The early warning signs are ominous. As Kenyans prepare for a national election on 4 March 2013, there are already incidents of violence. Five years ago, Kenyans shocked themselves and the world when a contested election sparked wide-spread unrest. At the height of the violence in January 2008, Friends held a national peace conference and launched a coordinated Kenyan Quaker peace program called Friends Church Peace Team (FCPT).
Since that time, FCPT leadership continues to learn and develop a case-by-case strategy flexible enough to respond to the specifics of a local situation, using the robust capacity of their many hundreds of trained volunteers.
FCPT is focusing all its energy on preventing renewed election-related violence. In “hot spots” such as Turbo and Mr. Elgon, intensive HROC (Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities), AVP (Alternative to Violence) and TTT (Turning the Tide) programs have resulted in many hundreds of energized and equipped grass root peacemakers. A citizen reporter initiative has recruited and trained nearly 1,000 people to be “watch dogs” in their communities, reporting early warning signs and mobilizing a targeted response to prevent violence.
FCPT has carried out dozens of civic education workshops to help people understand the new constitution and their rights and responsibilities as informed citizens, so they cannot be easily manipulated by political and ethnic leaders.
Kenyan Friends are prepared to be agents of the Prince of Peace, and invite all Friends to join them in prayer and action.
Please keep Friends Church Peace Team in your daily prayers:
1) Pray for peace in Kenya.
2) Pray for healing for all those who have already experienced violence in this election cycle.
3) Pray for safety, wisdom and discernment for the FCPT staff and volunteers who are responding to threats and who seek to prevent violence in their local situations.
4) Pray the world-wide community of Friends will stand with Kenyan Quakers, advocating with their own governments for peaceful elections in Kenya and to help supply the resources FCPT
needs for the work ahead.
5) Pray the political and ethnic leadership of Kenya will be touched by the Holy Spirit in a mighty way and will turn away from hate speech, bribery, incitement and intimidation.
6) Pray the people of Kenya will yearn for peace and will exercise their civic rights in sober wisdom and the fear of God.
7) Pray the perfect love of Jesus Christ will indeed drive out all hate.