Peace building among the urban poor of mathare informal settlement in Nairobi County: The Interventions of the Anglican Church of Kenya, Diocese of Nairobi 1999-2009
Kariuki, Jonathan Kabiru
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The study sought to investigate the role of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) in peace-building in Mathare Informal Settlement (MIS), Nairobi County. The ACK mandate in peace building is contained in the Provincial Synod resolutions of 1982. The synod resolved to spearhead peace-building in Kenya and fight evils that hamper cohesion in the society. ACK‟s commitment to peace and conflict resolution is widespread and clearly articulated in the Provincial Strategic Plan adopted in September 2000. Despite the ACK peace building mandate MIS had continually suffered adversely from conflicts linked to political differences, scramble for resources, militia groupings, illegal economic activities and negative ethnicity, among others. The study was based on the premise that ACK play an important role in peace-building and as such examined the role the ACK had played in peace building especially with the establishment of the Justice and Peace commission (JPC). This study was guided by the biblical paradigm of peace and tranquility that underscores harmony in any given community. Data for the study was drawn from both primary and secondary sources. Field research was carried out in MIS by use of self-administered questionnaires, focus group discussions (FGDs) and oral interviews (OIs). In this study, the researcher employed purposive sampling and snow ball methods to select respondents. The researcher targeted a sample size of 128. Qualitative method of data analysis was used; data was synthesized thematically according to the study objectives and envisaged chapters. The study revealed multiple forms and causes of conflict in MIS. It also indicated that conflicts adversely affect MIS and particularly women and children. The study also established that ACK played a key role in peace building in MIS. The study indicated that re-organization of ACK‟s JPC as a fully-fledged department with adequate staffing would help address the perennial conflicts in MIS. JPC would help in developing peace building strategies, policies, monitoring peace processes and evaluation. The study has concluded that the ACK is capable of cascading peace in MIS owing to her high presence and large membership in MIS. The position of the church in the society as a trusted local institution, source of hope, reconciliation, love and forgiveness enhances her mission in peace building.