As part of the healthcare program, we teach life skills in different schools of Shimoni. We went to teach a form 3 class (18 to 22 years old) on non-violent conflict resolution. We went through different topics such as situations that may lead to conflict or barriers to non-violent conflict resolution. The students did not seem very enthusiastic about the subject, at the beginning. But after putting it into context, with an evocative example for everyone, the class came out of their shell and got involved. The controversial presidential elections of Kenya in 2007 followed by violence left an unwanted memory on Kenya’s population.
|Paul leads a life skills class with Form 3 students|
We organised a debate based on the elections in the class with two parties: on one side we had the supporters of Kibaki (the contested official new president) and on the other side, Odinga (the opposition). We then introduced a mediator who played the role of Kofi Annan, so that a compromise could be found between the two parties. Using living values such as responsibility, cooperation and respect, the class found out easily that there were solutions to avoid a violent conflict. We thought that the class was a success due to the motivated involvement of the students, hopefully this will reflect on a peaceful future election for the Kenyan population.
Paul Petges – Health Project Volunteer