Fellows Stories: Halkano Dofata and Jane Wanjiru

Halkano and Jane

Halkano Dofata and Jane Wanjiru in Uganda at the 2012 Equator Peace Academy.

Halkano Dofata (EPA 2012) and Jane Wanjiru (EPA 2012) are, respectively, Executive Director and Country Associate for Children Peace Initiative Kenya (CPI Kenya), a Non-Governmental Organization committed to promoting peace through children. CPI Kenya strives to empower children living among communities affected by inter-ethnic conflict to develop positive values and attitudes that will enable them to appreciate peace, one another and thereafter become agents of reconciliation between their communities as they grow up. The program targets children, alongside teachers and parents, in schools within areas adversely affected by conflicts. Some of the key activities with children in CPI-Kenya are: Children Peace Camp, Inter-community children and family twinning, Parents and children exchange visit for peace, Peace Holiday Exchange program, Exposure tour, Establishment and running of peace clubs in primary schools, and Cultural Peace Festivals. CPI Kenya uses an integrated approach to promote peace through children and thereafter use them to reach out to their parents and the community-at-large.

The above banner photo depicts Halkano and Jane of CPI Kenya and a group of children from different warring communities carrying out a bonding exercise of dressing the bride and the groom using locally available materials. A girl from one community volunteers to be the bride and the boy from a different community volunteers to be the bridegroom. This exercise is not only fun but also educational for the children. Through such activities, friendship among children is enhance and later extended to their families and community-at-large, thus bringing healing and reconciliation among the warring communities.