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Marian looking directly down the camera lens smiling. Image of her head and shoulders

Inspiring a Generation

Marian discusses why it is so important for young people to be included in peacebuilding processes.

The Real Stories of Peace: Inspiring a Generation.

Meet Marian from Kenya. She is the founder of Jenga Afrihub, a community-based, young women led organisation.

Marian smiling while walking down a road with green either side. Quote over top says "It is important that peace building begins locally because local peace builders have a deeper understanding of the root causes."

Marian became a peacebuilder in 2017 during the post-election violence that saw 24 people killed.

“My getting into peace stems from a time where I experienced violence…we saw a lot of divisive politics and people being [involved] in conflict situations.”

The post-election violence saw an increase in conflict between communities across borders. Marian saw this as an opportunity to better engage young people in politics and peacebuilding.

Including herself in places and forums that were peace related, amplifying the unique needs and challenges women and young people faced.

Marian founded a young person led organisation, called Jenga Afrihub. Highlighting the vital need for the international community to better support peacebuilding initiatives at the community level. ‘Jenga’ meaning build, strengthen and support in Swahili.

Marian talking to a friend who's back is the the camera. There is a motorbike in the distance driving down the road

Marian noticed a gap in peacebuilding, external actors were only engaging young people at the very final stages of projects. This disconnect was leaving young people feeling excluded from the peace processes.

“It is important that peacebuilding begins locally because local peacebuilders have a deeper understanding of the root causes.”

Marian advocates for greater youth ownership and engagement from those within communities. Without the inclusion of young people in these processes, they do not feel a connection to the projects, they do not see themselves in the peace. Without them, sustainable peace cannot be built.

“I work with a lot of young people and women and there’s limited representation in most of these spaces where we need to be, where we need to contribute to policies, influence conversations.”

A shot from above of Marian working at a desk writing on papers.

Marian has seen how transformative these processes can be when communities are truly included at every stage of the project, from design to implementation.

“Starting the initiative locally helps the community, community leaders, young people and women own the idea and be able to run with it. So that even once the [project ends] they’re able to continue with it in their normal day-to-day activities and it becomes part and parcel of their processes.”

For Marian, peace starts with youth engagement.

Marian talking to someone to the side of the camera. Expressively using both hands.

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