A Chance for Peace began after I was given the chance to campaign with a Member of Parliament candidate in Maasailand, Kenya. The post-election violence that followed that election in 2007 would prove to be catastrophic. Six hundred thousand Kenyans were displaced and over 2,000 died in the scourge of politically motivated, tribally rooted violence.
Ten years later, just a few months after A Chance for Peace is completed, history threatened to repeat itself as a new Kenyan presidential election drew near. That’s when I knew – it was time for A Chance for Peace to return to the people who helped create it.
In partnership with Hope for Kibera, the Peace Made Public peace initiative was born. A Chance for Peace became a teaching tool to a diverse and divided section of Kibera’s population. At the start the film, viewers were asked if they’d maintain peace in the upcoming election. “If the election is free and fair, then yes,” they unanimously replied. But after watching the film, seeing their neighbors and fellow Kenyans upholding ideal of peace, compassion, and non-violence, they are asked again if they will commit to peace during the upcoming election. The answer was unanimous again, but this time every single one of them said YES to peace.
Then, just 4 days before the election as tensions are at a national peak, a private screening is held for the gang leaders of Kibera, including members of the Taliban. They too commit to peace. And when election day came around, the same divisive political rhetoric that displaced 600,000 people and contributed to the deaths of over 2,000 in 2007 is remarkably reduced to zero. Zero displacements. Zero deaths. And the Peace Made Public events are credited with this victory in peace-keeping.
Public screenings continue in partnership with Hope for Kibera, with plans to introduce peace events to local schools in Kibera. If you’re interested in getting involved or sponsoring an event, feel free to contact me today.