Earlier this week, on Mandela Day, we shared the quote “We owe our children – the most vulnerable citizens in any society – a life free from violence and fear.”
With the election coming up soon, this seems like a good message to share.
In our recent survey, we collected responses from 590 people with 196 of these being under 18 years of age. The differences in results of those under and over 18 years show that as adults we need to be listening to the concerns of children and trying to reassure them.
One of the questions we asked was whether the election will be peaceful. While 73% of adults replied YES, only 38% of children gave the same response. When asked how they feel about the election, 59% of children are worried or scared. Interestingly, 43% of adults are also worried or scared, despite believing that the election will pass peacefully.
One thing that everyone had similar views on was the power people have to change a country through their vote. The overall result was that 71% said “A lot” and the minority vote for both adults and children was “None”.
Another interesting question we asked was what issues people hope will change because of the election. Many children said that they hope that people will just accept the results of the election and move on. Peace, education and food prices/security were also high on the children’s agenda whereas the top items for adults were corruption, tribalism and jobs.
If you are a parent, teacher or older sibling…please be inspired by these results and talk to the children around you. Find out how they are feeling about the ongoing campaigns and the election and see if you can help answer concerns that they may have.
Let’s keep the conversations going! #SimamiaPeace
At SDG, one of our target groups is Public Officers including the police. With the election approaching, we believe it is important to hear from members of the police to give them a platform to share their thoughts.
We start with an Administration Police Officer from Nairobi.
As a police officer, what are the biggest challenges you think you will face during campaign season and the election?
Hate speech taking the lead in most campaign related issues.
How does your job impact on your family? Are they more fearful for your safety during election time?
My family is fearful for my safety since my working area has been marked a hotspot area. I also have minimal time to spend with my family.
What do you think of the public’s attitude towards the police?
There is a negative attitude towards the police. We are on the fore front to undertake campaigns on "Askari ni wanadamu." We are fathers and mothers, daughters and sons, grandfathers and grandmothers, nephews and nieces and above all human beings just like you.
What will a typical working day be like for you in the run up to the election? How many hours a day are you likely to have to work?
We will be working for 24 hours. We actually work all day and all night long. It's even hectic because you can't even get time to rest at times.
What message do you have for people as they prepare to vote?
Peace is all we need. Elections will come and go and we need to stand strong and build our nation. No matter who wins the election, this great country needs each one of us. Tumeishi kama majirani, Tarehe 8 isitutenganishe.
Do you get to vote?
Most of the time we do not vote since you are not deployed to your working station.
What are some of the ways you would advise other parents to educate their children on the importance of peaceful voting?
It is important to carry out effective campaigns even to children. They will be the future voters and how we bring them up matters. Let us show them the right direction when it comes to voting.
As we ask you to #SimamiaPeace, we want to help you understand the consequences of the alternative, especially for children. Josephine was just 7 years old during the post election violence of 2007/8. Here she shares her family's story....
"My family and I used to live in Limuru but my parents separated because of domestic issues as my father was an alcoholic. At the time of the election in 2007, people from other ethnic communities were chased out from Limuru and we were among those who ran away. My mother’s friend took us to Kibera where he hosted us for some time until my mother met Vincent who introduced her to (Tin Roof Foundation’s partner) Vision Africa.
The 2007-08 post-election violence affected my brothers and I because we were separated from our older siblings who remained behind with our father. We were afraid because everywhere people were fighting and we didn’t have any food. My mother had to struggle for us to get food and a place to sleep.
The impact that we felt after the separation of our family is that we knew we could not see our father and our sister again and we do not understand why.
For this coming election, people think there will be violence in different places like Kibera where we live if it is not going to be free and fair. There has been presence of police which causes fear and some people are planning to move out of Kibera for fear of violence during election time. I fear that if this coming election is not going to be free and fair then violence will be all over the country.
I also fear of the corrupt leaders who will be the cause of violence and disunity in the country. I hope there will be peace during this time of campaign, on election day and after the election so that the country can move forward with the new government.
My message to the older people who are going to vote this year is that they should be leading in preaching peace and unity among the different communities. I would urge everyone not to think that their community is better than the others but they should come together and live like brothers and sisters knowing that Kenya is bigger than our politicians who want to mislead us and it is also bigger than the upcoming election."
POST BY JOSEPHINE, 16 YEARS
Hello, my name is Shiru and I am really happy that we're just about to go into elections, to elect leaders whom we feel are competent and ready to put our best interest at heart.
Having said that, I feel that it is important that we as SDG run the #SimamiaPeace campaign to remind people who we are, and how far we've come. That we're one country, one community, one nation, one tribe (the Kenyan Tribe) and that we should treat each other with love and respect!
Let us be responsible for one another and protect future generations!! #SimamiaPeace
Post by Grace Munyi, SDG Team
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