Conflict Mitigation and Civil Society in Slum Communities
The informal settlements of Kiambio, Kangemi, Mukuru, Majengo, Dandora, Kibera, Mathare, and Korogocho, Babadogo and Eastleigh in Nairobi are among the areas most vulnerable to political and ethnic manipulations. These slums contain some of Kenya’s most at-risk populations due to high unemployment, cramped living spaces, and marginalization from mainstream society. Within the slums, residents are largely sub-divided by ethnic group. Ethnic divisions are exacerbated by political and non-political issues such as access to basic services, and religious and cultural differences. The opportunity for conflict is rife, threatening the peace and prosperity promised in the new constitution.
Global Communities International implemented the USAID-funded four years Kenya Tuna Uwezo program, which aimed at reducing politically motivated conflict in these settlements. To achieve this, the program strengthened social networks of community members and civil society groups to collaborate productively on community issues and address grievances. Kenya Tuna Uwezo sought to create opportunities and increase cooperative action among conflicting groups within the settlements’ slums. Global Communities, with implementing partners PeaceNet,Kituo Cha Sheria,The Youth Banner,SUPKEM and YADEN East Africa engaged the community through multiple channels to ensure broad community acceptance and to reduce resistance within and among identity groups. Simultaneously, Global Communities built the capacity of community leaders and groups to work effectively with one another across ethnic lines and developed the technical and organizational capacity of our local partners, thus ensuring sustainability of program activities. Launched in March 2012, the program life was until April 2016.