Ahead of general elections in Kenya this August, The Salvation Army is putting in place peacemaking plans to help avoid a repeat of the violence and bloodshed that followed the 2007 elections. One of the main elements in this plan is the release of a specially written song, “Kenya, My Home” as part of a wide-ranging joint venture organized by The Salvation Army’s two Kenya territories (Kenya East and Kenya West) in partnership with International Development Services and International Emergency Services (both based at International Headquarters in London).
Set to a Kenyan beat and beginning with rhythmic sounds made by everyday items, “Kenya, My Home” uses different tribal languages and has contributions from Christians, Muslims, children who are blind, others who live on the streets, some at school and some living without families, to show through words and music that “everyone is somebody” and “Kenya is my home…I choose peace.” As part of the show of unity, the chorus was written by pupils from The Salvation Army’s school for the visually impaired in Thika, which is attended by children from all over the country.
People across Kenya and beyond are being encouraged to share the song and video on social media using the hashtag #KenyaMyHome, spreading the message that choosing peace is in everyone’s best interest.
“Everything is so well done and the children express confidently and with great passion their desire for this time in our history to be peaceful,” said Lt. Colonel Morris Vincent, Chief Secretary in the Kenya West Territory. “I express appreciation to all who partnered to make this happen. We value more than words can fully express the ongoing support from the international Salvation Army for our territory.”
In Kenya East the video was premiéred at a “pizza and praise party” for 80 people at Kabete Children’s Home. The children loved it so much that they insisted on watching it three times. Kenya West launched the song at territorial headquarters, at Kakamega Citadel and in a showing to children from the Martha’s Closet street kids project in Kakamega. It will be shown at various Red Cross coordination meetings across Kenya, where viewers will include representatives from the government and non-governmental organizations.
Other peacemaking activities include school competitions, sports activities, peace messages on car stickers and banners, sermons, Bible studies and marches.
The video for ‘Kenya, My Home’ and a documentary can be downloaded from sar.my/kenyamyhome.