By Fidel Castro
Over 600 Kilometers were covered, with 12 counties across Kenya visited in 21 days, full of sweat, hunger, thirst, pain, joy, and finally fulfilment. This is the tail of the 1200 peace ambassadors who began their journey on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, preaching peace from Kakamega and culminating it with the final stretch at Sarakasi Dome in Nairobi.
Despite the long trek having a myriad of challenges and a couple of humbling moments, the final stretch was home. The young Kenyas led by a team of 5, took up a rigorous campaign in such a demanding political season.
According to Yvonne Murugi, one of the members of the Peace Ambassadors Kenya, completion of the peace walk was made possible by the immense support they got from well-wishers and partnering organizations may it be in-kind, financial, or motivation.
“Completing 600KM huge milestone for all peace champions across the country. Finishing the last mile was made possible by donations, support, d goodwill from Kenyans. We were highly motivated by the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower, “We seek peace, knowing that peace is the climate of freedom,” said Murugi.
Murugi further stated that with the fast-approaching general elections, a lot is expected from every citizen in the realization of the county having peaceful elections.
“Peace is an invaluable asset, it can only be guaranteed by everyone playing their role. As peace ambassadors, we are doing our part of spreading the peace word across the nation. As a law-abiding citizen do your part,” added Murugi.
Speaking during the awarding of the medals at Sarakasi Dome, Dr. Vincent Makokha, Director, Chaplaincy Counselling Psycho-Social Support, Kenya National Police Service assured the youth of their support as they continue spreading the message of peace.
“As the National Police Service Kenya, we are proud of you. To fellow officers in the service, thank you for supporting young people throughout the entire stretch of the long walk by ensuring their security is taken care of to complete this noble cause,” said Dr. Makokha adding “We appreciate the great gesture from the church as well, your support contributed immensely to ensuring the young people are motivated to complete the tough walk.”
He also expressed the need for the mainstream media to be present in such campaigns. “My call to the media is to tell the world of the great things the young people are doing. Stop showing the negative aspect only. This is one of the greatest ventures of this year by the youth. The youth is a huge investment in this County,” he lamented.
Prof Joseph Galgalo, Bishop, Anglican Church of Kenya, lauded the efforts put in place by the young generation in spreading the message of peace, contrary to the norm of young people being commonly known for instigating and causing violence.
“There are people who are giving hope, standing for peace and saying things can be different, things can be better and they have come together, particularly this group Peace ambassador of Kenya, to do several activities to sensitize the youth not to be used, and not to cause in conflict or violence Peace and unity in their communities,” said Prof. Galgalo.
While receiving the peace walk flag from the peace ambassadors, Jacob Ouma, Deputy County Commissioner, Starehe reminded the audience of the terrible ordeal Kenyans find themselves in after every five years. The perilous and gory times when tribal conflicts and killings are usually on the rise and the pain of those times. He pleaded with everyone to carry the message of peace to their respective neighborhoods.
“We have a beautiful nation, only a fool can break down and distort such a beauty. We all have a stake in this nation and must protect it jealously. No one should distance themself from this venture. Let us hold our hands together and push to the end. When we attain a peaceful environment all of us will be at peace. ,” the DCC concluded.