CARE Staff in Nairobi Unite Before Kenyan General Elections

    Respect, Integrity, Commitment and Excellence. The core values of CARE, each representing a ?mock? political party, to enact a mock Kenyan election.

    This was just one of the many events that took place on the sunny afternoon of Thursday, 21st February at the CARE East and Central Africa Regional Management Unit offices in Nairobi, Kenya, in an effort to bring together staff of CARE Kenya, CARE Somalia and the Regional Management Unit in a show of unity ahead of the 4th March Kenyan General elections. The 2007/2008 elections were marred by ethnic tensions in the country that led to violence and chaos. Learning from that, and promising to never return to those dark pages of history again, Kenyans moved forward with peace campaigns in all forms, from social media waves to items in supermarkets being packaged in Kenyan flag colours.

    CARE joined in this peace effort by setting aside an afternoon where staff could come together, interact, and enjoy a line-up of activities including the mock debate and a performance by Sarakasi dancers, which entailed a string of dances aptly named, Migration , telling the story of how communities are displaced by conflicts. This was followed by the mock presidential debate, where ?presidential candidates? each represented one of the four CARE core values. Candidates were chosen from across the CARE family in Nairobi, and included a female candidate. The presidential debate was a lively affair, eliciting good laughs from all staff, while at the same time, teaching and reminding staff of the need to choose leaders based on their potentials and competencies rather than simply their ethnic affiliations.

    The debate ended in a vote by staff, as the entire garden erupted in laughter and humorous chaos as people lined up behind their favourite candidate. The organizers of the event were quite pleased with the fact that staff did not ?vote? for their favourite leader based on their office affiliations ? expectations were high that people would choose those who worked with them in their offices. CARE Kenya offices are separate from the CARE Somalia and Regional Unit offices, so this was definitely a great way to bring staff across the organization together!

    The afternoon ended with a note to all to stay calm, stay safe, and remember to choose leaders wisely at the elections. Continuing on this patriotism and unity, the offices each sung the Kenyan National Anthem in their offices a week later on 28th February, joining a country-wide campaign - One Nation, One People, One Anthem. A video of the staff singing the anthem can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1AkBIRDk4M 

    We are happy to report, after all this, that CARE staff in Kenya show their commitment to being unified as one family, despite the political environment in the country, as each continues to Defend Dignity and Fight Poverty!

     


     

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