Partnerships to Address Violent Extremism: Interfaith Forums in Kenya

Arigatou International and other partners including religious communities in Kenya, with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) held interfaith workshops in North Eastern and Coast regions of Kenya. The workshops themed Community Dialogues on Peace and Social Cohesion, aimed at strengthening community’s capacity against radicalisation and violent Extremism.

Participants to the forums comprised of religious leaders, professionals, youth, women, community leaders and government officials. Among other organisations that greatly contributed to the event included: United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP), Building Resilience Against Violent, Extremism (BRAVE), the Governments of Kenya and Japan. Ninety (90) religious leaders participated in these forums; 40 from North Eastern and 50 from Coast region.

In his presentation at the coast region, the Secretary General of Arigatou International GNRC and Director Arigatou International Nairobi, Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali, explained that it is essential for the community to enforce peace and co-existence amongst each other for better development. Dr. Ali also added that community members should be taught on preventive measures against radicalisation and violent extremism so as to save the children from exploitation. Rev. Nyabera in his presentation helped the participants appreciate the dangers of not resolving conflicts before they turned violent.

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Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali, during his presentation at the Interfaith forum

At the end of the forums, participants committed to advocate for peace among all faiths and fight violent extremism.

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Rev. Fred Nyabera (middle) expounding on a point during group work session