Why Civic Education? (March 8, by Rachel)

July 14, 2011

In August, 2010, Kenyans voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new constitution. The constitution marks a step forward for many, but also brings with it contentious and easily misunderstood issues that may cause tensions, and subject to manipulation by politicians. In Kasarani, the group firmly believes in the importance of educating the community about the new constitution proactively, specifically before electoral campaigns begin. By educating proactively instead of reactively, they believe they have the best chance of preventing manipulation and tension arising from these issues. Community knowledge and understanding of the new constitution and its contentious issues is key to preventing tensions that arise from misunderstandings or manipulation.

As such, we have scheduled a “Training of Trainers” with Sisi ni Amani Kenya board member Damaris Lukwo, a Kenyan lawyer specializing in the new constitution, to create a 3-month SMS-based civic education curriculum for the Kasarani area. The training will bring together the understanding of triggers of conflict that the local leadership has and the legal knowledge of Damaris to create a community-specific civic education program.