Changing Fortunes in Kilifi County as Religious Leaders Engage Youths

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CVE Stakeholders (representatives of all religions, elders and women issuing join press statement) at the JCBR-Kanamai on the 14th July 2017, after the two day CVE consultative forum amongst them.

Have you ever wondered why the once volatile Kilifi South in Coast region has continued to experience peace and tranquility during this electioneering period unlike in the past?
Well, this is one of the achievements by religious leaders in the region who have continued to strategically engage over 250 youth from Kilifi county and its environs on how to resolve pertinent issues afflicting the region.
The leaders in conjunction with the Kilifi County Coordinating Committee explored ways of countering violent extremism which has been a major concern among the youth in that region.
Led by Bishop Lawrence Dena of the Anglican church Malindi diocese, the leaders also organized various activities that included peace caravans aimed at spreading the message of peaceful coexistence among locals in the run-up to last month’s general election.
The initiative was informed by the fact that for a long time, youth in the Coast region, have been a prime target by extremists for recruitment into radicalization.
The menace has seen businesses collapse, and hoteliers close shop, a scenario which has greatly impacted the economy of the region in a bad way.
The youth, due to their vulnerability, have found themselves being lured into extremism.
Politicians too have always found this vulnerable group readily available for manipulation, to cause chaos and intimidate opponents.
Last month, the NCCK-Coast region-conducted the Kilifi County Youth Amani Mtaani Forum, which brought together young adults from across the county, to dialogue and preach peace. The youth agreed to be peace ambassadors, use their local platforms and groups to advocate for security.
The programme is funded by USAID and is being implemented through the Council’s project dubbed; “Usalama Wetu, Jukumu Letu.”

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