CRS and Local Bishop Promote Peace in Kenya

Bishop Korir

Rt. Rev. Cornelius Korir, Bishop of the Diocese of Eldoret in Kenya, addresses guests during the official launch of a book and video documentary that describes his peacebuilding methodology. Photo by Gilbert Namwonja/CRS

CRS Kenya recently helped to honor the Bishop of the Diocese of Eldoret, Rt. Rev. Cornelius Korir, at a ceremony introducing a book and video documentary highlighting the Bishop’s extensive peacebuilding efforts after the disputed elections in Kenya in late December 2007.

At the ceremony, speaker after speaker lauded the Bishop’s relentless pursuit of peace. For the past 17 years, Bishop Korir has been brokering peace at the community level among different communities in the diocese. His efforts became even more critical when the post-election violence erupted. Catholic Relief Services and Caritas Australia, using funding from AusAid, enabled the Bishop to increase peacebuilding activities across the diocese as part of the Rift Valley Amani (“Peace” in Swahili) project.

The Bishop explained to the audience that his peace model worked very well in resolving conflict between the people of the Marakwet and Pokot ethnic groups. Instead of holding peace conferences for elites in air-conditioned hotels, his method facilitates amani mashinani—peace at the grassroots—right where the people most affected by violence live.

Impressed by the Bishop’s considerable results, CRS documented the peacebuilding activities in both a book and video. These materials describe the step-by-step methodology used by the Diocese, which starts with person-to-person contact and then grows over time into group-to-group encounters, community-connecting projects and eventually localized peace agreements.

Fr. Dr. Pius Male, executive director of Gaba campus for the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, is one of many who plan to leverage the new peacebuilding materials. “The book is going to become one of our manuals in the short courses we offer on peace,” he noted.

Reported by Gilbert Namwonja, CRS Kenya information services unit manager.

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2 Responses to “CRS and Local Bishop Promote Peace in Kenya”

  1. Cathy L. Says:

    Where will the book and video be available for purchase?

  2. John Lindner Says:

    Cathy,
    You can download the book in pdf form here: http://crs.org/kenya/downloads/peace-grassroots.pdf
    More about the video as soon as I get the information.
    Thanks.
    – John Lindner

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