UNESCO Peace Clubs to foster harmony in Kenyan schools

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Kenyan children have a chance to be agents of global peace thanks to the Kenyan Chapter of UNESCO Clubs that was launched yesterday at Kenya School of Monetary Studies. This comes at a time when the country's youth are prone to radicalisation from extremist groups.

Dubbed the Kenyan Federation of UNESCO Clubs Centers and Associations, this chapter aims to sensitize people on the importance of  the clubs.
“The clubs movement allows communities, schools, civil society organisations to form clubs at the grassroot level so as to promote peace and sustainable development,” said Dr.Evangeline Njoka, Secretrary General of the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO (KNATCOM).

Kenya has been a largely peaceful country but the 2007 post-election violence (PEV) tainted the country's record. Intolerance and lack of cultural understanding are some of the factors that the fuelled the fire that was PEV. More recently, the country has had to grapple with radicalisation among young people which has led to terrorist attacks. It is a no-brainer therefore that Kenya will benefit from the UNESCO  Peace Clubs especially in the schools so as to foster a peaceful generation.

The UNESCO Peace Clubs are found worldwide and aim to show the manner in which normal citizens can influence decision-makers in promoting the UNESCO ideals of peace and sustainable development. So far Kenya has been able to set up 50 peace clubs all over the country in areas such as Kisii, Meru, Bondo among others. According to KNATCOM, 100 more are in the process of being set up and with the launch of the federation, the Commission would like to set up at least 10 clubs in each of the 47 counties.

The Peace Clubs foster harmony through various means more so the five programs of UNESCO.
“These are education, natural sciences, social & human sciences and communication & information.
We encourage the clubs to engage in activities along these lines so as to promote peace. For instance the clubs can hold youth camps, debates, cultural festivals,” said Dr.Njoka.

Seeing that the country has already been setting up the peace clubs, the launch of the federation will therefore create a national framework which will enable Kenyan peace clubs to participate in forums at the global stage with other peace clubs worldwide.
“Clubs can organise face-to-face discussions with other people of all origins and exchanges of information, studies and individuals,” read Clubs for UNESCO  Practical Guide.

Those wishing to set up clubs should get in touch with KNATCOM as they are responsible for the orientation and legitimacy of the activities they engage in. When formed, the club's take UNESCO's name and therefore commit themselves to follow the general principles in the Organization's action.

For more information of how to set up a UNESCO Peace Club in your school or community, contact the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO on (254-20) 2229053/4

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