PEACE FROM THE SOIL – Kenia

„Taking care of the soil means taking care of myself [and] I will build
peaceinside me and get healing.”

Emmanuel Karisa Baya, PFTS



Peace from the Soil (PFTS) is a non-partisan grassroots community group formed after the 2017 general elections in Kilifi County, Kenya – a region characterized by extreme poverty and low levels of formal education.

What is our vision?

We envision breaking the vicious circle of deforestation and poverty, through planting trees and re-foresting in our region. Making our land green again, will counteract soil erosion and improve rainfall, soil quality and harvest yields. We believe that food security in the place of poverty paves the way for peaceful, shared coexistence.

We envision securing peace in our region through two related pathways: communal, rural development and civic education. On our first path, we focus on poverty reduction and the creation of economic opportunity. On our second we promote civic education and political literacy. At root, we believe that peace comes from the soil – this is reflected in our name: Peace from the Soil and our approach of participatory project design in harmony with nature’s resources!

What is our mission?

The mission of Peace from the Soil is to promote political and economic change in this region. This includes empowering citizens economically and making them more aware of their democratic rights. We work to raise citizens awareness of widespread electoral mal-practice and increase their ability to make better choices.

Peace from the Soil works at various levels to implement the vision of peace through community-based rural development and civic education:

Planting

Peace from the Soil organize planting campaigns for local farmers who maintain responsibility to care for the trees, enabling them to survive periods of drought.

Initially, seedlings were donated by individual farmers who were involved. Now we are looking for supporters to establish a tree nursery to select and grow seedlings for extensive and sustainable planting in the region. This will create jobs and a pool of knowledge about cultivation, planting and arboriculture techniques that can be accessed by all those involved. A suitable site has already been leased.

So, by donating to our organisation, you contribute to the global ecosystem and help to secure the livelihood of the planters!

Civic Education

Peace from the Soil began civic education following the General Elections 2017, and our awareness of the damages that systemic electoral mal-practice inflicts our community. Our first task was to understand the beliefs and attitudes of people in our community towards democracy and their voting behaviour. We commissioned the Munich research institute QMR to carry out a qualitative social research study „Concepts of Democracy in Rural Kenya“ (link report). Accompanied by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Nairobi, the training program for a process-oriented Democracy Laboratory is now being developed. We intend to learn from each other and with each other. We are also committed to strengthening the role of women and youth as „peace-builders“ in the community.

Crisis intervention

„Seeds meet Needs“ Our community faces a number of acute challenges, a situation exacerbated by the current Covid-19 crisis and associated lockdown. Through acting practically now we can mitigate the life-threatening social and economic impact of the current crisis. Thanks to private donors we are able to distribute seeds to needy families in Marafa Ward. We combine seed distribution with accessible and practical public health advice related to the pandemic.

Rural wisdom academy

How can we bridge traditional practices and the demands on responsible voters* in modern Kenya? What can institutional democracy learn from lived social structures? And how can we help to transform dis-functional power structures of power? These ongoing research questions accompany us in our work. We welcome lively exchange with other initiatives in order to learn, develop and exchange!

Funding

Our projects are mainly funded through donations, so your support enables us to do more! From the ubiquitous „octopus corruption“, which breaks down our social structures and harms everyone, grows the „flower of communication“. We as Peace from the Soil Grassroots Citizens‘ Initiative are driving the development of our region, which is facing great challenges – become our partner!

Funding tree-planting

To make a donation, please contact
Furaha Patrick Hare (Kenya) kidon_hare@yahoo.de (in English, Giriama, Swahili or German)
or Astrid Kunert (Germany) astrid.kunert@qmr.de (in English, German or Italian)

We welcome questions, suggestions and exchange!

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!

Peace from the Soil