Meet our Founder
Growing up in Nairobi, I saw firsthand the opportunities education could unlock. But after the 2007 election violence, our lives were uprooted, forcing us to move to a slum. Witnessing the struggle and despair there changed my perspective. I left my engineering dreams behind and delved into social sciences. In 2012, another tense election loomed. I volunteered with a Canadian team from the Sentinel Project, researching violence in Tana River County. The poverty and vulnerability I saw there dwarfed anything I’d known in Nairobi. It highlighted the stark reality for those far from the capital’s power centre. Read More
John, the visionary founder of Amani Center CBO, brings a wealth of expertise in Project Planning and Management to the organization. With a dedicated focus on leveraging Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for peacebuilding, John has cultivated a distinguished career spanning across the East Africa region. His advocacy for the use of ICT as a catalyst for positive change has been showcased on various global platforms, both in his written works and spoken engagements. With a heart devoted to community welfare and a commitment to advancing the use of technology for the greater good, John continues to be a driving force behind Amani Center’s transformative initiatives.
Mole is a distinguished educator and the dedicated principal of Minjila Primary School, Tana River County. Hailing from a pastoralist community where traditional values often neglect the importance of girl child education, Madam Mole has emerged as a catalyst for transformative change. Fueled by her passion for education and an unwavering commitment to community service, Madam Mole has become a beacon of inspiration. She has played a pivotal role in reshaping community narratives, challenging negative cultural norms, and fostering a paradigm shift in attitudes towards women, particularly in the realm of girls’ education. As a living example of the transformative power of education, Madam Mole has tirelessly led campaigns to promote gender equality in education and leadership. Read More
Ayub is a village elder in Garsen and the chairperson of People with Disabilities in Tana River County. He brings in years of experience in community mobilization, advocacy and most importantly leaving no one behind in community development initiatives especially those who are abled differently. He is passionate about advocating for a better life for everyone, especially the disabled.
Phillip is the Chief principal of Tana-River Innovation & Youth Empowerment Centre
a public vocational training centre geared towards youth empowerment through the provision of education and life skills. He has seen the Polytechnic grow from a local community centre with no students to hundreds of alumni over the years. He is driven by the desire to see the youths in Tana River County have a second chance to better their lives through the acquisition of skills and the provision of resources to support their venturing into self-employment post-training.
Madina is a University student studying procurement and has been a community peace ambassador for the past few years. Having experienced the challenges faced by girls from pastoralist communities and rising against the odds to join a higher learning education centre, she is passionate about seeing more girls from her community embracing education and changing negative perspectives surrounding girl child education.
The Core Team
We have a diverse team of dedicated professionals and volunteers from the local communities who help us drive the mission of championing peace and development projects. Many are volunteers who have the heart of community development at heart.
1.Esther Alitwala- Curriculum development and technical advisor
2.Edna Buya – Communications Coordinator
3.William Gwiyo – Lead trainer
4.Rosemary Nyambura – Programs manager (volunteer)
5.Hancy Funana – Gender officer
6.Kula Nzomo – Youth Programs Lead
7.Melanine Akinyi- Finance Officer.
Our Key Partners
The Sentinel Project
Accurate and timely information is the lifeblood of a peaceful society. When it’s absent, misinformation and rumors can have devastating consequences, as seen in the 2012 Tana Delta violence. Witnessing this tragedy, we partnered with the Sentinel Project to empower communities with reliable information through accessible technology like SMS messaging. This collaboration birthed the Amani Center, ensuring the sustainability of the Sentinel’s efforts. Our partnership has grown, focusing on platforms like UnaHakika and collaborating with Vox Radio. Together, we’ve contributed to two peaceful elections and fostered peace and unity in Tana River. With unwavering commitment, we continue to work alongside the government and other stakeholders, using our expertise in information verification to strengthen peace-building efforts in the region. This ensures every voice is heard and communities have the tools they need to build a peaceful future.
Born from the hope of peaceful elections in 2017, Amani FM (meaning “peace” in Swahili) rose to the challenge in Tana River County, Kenya. A collaboration between Amplifying Voices UK and the Amani Center, this unique radio station aimed to heal longstanding inter-tribal tensions and foster tolerance during a critical election period.
True to its name, Amani FM empowered the local community by:
- Sparking open dialogues: Diverse voices found a platform, promoting understanding and bridging communication gaps across ethnicities.
- Celebrating shared history: Stories of unity and cultural heritage brought communities closer, reminding them of their shared journey.
- Combating misinformation: A reliable source of accurate information, especially during elections, countered rumors and instilled trust.
Feedback from Pokomo and Orma groups, gathered after the elections, revealed the positive impact:
- Increased dialogue: Conversations and exchanges across ethnic lines were fostered, breaking down barriers.
- Promoting peace: Attitudes shifted towards reconciliation and peaceful coexistence.
- Reliable information: Listeners valued Amani FM as their trusted source of news and updates.
Recognizing the potential of this community-driven approach, the partnership evolved. Kijiji Connect, a local ICT hub, was launched to equip young people with digital skills while promoting digital peacebuilding initiatives.
Amani FM’s story is one of collaboration, innovation, and community empowerment. From bridging divides to equipping future generations, it continues to pave the way for a more peaceful and connected Tana River County.