Peace, Reconciliation and Rehabilitation Initiative (PRARI) is a proactive peace-building organization that seeks to transform communities by training and equipping community leaders with peace-building tools in order to foster peace, reconciliation, and rehabilitation among the warring communities. The goal of this peace initiative is to break the cycle of violence that has been occurring in Kenya in every general election since 1992. This goal will be achieved by building a sustainable peace process with a conflict resolution capacity at the grass roots.
Being an agent of positive social change, PRARI’s peace building strategy is a bottom-up approach geared to the training of trainers at the grass roots level. This approach is designed to enhance peace and reconciliation by building of a mutual trust among the communities and by creating awareness of the negative and destructive draw-backs that comes with violence as compared with the positive and constructive benefits that comes with mutual co-existence of diverse communities.
The Beginnings of PRARI
In a Christian ethics course which is a requisite for masters of theology program at the central Baptist theological seminary, Dr. Tarris Rosell engaged Wilson Gathungu in a conversation after the latter presented a paper in justice-making assignment. The contents of the paper dwelt widely on the tribal violence that has been occurring in Kenya since the introduction of multi-party democracy in 1992. The thesis of the paper cited a moral dilemma that makes the Kenya tribal clashes complex, tracing it back to colonial days.
Dr. Rosell suggested that a professional approach in peacebuilding from a biblical perspective can be applied in conflict transformation in a bid to reconcile the warring communities in Kenya, and he challenged Wilson to undertake the project that would also become his capstone course in a Master in Theology degree. After several consultations, Dr. Rosell approached an international conflict resolution consultant and trainer in peacebuilding, Dr. Daniel Buttry, and together with Dr. Ruth Rosell and his student Wilson Gathungu, the first meeting which formed the Kenya peace Initiative was convened in august 2010 in Kansas City. This meeting was followed up by several other meetings and consultations via emails and phones and by November 2011, it became necessary for Gathungu to fly to Kenya to form a committee which would organize for a peace conference in June 2011. Mr. Gathungu flew back to Kenya on November 4, 2010 and immediately met with Clement Kariuki whom he had consulted while still in the US and had responded affirmatively to the idea of holding a peace building seminar in Molo.
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