In April of 2016, Sustained Dialogue Campus Network’s Managing Director, Rhonda Fitzgerald, traveled to Nairobi to help launch a youth dialogue-to-action initiative entitled “Tubonge Mtaani” (translated as “Let’s talk in the ‘hood.’) Sustained Dialogue is partnering with two organizations for this project: the Nairobi-based Eastleighwood Youth Forum and the Swedish-based Life and Peace Institute.
Sustained Dialogue has collaborated with the Life and Peace Institute and the Peace and Development Center (PDC) in Ethiopia since 2008 to implement Sustained Dialogue programs across the Horn of Africa, beginning at Addis Ababa University, then expanding to two other Ethiopian universities, Haramaya University and Jimma University. The partnership between these organizations continues to thrive, and the PDC Executive director Ayten Birhanie co-led both the Addis Ababa and the Nairobi trainings with Rhonda Fitzgerald.
In Nairobi, The Sustained Dialogue process brought together participants ages 18-35, who represented the ethnic diversity of the Kamukunji Constituency of Nairobi, in a 5-day moderator training. Moving beyond discussion and exchange, the participants will later learn to use scenario-building to determine proactive steps for collective community-based action. The project is expected to continue for nine months, and reach over 200 participants.
Eastleighwood Youth Forum Director Burhan Iman believes that the project will “create an opportunity and a common platform for the youth in identifying underlying issues affecting the community they live [in]—how to develop the right intervention to curb those factors, since they are change agents for their communities.”
The Eastleighwood Youth Forum is a Nairobi-based youth-centered nonprofit founded to build capacity in communities “marred by prolonged political instability, terrorism, poverty, and discrimination/marginalization”. To learn more about their work, click here: http://www.eastleighwood.org/
The Life and Peace Institute is Swedish organization that carries out conflict transformation programs across the Horn of Africa. Click here to visit their website: http://life-peace.org/