By Emiko Perea
East Africa Peace Cultural Expo: Transforming A Culture Of Conflict Into A Culture Of Peace
Peace and Cultural Heritage Alliance, University of Nairobi Peace Student’s Association, Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Tanzania, Global Peace Foundation Kenya, Mwanamke na Uongozi, and Voice of Women Tanzania organized the East African Cultural Expo April 19-20 at Dar es Salaam and Morogoro, Tanzania. Delegates from East Africa and government officials from the Ubungo constituency attended the expo with a shared desire to transform the current climate into a global culture of peace. The East Africa TV Station covered the events live, exhibiting innovative discussions of peace.
The first day was held at Tunu social hall in Morogoro, where Director of Voice of Women Tanzania, Dismas Nyaki, welcomed representatives and leaders from across the community to present on topics ranging from values-based peacebuilding, women leadership, and youth involvement to health and security. Robin Wanyoike acted as the MC for the conference. Coordinators included Isaac Mwangi, Managing Director for the Peace and Cultural Heritage Alliance, and representatives from Voice of Women Tanzania: Christian Shilingo and Joseph Yohana Kilumile. Multiple speakers addressed topics about peace: Samuel Budoi spoke about creating a culture of peace; Samuel Oduor from the Stand Up for It initiative spoke on youth, peace, and security; Gerishom Okonda expanded on value-based peacebuilding; Shamirah Mshangama from Mwanamke na Uongozi Organization highlighted women in leadership with Leila Mirinya from Peace and Cultural Heritage Alliance and Dorah Michael Mushi; Solomon Zakayo contributed his expertise on youth in entrepreneurship.
The following day, expo participants took part in peace-based games at the Kijiji cha Makumbusho and Coco beach. The games brought the youth together and gave them valuable experience in understanding the importance of peace in bringing forth stability and security. By the end of the event, participants came to the mutual realization that to maintain the East African region, the people needed to ensure sustainable peace for the area.
Moral Leadership Training at Tanzania Research and Career Development Institute
As an extension of the “Vijana Na Amani” (Youth and Peace) project, on May 29, GPF Tanzania provided leadership training for youth at Tanzania Research and Career Development Institute (TRACDI) in the Dodoma Region. More than forty youth were given the opportunity to share their views during the moral leadership training led by Benson Daud (Program Assistant, GPF). Benson introduced the Global Peace Foundation to participants and explained the meaning of moral leadership. Quoting Living Stone, He defined leadership as “the quality to awaken in others the desire to follow a common objective.”
“Moral leader is someone who leads to serve,” Benson said. “He or she could be someone who leads through persuasion, motivation, self-awareness, and the most important of all: serving people. What distinguishes them from ordinary leaders is that these kinds of leaders prioritize other people’s needs.” Benson said that moral leadership requires a vision of peace and justice for the entire human family. And, this vision of global peace and justice will reap benefits beyond national borders. He stressed that “Moral leadership is a leadership that is directed by respect for ethical beliefs and values and for the dignity and rights of others.” He encouraged the youth to respect each other’s beliefs because we are all essentially “One Family Under God,” sharing equal value as members of the community, society, and nation.
GPF Tanzania’s ongoing projects are creating unique environments for participants to take ownership of creating peace in the world through developing their moral leadership and integrity.