New Program in Narok! Research & Grassroots Forums

March 15, 2012

After SNA-K’s Narok Chapter successfully implemented an educational forum to address land issues in Narok at a key hot spot for conflict, Kibilat, we received positive feedback and requests for replication from individuals all over Narok. People felt that the forum helped them to understand key information about land issues. Specifically, the forum helped participants understand double leasing, a phenomenon in which two individuals are sold the same plot of land. Often, individuals believe others are grabbing their land when there is really double leasing (individuals have been sold the same plot of land, and often both have been tricked by a third party). This causes a great deal of conflict in the area, especially when rumors spread about specific instances of double leasing but exaggerate conflict between individuals into conflict between ethnic communities.

After the positive response from the initial forum, SNA-K sought support to replicate this forum in other parts of Narok, and to implement similar forums to address the relationship between the spread of rumors and conflict. In mid-February, SNA-K officially received support from USAID-OTI to implement this project, complete with new elements of extensive research on land issues throughout Narok, focus groups with key community leaders to create conflict-monitoring mechanisms using SMS, and a radio programs element.

Pastor Wilson Mosonik interviews community members during land research

The project has begun with three weeks of research conducted by ten local researchers in Narok North, Narok South, and Transmara. The researchers have interviewed stakeholders ranging from government land administration institutions, to individuals using these institutions, to local conflict resolution mechanisms and community elders.

This research will inform a series of grassroots forums focused on double leasing and rumors. The format of open-air forums provide a space for community members to come together in a safe space across ethnic lines to discuss the issues that affect them in a moderated format and in the presence of experts on the subjects that they discuss. By combining local perspectives and airing of issues with legal and educational information, SNA-K takes dialogue a step further by enabling community members to take next steps in addressing their issues.

A total of twelve forums will be held, six each on double leasing and rumor monitoring. Forums on double leasing will be held in Mulot, Ololulunga, Nkareta, Noroosura, Transmara, and Mau- Tipis. Forums on rumors will be held in London (Narok Town), Majengo (Narok Town), Ololulunga Town, Mulot Center, Olmekeinyu (Mau Forest Area), and Sogoo. Rumor forums will be planned to coincide with market days and to happen near to market places to have the largest audiences possible.

After these forums, SNA-K will hold focus groups with key community stakeholders to design a conflict monitoring mechanisms based on information gathered about land conflict and rumors. SNA-K will also work with community radio stations to have two shows discussing the most important issues that came up in forums, and will invite guest speakers to discuss how good leadership and policies can help address these issues.

Read the 3-page concept note on this program here!


Narok Teambuilding

February 16, 2012

This blog post is by Caleb Njoroge, SNA-K Intern

A Description of the Day

The SNA-K Narok Team, Transmara Representatives, and Nairobi staff met in Narok Town, and boarded a matatu. The team travelled together to Ilariak grounds, an campground on the way to the Maasai Mara.

The first session was led by Narok’s DPC (District Peace Commissioner), Joseph Pareiyio, and the members got to introduce themselves so as to get acquainted with each other. After the introductions, members got to chat over a cup of tea. The second session was part briefing and part training. Jackie briefed the team on SNA-K’s activities and outlined the roles of the volunteers and how they are expected to conduct themselves during the outreach and events by SNA-K.

Volunteers play introductory games

Volunteers play "getting-to-know-you" game

Mr. Pareiyio took over the session and discussed how teamwork is essential in achieving organizational goals. His talk was tailor-made to fit the SNA-K setting that involves going for outreach and holding public events. This was an insightful session for the members as they asked many questions and participated fully during the discussion. “When one person wins in a team, the entire team wins and when one person looses in a team, then the entire team loses.” “If you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go with a group/team.” These were some of the concepts that were expounded by Mr. Pareiyio

After a short break, Mr. Pareiyio concluded the morning session by speaking about communication and  the role it plays in any organization and in any team. He noted that communication is the fabric that sustains and maintains any successful team and without it chaos ensues. The team played several games and looked at several examples about how to ensure effective communication, and the potential impacts of ineffective communication within a team.

After the session with Mr.Pareiyio, the team from Transmara was asked to pin point the volatile areas that they thought would benefit from SNA-K’s work. Various hotspots were noted and the reasons for conflict in those hot spots were discussed so as to understand root causes of conflict and the areas in which SNA-K’s approach could be most effective.

The team broke for lunch and was able to bond some more over the lunch session, since eating together is also a form of bonding. After lunch the afternoon session involved games and team sports. The games were to show the members how well they know each other and how well they can function as a team under pressure. It was fun and exciting as members competed against each other in different teams. Members learned how to work with each other to achieve great results in the games. The games centered on communication and trust.

Human Knot

Volunteers work to untangle their "human knot." Communication is key!

The games and sports session concluded the day’s main activities as the team broke off to have a cup of evening tea. The team was excited about spending time together, and even began to propose and plan a team camping trip.

The day had been successful from the beginning and the members were all delighted to have attended and learned all about teambuilding. Members said that they were fully equipped to conduct the upcoming events and outreaches.

Lessons Learnt

Teamwork is the key to any successful organization because it carries with it the elements of success. Mr. Pareiyio explained to the members that for peace to be sustained in the country, the people of Kenya must work together and working together is another term for teamwork. Kenya is made up of 43 different tribes that have different cultures and practices. This makes it hard to come to an understanding, especially when utilization of natural resources come into play e.g. rivers, land, springs etc. This, however, could be solved if the parties involved came together and worked together to reach a solution because two heads are better than one and different tribes coming together to solve a problem makes it much easier to reach a solution than when they try solving a problem as two separate groups.

A team is made up of different people and this was shown clearly from the introductions that were made. Mr. Pareiyio made us realize that as much as we are working together, we are all different people with different names, characteristics, interests, ages etc. These differences are very important in a functioning team because in a winning team you will find everyone has a different set of skills that he/she uses to the best of their abilities to enable the team to function well. If all the people/members of a team had the same set of skills and no diversity, the team would be limited to only what these people know. Diversity of people and their backgrounds makes the team more flexible and diverse, giving it the ability to handle different tasks and solve multiple problems effectively.

Spreading peace and maintaining peace involve the very essence of teamwork because when there is no teamwork in any group or society then peace is threatened since everyone does what they think is best for themselves and are thus likely to offend others and destroy any peace building that might be going on. A winning team, or a successful team, teaches others who observe it so many things. One need not to explain to people what the team is doing right because it’s clearly visible when a group of individuals come together and work in synch – the results can be huge. This is to say that before we preach peace, we must be at peace with each other so that we can function as a team even when we are in different areas.

Another critical area in teamwork that was mentioned was open and clear communication. This was stated as the glue or the fiber that holds a team together and keeps it from falling apart. Members who share openly with each other about different aspects of the team are able to encourage each other to achieve any set goals. Hiding or not addressing any issues concerning the team only serves to damage the relationship of the team members which in turn ends up crippling the team because someone might have a solution to a problem but isn’t comfortable enough to share it due to one reason or the other.

Working as a team has many benefits, and as peacemakers, the number one benefit for us is to spread peace and maintain peace, as this is our goal. Different cultures, races, tribes, personalities, genders and age groups working together on a common goal, translates to teamwork which in turn for us translates into peace.

The SNA-K Narok Team!

The SNA-K Narok Team!

Mulot Hot Spots Analysis

August 16, 2011

On August 9th, the SNA-K Narok Chapter held its third community forum to analyze its hot spots analysis report for the Narok area and gain insights from local community leaders. The first two forums took place in Ololulunga and Narok Town respectively, and the third meeting in Mulot. The meetings all had similar formats, beginning with introductions, a discussion of SNA-K’s work in the area, and presentation and feedback on the hot spots analysis written by the Narok Chapter. Meetings were well attended in all areas and brought a wealth of information to SNA-K’s existing analysis as well as added buy-in within various communities.

Most recently, in Mulot, the meeting focused mainly on land  issues and political incitement, rumors, and misinformation that was spread during previous episodes of violence. The group added additional areas of concern to the original analysis, and also provided insight into different stereotypes and beliefs between groups that contribute to hostility. In Ololulunga, the main issues were land and cattle rustling, while in Narok Town issues centered upon ownership of business and land within Town and animosity between groups based on these tensions.

In all areas, community members made requests that the SNA-K team expand to cover additional areas, and many community members invited the team to come to their particular community. Specifically, attendees of the Mulot forum came from as far as the Transmara border and requested that SNA-K bring its programming to their area. While resources limit expansion at present, these analyses will contribute not only to planning of conflict early warning and response systems for specific areas, but also towards prioritizing areas for expansion and areas that serve as central points of violence and merit more intensive monitoring.