Institute for Peace and Justice
Contact: Zahra Ismail
Phone: (619) 260-7867
Fax: (619) 260-7570
Location: KIPJ Room 121
Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110
Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice
Our Work in the Field: Violence Prevention
The violence prevention project in Kenya is a partnership between the Institute for Peace and Justice (IPJ), Chemchemi Ya Ukweli (CYU) and Cissta Kenya, both community-based peacebuilding organizations in Nairobi that work in communities that have been impacted by extreme violence following the post-election violence of 2007-8.
The primary goal of the project is to reduce levels of violence, encourage dialogue and facilitate cooperation by building community capacity in violence prevention. The project is focused on Mathare, Korogocho and Kibera, three particularly vulnerable communities in the Nairobi area.
The institute, in partnership with Cissta and CYU, conducted a baseline survey in early 2012 to map public perceptions of violence and the root causes of conflict in each community and provided an intensive training of trainers with Cissta volunteers from each community. The trainings covered skills and tools in conflict resolution, violence mitigation, community mobilization and action planning, and strategies for civic engagement.
Over the month of March 2012, Cissta volunteers conducted two-day trainings in their respective communities, focused on building an understanding of conflict and violence and addressing issues of conflict in their communities in order to reduce the risk of violence.
In April 2012, IPJ Program Officer Zahra Ismail returned to Nairobi to conduct follow-up trainings with community participants to identify risk issues in each community, and to begin to develop prevention strategies and contingency plans to respond to these issues when they arise.
In November 2012, in response to an identified need to address the tenuous relationship between youth and security actors, the institute and its partners hosted a two-day forum entitled Building Alliances: Working Together to Prevent Violence. The forum brought youth and community participants together with high-level members of civil society, government and police to build bridges and develop collaborative plans for mitigating violence in time for the March 2013 elections. Ismail then served as a short-term election observer with the Carter Center's International Election Observation Mission to Kenya.
Ismail returned to Kenya in February 2015 at the request of partner organization CYU to explore possibilities for expanding and deepening relations between youth and police. During the summer of 2015, a Kroc School of Peace Studies graduate student will be working with CYU in Nairobi to further assess the current situation and develop recommendations for future programming.
The institute plans to continue the dialogue process started between youth and security actors in Nairobi as new funding is secured.For more information about the institute’s work in Kenya, please contact Program Officer Zahra Ismail.