Students campaign for peaceful coexistence

“If there was no peace among the communities of Marsabit County, there will be no education and no future for us,” this was the message from pupils during an inter-school peace initiative held in 2018. The event was held at Tiigo School brought together pupils from six schools. Schools from Borana community included Elle Borr, Rawan and Funan Qumbi primary from Sololo Sub County. Three schools from the Gabbra community included Turbi Nomadic Girls, Turbi Primary and Tiigo School from North Horr Sub County.

Each school was represented by about 30 pupils from their peace club membership. The theme of the day was “I am not only a child, but a peace maker too”. The event was officially launched by the Sub County Deputy Commissioner. Others in attendants included ward administrator, chiefs, and county peace cohesion and integration officer.
Also present were teachers who served as peace club patrons. The pupil from each school presented songs, role plays and poems that promote peace. The participants had some lessons on peace building and harmonious coexistence. Peace songs, role plays and peace poems were presented and vetted for the final day presentations. Each pupil selected a friend from another Sub County through a paper lottery. They made as many friends as possible from among the other Sub County. A football tournament was held as part of peace building activities.

During the second day, as part of cultural exchange learning, pupils from Gabbra community visited Borana villages and Borana pupils went to Gabbra communities. During the visits, they shared peace messages, poems and songs. They informed the elders that if there was no peace among the two communities, there would be no education and no future for them. They challenged the community to highlight to them the benefits they gained from tribal conflict. Noting that conflict had no benefits, they persuaded the communities to uphold peace for the sake of their future. At the end of the meeting, children were accorded high reception where goats were slaughtered, milk and food availed to them. Girls hair was showered with oil and boys hands crowned with a thread of goats skin signifying a highly regarded visitor. Children freely interacted with the villagers and homes without fear. Some were offered goats to take to their villages. The elders were also invited to pay visit their villages for them to reciprocate the same.

In the evening at Tiigo School, the pupils shared their experiences at the villages and invited one another to their villages after the training. On the last day, the peace camp was closed in a colorful way when parents attending training in Turbi joined them for the closing ceremony. The pupils presented peace songs, poems and role plays. The closing ceremony was presided over by the Sub County Commissioner of Sololo. Others in attendant were Ward Administrator, Member of County Assembly, Chiefs and elders from surrounding villages. It was an spectacularly occasion covered by the local media stations.

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