Changamka Na Sanaa: Kisumu Youth Choose Peace

PAWA 254 last week hosted an Artistic Campaign dubbed; Changamka Na Sanaa in Kisumu County to engage with young people and women to urge them to come out to vote and maintain peace throughout the electoral process.

A host of neighborhoods within the city of Kisumu – viz: Kondele, Obunga, Nyalenda and the bordertown of Muhoroni (neighbors to the Nandi) have always been flagged as danger zones during these times in the greater Kisumu County and would normally experience sporadic cases of violence during the major electoral process happening in the country.

Chamgamka Na Sanaa
Wall painted at Muhoroni Township Primary School

Thus, this is the sole reason that PAWA254 has identified Kisumu County as one of the areas to be on the radar on, in case violence would erupt.

PAWA254 through the Changamka Na Sanaa inititiative are leveragging on the catalytic power of art to educate the youth on democracy and the importance of active participation in the electoral process. This way, the youth would shun violent undertakings.

Through Graffiti, Spoken Word, Music and Dance, artists will inspire and inform the vibrancy and critical role that women and young people have in the growth and development of the society. Inclusive of preaching peace and cohesion during this electoral period. In addition, there will also be a Pledge Wall where young people will imprint their handprints as a pledge to vote and maintain peace.

Kisumu artists coverge at Kondele to kickstart the Changamka Na Sanaa campaign.

A pledge wall and graffiti was done in Kondele on Tuesday 20th June at the Kondele market. A graffiti installation with music, spoken word and dance was also done in Nyalenda the following day Wednesday, 21st June at the Pand Pieri Primary School. And on Thursday, 22nd June another graffiti installation with music, spoken word and dance was also installed in Muhoroni at the Muhoroni Township Primary School.

Kondele has always been the heart of major violence in the past elections cycles. This is now going to change.

In 2007 it experienced the darkest time in Kisumu, with various buildings gutted down, and numerous local residents losing their lives in the ensuing fiascos.

Changamka Na Sanaa
A pledge wall done earlier Tuesday at Nightingale Hospital along the Kondele-Kibos Road

A community forum to further the campaign discussions was also held at the YMCA Kisumu on Wednesday, this brought in tens of youths within the city to deliberate with each other on violence, good governance and the upcoming elections.

Changamka Na Sanaa
Pupils admire and walk along the painted wall at Pand Pieri Primary School, Kisumu

Changamka na Sanaa would be used to galvanize, inspire and connect Kenyan youth to enable them to vote and engage positively and meaningfully during the electoral process.

Already, through local partners, PAWA has empowered mobilizers who are engaging with young people in these locations.

“Art is a powerful tool that transforms lives and leaves lasting impressions on everyone who engages with them. We hope to leave a mark on Kenyan voters especially women and young people as they undertake their civic duty to vote on August 8th, 2017”, remarked PAWA 254 Acting Executive Director Lynnette Micheni.

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