well as the demarcation between the lands of the Kipsigis, a Kalenjin sub-tribe living on the Bomet County, and the Abagusii, a Bantu sub-tribe, most commonly known as Kisiis of Nyamira County.
Despite the different dialects, traditions and cultures, and historical cattle-rustling disputes, the Kipsigis and Kisiis have lived in relative harmony. This however changed after the 1992 general elections in which violence flared up across the whole of Kenya. The pattern of violent conflict was to be repeated again in subsequent electoral periods, culminating in the highest casualties in the 2007/2008 Post-Election Violence. A lot of property was destroyed as shops, buildings, houses, homesteads, churches and schools were burnt, vandalised and ruined. Animals were slaughtered and many people displaced, injured, or maimed and thousands were killed. The acts of arson and destruction did not spare the large agricultural plantations, as hectares upon hectares of tea estates were set on fire.
The picture shows burned villages along the Isoge/Tembwo area at the height of the violence.
The unfolding cycle of electoral violence cannot be blamed solely on a reaction to disputes over election results, but is rooted in long-term foundational issues that have remained unaddressed since Kenya gained independence in 1963. Kenya’s deeply neo-patrimonial politics is one of the most significant issues. Powerful political elites have established support using state resources since independence, causing widespread grievances over inequalities and long-standing perceptions of inclusion and exclusion in the distribution of public resources (Branch & Cheeseman, 2008; MacArthur, 2008; Mueller, 2008). This patronage has over time weakened state institutions like the Judiciary, the Electoral agency, the Police, and Parliament as they have lost their autonomy, public trust, and confidence. Thus, crucial institutions are perceived as ‘partisan’ and ‘tied to the political elite’ a perception mostly attached to those representing the executive’s ethnic community (Mueller, 2008:195). This prevalence of weak and personalised institutions was bound to cause discontent and spark many contestations at some time in history. Ethnic and regional inequalities infiltrated Kenyan politics but also society more broadly, thus polarising the country along ethnic lines. Inter-ethnic rivalry and bitterness became more intense as ethnic communities perceived to be close to the ruling political elite were rewarded with socio-economic resources, power and authority at the expense of other communities and groups. Amidst these deepening inequalities, resentment amongst those outside of political favour became intense, and fed the triggers and motivations for violent conflict (Kanyinga & Walker, 2013).
Among other things a combination of historical grievances, particularly around land ownership; unequal distribution of national resources; the entrenched politics of exclusion and patronage; ethnicisation of Kenyan society; a highly fraudulent electoral process; and weak national institutions that are prone to political manipulation have all been identified as the triggers responsible for the mayhem, highlighting and exposing the fragility of stability. The electoral political cycle provides a particularly fertile ground for the flaring-up of violent conflicts as local politicians, often incite “their people” against their neighbours on an “us-versus-them” socio-political-economy of classification (Mokua, 2013)
The Roadmap to Peace
The picture of the region is different today; the physical violence has subsided and the two tribes interact socially, culturally and economically. However, despite the apparent return to normalcy complex pockets of violent conflict are still embedded in the Sotik/Borabu territory and history, and the repercussions on the social fabric are evident. Underlying mistrust and hostility still remain unchecked, making the area a tinderbox for potential violence. Cognisant of the salience of the underlying drivers of the violence, the two communities have joined hands in peacebuilding initiatives that are not only local, but locally led, locally owned, and locally delivered.
Cultural Peace Resources
Culture, though not static, monolithic, or deterministic, is the matrix within which peacebuilding practices take form. In many respects peacebuilding is a process of cultural introspection and reconstruction, a process of generating social dialogue that encourages critical reflection on existing realities, re-evaluation of present priorities, and initiation of shared meanings. Every cultural community has its own “indigenous exceptionalisms,” own distinctive ways, values, insights, and practices. Considering the meaning, relevance, intercultural inclusivity and applicability of these practices, values, beliefs, and resources, remains a significant part of peacebuilding (MacGinty, 2008:128-129).
Most people on the Sotik/Borabu border take their beliefs from both traditional African spirituality and Christian cosmologies in varying degrees. These indigenous rites and practices allow them to respond to, prevent, resolve, and manage violent conflicts, thus maintaining peace, human dignity, communal solidarity and harmony. More often these rituals, rites and practices invoke the invisible power of the deity, and spiritual and social sanctions in influencing behaviour. One significant cultural conviction, which is applicable to both communities, is on the sacredness, sanctity of and, awe and reverence towards human sexuality, particularly women’s sexuality. The sacrosanct nature of women’s sexuality symbolized by the practice of tying their undergarments unto a string and placing them strategically on the pathways to the war-front are of vital cultural and religious import. Lethal religious, cultural and psychological symbolic implications and inferences are predisposed for those who sidestep and circumvent the paraphernalia and go ahead to confront the enemy. Locals conscientiously adhere to the invisible power of these tools, which is exercised by apportioning rewards to those who show respect, reverence and awe, and vengeance and punishment to those who disregard the warning.
Other parts of the indigenous peacebuilding initiatives, as noted by Valentina (2013), in particular target the stereotypes of the Kipsigis and Kisiis, who brand each other as thieves and liars, respectively. These interventions are geared towards encouraging the two communities to interact, partner and collaborate on several fronts so that individuals and the communities can more widely weave the ability to perceive cultural differences in largely non-stereotypical ways and to recognize the essential humanity of others. This is a cultural sensitivity which requires the capacity to experience one’s beliefs, behaviours and values as influenced by the particular context in which one is socialized, and recognise that there are alternatives to one’s own culture. By discerning and appreciating differences among cultures (including one’s own), and by constructing a kind of self-reflexive perspective, individuals are able to experience others as different from themselves, but equally human. They develop positive attitudes towards other cultures and therefore uphold equality.
Through regular interactions, individuals from one community have a “critical mass” of information about another community’s culture in order to apprehend their worldview. Contact with cultural differences generates pressure for change in one’s worldview: Bennett (2004) expounds that this happens because the “default” ethnocentric world-view while sufficient for managing relations within one’s own culture, is inadequate to the task of developing and maintaining social relations across cultural boundaries. Changes in knowledge, attitudes, and/or skills are manifestations of changes in the underlying worldview.
Youth and Sport for Peacebuilding
The peacebuilding initiatives have in some part been driven by local youth seeking peace for their respective communities. One such group, the Borabu/Sotik Youth Peace Forum, is composed of young people from both tribes who regularly meet and organise peacebuilding related activities in the region. These activities encompass cross-border sports activities such as soccer competitions and road peace marathons, where participants are encouraged to promote the peaceful resolution of conflicts. The purpose and benefits of physical activities such as sports programmes are innumerable. Physical activity and exercise contribute to increased psychological well-being and help combat inherent stress, and therefore can be used as rehabilitative tools, providing psychosocial support for people in society. Sports promote self-confidence and the development of the various skills necessary for success in employment, relationships, and other areas of life that impact a person’s overall well-being. Sports succour societal cohesion by promoting the integration of communities, combating discrimination and/or promoting communication between different groups in a post-conflict environment. By so doing sports explicitly challenge violence, tribalism and ethnic profiling, banditry, cattle rustling/raids, social exclusion and even environmental degradation. Consequently, tremendous effects in the decrease of antagonisms, the reduction in the intensity of negative attitudes, and rebuilding of relationships are recorded. It is a combination of youth, education, knowledge, skills and sports as instruments for communication, social integration and violent conflict de-escalation.
Sport is inextricably tied to development given that physical activities and mass sport, as MacClancy (1996) argues, have the unique ability and significant means to mark, create, construct and re-imagine national and ethnic identities. Sport is therefore an important conduit for both a sense of collective resentment and popular consciousness. It is therefore used by different groups to maintain and/or change their identities. Sport is, arguably, the only universal language and, consequently, sports functions as a way to promote the unity, coherence and identity of not only the individuals in their communities but also as Kenyan citizens.
Through sporting activities young participants are encouraged to play a role in the development of their communities and become an important and powerful voice for peace. As peace is necessary for development, their participation in peacebuilding is essential for sustainable development. Perhaps the establishment of a high altitude athletics training camp in the area is an example of sport as a social change instrument, through which identities and conceptions of development activities are constructed, and which has created a more nuanced and therefore more accurate understanding of peacebuilding. Through this training camp youth from both communities polish their athletic skills, and are sponsored for major tournaments in and outside the country. A portion of the proceeds from their participation is invested in community projects such as schools, vocational centres, churches, hospitals, agricultural improvement and the construction of community infrastructures. This is quickly changing the development dimension, phase and paradigm of the two border communities. Accordingly, these sporting activities contribute to peacebuilding by putting young people at the centre of sustainable development. Additionally, peace workshops and seminars are held to educate and desensitise young people on political manipulation, one of the main roots of electoral violence. Due to the high unemployment rate, the young are also trained on viable alternative income generating activities in an attempt to prevent them from engaging in activities deemed to be counterproductive for peace in their spare time.
Women for Peacebuilding
Women from both sides of the border are the other key actors in the peacebuilding process. Violent conflict and the ensuing repercussions make it of imperative importance that women play a significant role in curbing the effects of violence; not only for themselves but for their families and communities at large. The difficulty of accessing formal sectors of peacebuilding inevitably leads women to tap into informal sectors where they are both creative and innovative in developing effective peacebuilding strategies. Their primary peacebuilding options are limited to working outside the formal system and influencing peace outcomes through the formation of connections, maintaining old and developing new social networks, sharing across ethnicities and interacting beyond geographical boundaries. It is the creation of these informal linkages and webs that lead women to play an active role in peacebuilding. Through these initiatives women work not only to end violence but also address the underlying social, cultural, economic and political issues that contributes to the outbreak of violent conflict.
The Sotik/Borabu Women Peace Drive is a local initiative founded by women from both the Kipsigis and the Kisii in response to the intermittent violent conflict. This initiative promotes the role women play in society and attempts to bring women together from both sides of the border. The Women Peace Drive have found using local radio talk shows particularly effective as they regularly broadcast on issues of peace, female leadership, and empowerment.
On the other hand, the Women’s Peace Meetings is another peace forum organised and promoted by the local District Peace Committee (DPC). The forum facilitates frequent peace conferences among and between women from both sides of the border. (The picture on the right shows local women joined by government security officials as they march and drum-up for peace through the streets of Chepilat market). During these meetings women discuss security issues within the region and, propose programmes and activities that could promote peace between the ethnic groups. The proposals put forward include:
Women from both sides setting an example by interacting as ‘one tribe’. This is achieved through trade, commerce and exchange of commodities.
Use of religious faith to enhance peace and promote dialogue by, for example, visiting, praying and having common interdenominational fellowships from churches along the common border.
Enhance education and make schools inclusive for all children from both sides of the border.
Start the peace process at home, by promoting peace education in one’s family and therefore advancing good behaviour within families.
Cross-Border Peacebuilding Committees
Evolution of the model of Peace Committees in addressing conflicts is perhaps one of the main successes of the peacebuilding processes in Kenya. Initially started as an informal structure composed of elders (representation of traditional governance institutions), civil society, religious leaders and government officials, the model has since been replicated in the whole country and concerted campaigns for its institutionalization have gained momentum. The Peace Meetings are grounded on a yet to be fully adopted National Peacebuilding and Conflict Management Policy (Ruto, 2013). This is a local community owned, low cost, socially acceptable peacebuilding model that recognizes and appreciates the role of the citizenry, indigenous knowledge and expertise in conflict management and peacebuilding.
The Sotik/Borabu Cross-border Peace Committees are constituted of representatives elected from each community and the local provincial administration (state security actors). The committees are created not only to improve on cross-border governance and (in)security management through detailed border surveillance, but also to minimize conflicts. The committee acts as an arbiter for disputes between the rival ethnic tribes and groups, and provides a platform for cross-border community coordination and cooperation on security, governance and conflict management. The committee undertakes regular cross-border conferences (baraza in Swahili) that allow relationships and friendships to develop, establishing a “constructive dependency” among individuals, the two communities, cultural leaders, administrators and political authorities. The cycle of dependency so built is relied upon for continued and potentially more meaningful partnerships, collaborations and cooperation. These efforts help to restore and sustain peace.
Mutual interaction and sharing by the two warring communities causes people to become more interculturally tolerant and therefore competent. This means there is a major change in the quality of their experience as the beliefs, attitudes and behaviours of their cultural traditions are no-more-central to reality. Just as Bennett (2004) underscores, the communities can experience their own beliefs and behaviours, and appreciate them as just one organization of reality among many viable possibilities. These interactions therefore can alter the beliefs, attitudes and behaviours of individuals and communities towards each other.
Significant impetus is given to the informal peacebuilding activities in what Abdalla (2012) represents as “peace markets.” Peace markets are market centres established in optimum locations along the Sotik/Borabu common border. For years they have represented innovative cross-border commerce, trade, relationships, bonding, and commodity exchange model of how the two neighbouring communities preserve their common interests by circumventing the border’s insecurity pressures, even in the intensity of a conflict. These common markets, from Chepilat and Tembwo to Ndanai, are not only arcades and fairs of trade and commerce, but also epicentres of cultural exchange and civilisation, bonding, networking, sharing, discussions, and conversation. The market days of the peace markets are always scorching with activity as market-goers (mostly women) trade in goods and services, interact, and exchange pleasantries, and form friendships oblivious of their communities’ animosities. They all seem to adhere to the unwritten rules and regulations through which all observe and respect each other’s religious and ethnic codes of conduct, practices, protocols, and belief systems. The peace markets, therefore, provide an outstanding example of how the realities of geography, humanness and context remain superior and more sustainable than those of ethnicity and electoral politics, and accordingly should be revitalized.
Microfinance as an Instrument for Peacebuilding
The use of microfinance in peacebuilding and in enhancing society’s welfare is often seen as an effective strategy to advance local development. Microfinance can help conflict-ridden societies to rebuild their economies, families to decrease their economic and food insecurity, and to empower women as well as men (Cheston & Kuhn, 2006; Woodworth, 2006:33). Microfinance provides resource opportunities to the poor (Marino, 2005) - primarily to women who often have less access to resources than men. Additionally, by targeting women, a less political client group is promoted, providing further opportunities for their increased role as peacebuilders in their communities (FDC, 1999:4-5). Targeting women is also more beneficial for the community at large since increased women’s income benefits the household and the community more than a corresponding increase in men’s income (Snow, Woller et al., 2001:5). The Norwegian Nobel Committee in its motivation for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, acknowledged that:
icro-credit has proved to be an important liberating force in societies where women in particular have to struggle against repressive social and economic conditions. Economic growth and political democracy cannot achieve their full potential unless the female half of humanity participates on an equal footing with the male (Nobel Peace Prize, 2006).
Merry-go-rounds as Peace Actors
Informal savings and credit economies are increasingly proving essential tools and instruments for peacebuilding efforts, socio-economic and political empowerment, and development on the Sotik/Borabu border. The vitality and burgeoning of Rotating and Savings Associations (ROSCAS) popularly known as “Merry-go-rounds” (chama in Swahili), can be attributed to the fact that they are owned, resourced and controlled by operators who are at the same time the beneficiaries. Formulated and given credence mainly by and in the ‘peace markets,’ the informal savings and credit economy are not a business strategy per se, but a way of life. The economy is interwoven into the web of daily life of the participants, reinforcing a sense of the spirit of community that binds individuals, families, ethnicities and communities together, and promotes peaceful co-existence.
The merry-go-rounds are not only forums for savings and credit, but also spaces for popular engagement, encouragement, meeting, exchanging ideas, socialising, training, teaching, sharing, and discussing common concerns and challenges of life. They enable participants to diversify livelihoods, connect and discover help, and strength from others with similar experiences across the common border. They are a “moral community” whose economic activities are not defined and governed by market values and principles but by the interests of community, family, kinship and society.
This informal economy is grounded and driven by values of reciprocity, mutuality and fairness which are predicated on the principles of strengthening the spirit of community, feelings of ownership, trust, social capital (wealth) and quality of life. Thus, this is “a moral community” based on building long term relationships and networks made up of families, friends, kinships, acquaintances, clans, tribes, communities, business associates, and societies. The community emphasizes good neighbourliness and respectability as being of high value and integral to cohesion. The increased social networks strengthen social relations and understanding, facilitate reconciliation and contribute to the establishment of relationships of trust and peace outside one’s inner-group of family, clan, tribe, and community. The larger the network, the greater the accumulation of social wealth that the citizens bank on for cohesion and peaceful co-existence.
The economy serves as a kind of rotary club, allowing members to network, to exchange knowledge and information, and create goodwill. As foundational spaces for training, learning and socialisation the economy significantly boosts the independence, confidence, socio-status, courage, self-esteem, and skills of the participants. This is significant because, as noted by Cheston and Kuhn (2006), belief in ones’ capabilities is a noteworthy step for increased equality and empowerment. Further, if this is followed by a changed perception of stereotypical beliefs and behaviour of a peoples’ cultural roles and capabilities, traditional discriminatory sensitivities might be redefined.
Another feature of the moral economy is that it combines income generating programmes with other social welfare functions such as caring for the disadvantaged in society such as orphans, the disabled, the old, the widows, and pregnant adolescents. The economy’s canons are, thus, a poignant (re)statement of one of the common threads running through many African tradition philosophies: Mutual sharing and Co-dependence. Accordingly, the economy goes beyond culture, geography, history, and societal identity; and acts as the platform upon which people, commerce, and culture connect and bind.
Technology and Peacebuilding
Technological innovations in the modern era have also promoted and strengthened peacebuilding by giving peace actors the resources to challenge conflict and negative attitudes towards neighbouring communities. Wider access to the internet, satellite and mobile phone networks, the social media and the penetration of the FM radio networks now permit the previously conflicting communities to easily connect, interact, share and communicate their plight and mobilize support for sustainable peace.
These local peacebuilding initiatives serve as spaces for dialogue, storytelling, consultations and reconciliation. With mutual respect for diversity, the communities organize around their shared predicaments which generate positive change. The Sotik/Borabu border community makes the case that the most effective strategies for conflict transformation are those that play upon local cultural norms rather than importing new and unfamiliar methodologies. Thus, the value and efficacy of traditional structures and mechanisms of governance and conflict resolution such as customary institutions, elders’ councils, religious leaders, age-sets, youth forums and women’s networks must not only be considered for support but also be promoted as central to peacebuilding initiatives. Restoring customary governance institutions would enhance the communities’ capacities to mediate and resolve conflicts, and recognise the need to build on these structures. Strengthening the traditional governance institutions would provide ownership and cultural relevance to the peacebuilding interventions in each conflict context.
By recognizing the cultural primacy of inter-community bonding and partnerships over taking up arms, the Sotik/Borabu border community appear to have found an appropriate solution to a security problem that has eluded them over time. The Sotik/Borabu border community provides an example of a truly grassroots, indigenous method of managing conflict. They make the case that persons and/or organisations working in conflict management should search for, build upon and apply existing norms rather than simply bringing two parties in a conflict together. Such indigenous or home-grown methodologies have proved to be vital not only in preventing and resolving the inter-communal conflicts, but more significantly they have become instrumental means of reaching out to the other; bridging the divide and promoting peaceful inter community interface and coexistence.
These peacebuilding activities inspire confidence in peace education. The peace education activities cover many areas, from advocacy, to basic education, to social and economic justice. The peace education is directed towards the promotion of tolerance, understanding and respect for the local cultures, language, and identities; and is run in a participatory and inclusive way. They are designed to enable and develop people’s constructive and peaceful skills, attitudes, values, and behaviours; and encourage them to live together and solve problems that arise in their communities through peaceful means.
Local peacebuilding activists have become harbours of peace despite the many challenges and obstacles placed in their way. Their efforts are bringing visible changes and positive outcomes, as Sotik/Borabu residents are shown how to live in harmony by members of their own community rather than through the involvement of external “experts;” external peace actors only play a facilitative role. By undertaking the peacebuilding activities all by themselves the community owns the programmes and the benefits accrued from them.
What is evident is that these indigenous peacebuilding mechanisms are anchored in (i) customary-ethnic social structures, (ii) religious systems, (iii) local administrative authorities, (iv) state-customary mechanisms, and (v) community forums. These approaches and efforts are crucial in mobilising the people to act in unison, as one community, if they are to avoid violence in the future. These underscore the centrality of indigenous conflict management mechanisms.
Peacebuilding policies and conflict resolution must be sensitive to local and regional conflict dynamics, particularly when intervention measures and strategies are designed and implemented. Meaningful conflict transformation requires ‘bottom-up’ approaches that give prominence to traditional peacebuilding processes, through cultural resources and spaces such as the arts, sports, education, literature, shrines, and creative technological evolutions working directly to change relationships and alter negative stereotypes, beliefs, and attitudes. Local communities are best placed to identify conflict causes, risks and potential solutions, and to provide feedback on the impact of peacebuilding interventions on conflict dynamics. The development of policy on conflict intervention strategies should therefore be informed by community grassroots-level consultations. Communities must be involved in both the drafting and implementation of these intervention strategies. Failure to do so implies that intervention strategies risk aggravating tensions and increasing the prospect of violent conflicts.
Women, men, youth, and children experience violent conflict in different ways. Applying a desegregated “gender and age-set lens” to understand these differences can help ensure that special needs are met and constructive roles are played when designing peacebuilding strategies in conflict zones. Peacebuilding practitioners operating in conflict zones should therefore recognize the different peacebuilding potential of each age and gender category in order to take full advantage of a range of conflict prevention and peacebuilding opportunities.
Violent conflicts destroy livelihoods and therefore slow and/or reverse the course of development. By encouraging the establishment, rehabilitation, and development of income generating projects, the resource-base upon which livelihoods depend, enables families and communities to recover from conflict and reduces the likelihood of its reoccurrence. Alternative livelihood opportunities for the young through which they can contribute to their socio-economic independence such as farm-produce marketing, honey production and women’s micro-enterprises, must be developed, promoted and supported. Diversified socio-economic opportunities are beneficial for wide groups of people, rather than relying on rudimentary approaches (such cattle-rustling) that only a select number can benefit from. Alternative and diversified socio-economic opportunities build capacity, help secure livelihoods, and enable communities to become more open and accountable to each other.
Mokua OMBATI, Kenya, February 2014