Forgiveness & Reconciliation

Hellen Makoe, resident and volunteer counsellor in Cheptais is one of 22 Kenyan women located throughout the Rift Valley region participating in the 3 year Forgiveness and Reconciliation programme offered by NGO Feminenza.

The particpants, all from different backgrounds and tribes, focus on peace-building within their lcoal community and work or volunteer in the capacity as leader or counsellor. They are all deeply concerned about the future of Kenya.

Forgiveness and reconciliation is a process, one of the steps towards this is specialised training in overcoming fears. Feminenza has devised a workshop called 'Field of Fears' as part of the programme, which was offered to a selection of young women undergoing trauma counselling through Hellen. Some of the effects have been astounding, particularly the documented accounts of Jackline, Selphine and Betty.

It is a massive task to break the cycle of violence and revenge in a country where people are vulnerable to corruption and civil war. In Kenya the new gender issues constitution was released in 2010 declaring women must be represented at least 30% in major decision-making processes and the public service sector. In a country where women have always been under-represented, this breakthrough provides opportunity to instigate effective long-term change and a new breed of leadership for the future.

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