In recognition of the events that occurred in the year 2012 and 2013 and the fact that the Tana River experience natural disasters inform of flooding and drought almost every year, Amani Center in collaboration with Shakababo conservancy a local CBO conducted a series of trauma healing and counselling sessions. The residents benefited immensely as greatly and the majority became volunteer counsellors after going through the healing process.
Countering Rumors to Support Peacebuilding
Misinformation played a very significant role in fueling the violence in the Tana River County. The Sentinel Project came up with UnaHakika Project which is a system that crowdsources rumour reports, maps the spread of the rumours and counter the rumours through an SMS platform. Over the years, the UnaHakika initiative has been so successful in supporting community members to get access to accurate and verified information from a neutral source. Currently, Amani Center staff are overseeing the successful day to day running to UnaHakika platform with support from Sentinel Project.
Countering Violent Extremism
This project was rolled out with support from Global Center on Cooperative Security and the aim was to raise awareness on the negative impact of conflict, promote peace and prevention and countering violent extremism (PCVE) among the youths of Tana River County through community media interventions. Through Amani FM and Tana Broadcasting Services, community radio stations which are mostly operated by young volunteers, the initiative provided a platform for the youths to engage in planning, production and dissemination of media content aimed at PCVE and peacebuilding. The project’s objectives included equipping community radio journalists with skills and attitudes to produce and broadcast programs on peacebuilding and PCVE in Tana River County, building the capacity of the community journalists and youth leaders on PCVE, peacebuilding and non-violent communication, and promoting active engagement of community radio listeners in PCVE and peacebuilding.
Interreligious and Intercultural Cohesion
This initiative was supported by the United Nations Alliance of Civilization and UNOPS. The main objective was promoting tolerance, understanding and widespread behaviour change towards increased respect for diversity and religious inclusion and PCVE through both on-air interventions and on-ground activations in Tana River County. This was done through enhancing the capacities of eight community radio journalists to become knowledgeable peace ambassadors within our region, promoting messages on nonviolence, religious respect and unity, intercultural and interfaith cohesion through radio programs. And engaging 20 youth leaders and religious leaders in the community to ensure they are more actively engaged in intercultural and interreligious cohesion and PCVE activities and discussions in the region.
Under the project “My County My Responsibility” Amani centre collaborated with Jesuits Hekimani and conducted sensitization campaigns on the importance of participating in public forums. This was after recognizing the low turn out by residents in public participation forums which are meant to discuss issues that affect the lives of the residents.
Jamii Bila Balaa -Peace Project
With support from Search For Common Ground, this project was rolled out and had several objectives which were achieved
(1) Promote sustainable peace and security by ensuring voices and concerns of those individuals in communities vulnerable to recruitment, tackling rumours and stereotypes, and featuring credible voices within community and family circles in the region are heard; and
(2) Support communities peacebuilding by making them aware of the positive role families can play in peace and security in communities by providing alternative, positive models of masculinity that do not fuel VE recruitment and radicalization.
Pamoja Dhidi ya Corona- COVID 19 Response
In partnership with Search for Common Ground and HAKI Africa and support from the European Union, the initiative which was geared towards helping marginalised communities in Kenya to fully implement the Governments’ COVID-19 response measures by providing accurate and trustworthy Government information, which is tailored, culturally appropriate and transmitted by trusted messengers, allowing these communities to protect themselves from the virus was rolled out. The project objectives which were achieved were; To increase the effectiveness and conflict sensitivity of the COVID-19 response and secondly, to mitigate the harmful effects of the COVID-19 crisis on social cohesion.
Corona Messages from Leaders
Village elders and religious leaders command huge respect from the communities in the Tana River County. During the pandemic, it was necessary to have diverse voices from community influencers passing down the message of prevention and hope to the communities. The Media Council of Kenya supported Amani Center to produce COVID 19 messages capturing the voices of the leaders and airing the messages on the radio.
Accelerated Learning Program
When the COVID 19 Pandemic hit the country, one of the first steps taken by the government of Kenya to contain the spread was closing down all learning institutions. With support from Zizi Afrique and Safaricom Foundation, Amani Center rolled out the Accelerated Learning Program which was meant to support students who had a low learning capacity catch up with the rest and the idea was having a registered teacher come on the radio and run remedial lessons while the students keenly follow the proceedings at their homes and villages with the support of other teachers back at home. Approximately 2500 school going children benefited directly from the project.
Amani Center is conducting a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) mentorship presentations that were prepared by the STEM role models for the benefit of students who are currently at home due to COVID-19 Pandemic. This programme complements the KICD educational content supported by UNESCO and the Ministry of Education, Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) and Safaricom. Students are free to send questions to the “ASK A STEM MENTOR PLATFORM” which was established by Safaricom for this purpose. Students are encouraged to initiate a continuation of the mentorship conversation by asking all questions they have through the short-code: 40291.
Amani Center believes that every human being is unique and endowed with special resource from the creator. There have been rising cases of deviance behaviour among the youth which were becoming a social problem to the community. After a series of focus group discussions with the youth, we realized that one of the key problems affecting them was idleness. With support from local leaders and well-wishers, we organized a very successful talent show where over 200 youth participants were given a platform to showcase their talents and later on supported to utilize those talents for their positive growth.
As a way of reaching the locals more with the message of peace, we organize a football friendly match between Amani Fm staff the radio listeners within Garsen town. The matches air live on radio and throughout the match, the theme of the day remains “the importance of maintaining peace”
War on Drugs in Tana River
Many youths have been affected by drugs addiction in the Tana River County. Amani Center organized a forum that brought together members of the public, the local security team and leaders from across the divide. The public had an opportunity to share freely with the leaders and solutions were proposed in the forum.