Faces of Peace Association-Kenya (FOPA) is a youth led registered Civil Society Organization. It brings together youthful, ambitious, dedicated and peace loving Kenyans through various forums such as community work, volunteer work, networking, training, and capacity building, among others. Faces of Peace Kenya initiative leaders met for the first time during the 2010 Global Peace Festival in Nairobi and were very active in ensuring peace prevailed during the elections across the country in 2013. They have run several projects like UN4U, Youth and Police Peace Initiative, Financial Literacy Programs, ICT skills workshops, and Post 2015 Agenda and Capacity Building. The Youth and Police Peace Initiative (URAFIKI WETU USALAMA WETU) is their most memorable highlight. This program aims to reconcile and foster closer relationship between the youth and the police. It stems from the realization that the youth and the police played a very big role in the post-election violence of 2007/08, most of which was negative involvement. It aims to break the mistrust, suspicion and unfriendly relationships that have existed between the youth and police, especially in the run-up to the general elections. This program involves taking young people to the police station and establishing a platform for positive engagement with the police. The youth and police undertake various community works within the police station: cleaning of the police station, holding cells, slashing, garbage collection, and tree planting. This is followed by an open forum where the youth, police and other invited guests and stakeholders engage in constructive discussions on security and other issues affecting the youth and police. This event is climaxed by the youth brushing the police officers’ boots in a show of humility, friendship, togetherness and cooperation.
Michael Asudi Owino