Three issues dominated the Kwale County Amani Clubs Forum last Friday: Reducing youth’s involvement in violence by teaching them skills, their role in peace-building, and in combating violent extremism.
Other issues discussed, included bullying in school, indiscipline, drug abuse and how students can participate in community service. The students’ conference provided a forum for honest and open debate on diverse issues in order to build trust and dispel stereotypes.
They used debates, tree planting, and drama to convey topical peace messages during the event organised at Kwale High School by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC). The peace clubs in in Kwale have helped to curb bullying, indiscipline and radicalisation in schools, local officials say.
“Since the establishment of Amani clubs in the county, we have been carrying out activities with the sole aim of achieving the peace objectives established by the NCIC. We have held peace football matches, peace tree-planting and peace drama festivals,” said Kwale Amani Clubs coordinator Julianah Mwanjelle.
Meanwhile, NCIC boss Hassan Mohammed said: “Youth are the most active group and a better understanding of them is, therefore, important in any efforts aimed at attaining long-term peace building and social cohesion.”
An initiative of the NCIC, the Amani clubs aim to influence young people on matters of positive ethnicity, nationhood and inclusivity by advocating national cohesion and integration.
According to the NCIC vice-chairperson, Ms Irene Wanyoike, the overall goal of the clubs is to inculcate an appreciation of diversity among students from different ethnic, racial and religious communities.