Success Stories


Empowering Communities Through Peacebuilding and Interfaith Dialogue

Rev. Maria Menego

Rev. Maria Menego is a community mobilizer and a peace advocate from Mombasa, Kenya. She serves as the GNRC Kenya Secretary. Her transformative journey began when she became a beneficiary of the Building Family Resilience Program, a collaborative initiative launched in 2019 by Arigatou International and the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF). The program empowered and equipped women and girls in Kisauni Constituency, in Mombasa County, with skills and knowledge to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism and other forms of violence among children. 

Rev. Maria underwent a three-day capacity-building workshop on the role of faith leaders in Preventing Violent Extremism, equipping her with the knowledge and skills necessary to play a meaningful role in her community on peacebuilding. Since then, she has emerged as a tireless champion for peacebuilding initiatives.  As the secretary for GNRC Kenya, she efficiently coordinates peacebuilding activities in Mombasa County, leveraging her extensive experience to mentor and empower other women in the region.

In her role as a faith leader, Rev. Maria actively fosters interfaith dialogue, addressing community-level challenges such as early marriages, gender-based violence, and violent extremism. Together with other Interfaith women in Mombasa, they have reached more than 10,000 school-going children for sensitization forums on peacebuilding.

Adding another layer to her remarkable journey, Rev. Maria was recently selected to attend the first module of the Sixth Annual and Third International Peace Fellowship, organized by the Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace (COFP) in Nigeria. COFP is a one-year Fellowship Program that prepares, equips, inspires, and engages religious and community leaders from diverse faiths and cultural backgrounds, academicians, media personnel, and peace actors with skills in interfaith dialogue, conflict transformation, leadership, and meditation.

The goal of the Fellowship Program aligns with Rev Maria’s mission: to build the capacity to counter violence, enhance freedom of religion or belief, bridge community divides, and foster a culture of peace. This transformative initiative, designed and implemented in collaboration with grassroots actors, captures their opinions, priorities, and experiences in collectively transforming communities. 

Rev. Maria Menego is a shining example of the positive impact that collaborative, community-focused programs can have on individuals and communities.

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