How Women in Kenya Mobilized for Peace After Surviving Violence

How Women in Kenya Mobilized for Peace After Surviving Violence

Women are rarely represented adequately at peace negotiations yet they make up half the population of any country in conflict or at war. This remains the case despite increasing global policy awareness on how women are affected by conflict and the importance of including them in peace and security processes. For instance, the UN’s landmark framework on women, peace and security reaffirms the important role women play in the prevention and resolution of conflicts.

Women’s contributions are also underscored in African peace instruments like the Maputo Protocol and Kenya’s National Action Plan.

But how do women in conflict actually engage in peacebuilding? There is considerable academic literature on the links between gender and peace but the lived experiences of women peace builders are not well captured.

Kenya's US Anti-Poaching Expert Faye Cuevas Announces 'Team Lioness', 8 Young Maasai Women Rangers + Plans For Many More

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Kenya's US Anti-Poaching Expert Faye Cuevas Announces 'Team Lioness', 8 Young Maasai Women Rangers + Plans For Many More

Team Lioness, a team of eight young Maasai women is one of Kenya’s first all-female ranger units — and the direct result of Faye’s consultations with the Masaii women leaders. Officially announced on March 6, 2019, Team Lioness joins the Olgulului Community Wildlife Rangers (OCWR) who protect wildlife across six bases and one mobile unit in OOGR through IFAW’s tenBoma, an innovative wildlife security initiative. Team Lioness is operating in this precious natural corridor created by Kenya and Tanzania under the majesty of Kilimanjaro.

“In the larger Amboseli region, out of almost 300 wildlife rangers, to my knowledge there was only one woman,” Faye explained, in introducing Team Lioness. “The need was apparent.”

 The women of team Lioness were selected based on their academic achievements and physical strength, as well as their demonstration of trustworthiness, discipline, and integrity. Typically, a Maasai girl leaves school around age 10 and have few opportunities to achieve a higher education.

“It’s very rare that Maasai women achieve a secondary education,” says Cuevas. “But all of team Lioness have the equivalent of a US high school education, and none of them have had a paying job before this. It’s breaking barriers.”

“As the first women joining the OCWR Rangers, each of the team Lioness recruits brings a new perspective and a different experience with wildlife than her male counterparts,” Faye continues. “They are important voices in protecting wildlife and reconnecting communities to the benefits of sharing land with the magnificent big cats and other wildlife that call OOGR home.”

Lupita Nyong'o Narrates Award-Winning 'My Africa' Virtual Reality Film For Elephant Conservation

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Lupita Nyong'o Narrates Award-Winning 'My Africa' Virtual Reality Film For Elephant Conservation

A virtual reality film ‘My Africa’, narrated by Oscar-winning film star Lupita Nyong’o and supported by The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, is among the winners of the annual Jackson Hole Science Media Awards.

The nine-minute film won top honors in the Virtual Reality/360° Storytelling category for “effectively using 360 technology and resources to advance an appreciation or understanding of a scientific discipline, discovery or principle.”

The film which was commissioned by Global environmental organization Conservation International which supports community-led wildlife conservation in Northern Kenya —is available in 7 languages including English, French, Mandarin, Portuguese, Samburu, Spanish and Swahili.

Directed by David Allen, the project was captured with virtual reality cameras in the Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy in Samburu County of northern Kenya at the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, the first elephant orphanage in Africa owned and operated by the local community. In a region where conservation has traditionally been pursued by outsiders, Reteti — and the surrounding conservancy organization, Northern Rangelands Trust — offer a model grounded in local leadership and traditional knowledge, explains Creative Planet Network.

LOEWE Works With Kenya's Samburu Women On Elephant Bag For The Elephant Crisis Fund

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LOEWE Works With Kenya's Samburu Women On Elephant Bag For The Elephant Crisis Fund

LOEWE and Knot On My Planet joins forces today to launch a limited edition collection of their iconic Elephant Mini Bag in tan, in support of the Elephant Crisis Fund (ECF)—a joint initiative between Save The Elephants (STE) and WCN, in partnership with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

Knot On My Planet is closely associated with supermodel Doutzen Kroes, who hasbecome one of the loudest voices in elephant conservation, whose mission is to put an end to the ivory crisis and elephant extinction. When Kroes first visited Samburu, Kenya, and interacted with the elephant population there, she said she knew she needed to take action in the form of a long-term commitment to protecting severely-threatened elephants in Africa.  

Halima Aden Returns To Kakuma Refugee Camp In Kenya, Films TEDX Talk, Becomes UNICEF Ambassador

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Halima Aden Returns To Kakuma Refugee Camp In Kenya, Films TEDX Talk, Becomes UNICEF Ambassador

Model, beauty queen and humanitarian Halima Aden's life cup is overflowing with Gaia's bounty. 

"I was the first Muslim homecoming queen at my high school, the first Somali student senator at my college, and the first hijab-wearing woman in many places, like the Miss Minnesota USA beauty pageant, the runways of Milan and New York fashion weeks, and even on the historic cover of British Vogue," she explained in a recent (but not yet posted) TED Talk she gave at Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya — another first, both for her and for TED, as it was the first talk streamed from a refugee camp in the program's history. But the visit also held a special significance for Halima, as it marked the first time she had returned to Kakuma after moving to the United States at age 7.