Kenya Red Cross at the Lamu Cultural Festival
The Lamu Cultural festival is an annual celebration marked in November. The week- long celebration that brings people cross Kenya and the world celebrates the culture, beliefs and traditions of the Lamu Community.
Lamu County is located in the Northern Coast of Kenya, it boarders Tana River County in the Southwest, Garisa County to the North and Republic of Somalia to the northeast and the Indian Ocean to the South.
This year’s celebrations was anchored on four key objectives: Building awareness and appreciation of Lamu’s rich and unique culture and environment potential. Fostering peace and co- existence. Fostering Peace and community spirit. Nurturing creativity in the county by providing a “stage” to showcase talents inherent in the local communities particularly youth, women and people with disabilities.
The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) through the project: Conflict Prevention Peace and Economic Opportunities for the youth in Kenya took part in this year’s celebration anchored on the objective of fostering peace and community spirit and nurturing creativity by providing a platform for youth, women and person’s with disability to showcase their skills and talent.
This is a project funded by the European Union and is implemented under a consortium that includes three other development partners: The Royal United Service Institute (RUSI), the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
Aside from other cultural activities like; the donkey race, traditional dances, the Casa/Dhow race is one of the most anticipated component of the event that attracts mainly young people. This year’s Casa/Dhow race was sponsored by the consortium partners.
This year’s Casa/Dhow race attracted 17 sails with competing for the top three places. The sailors displayed great skills and tactics through the use of the traditional sails. Each sail had 5 to 10 sailors on board with the marine safety team in Lamu deployed -during the race, to ensure emergency cases are effectively handled.
While the Cultural festival was taking place at the Island, the #WithYouth4Youth van also referred to as “Nganya” was conducting dialogues at the mainland between Mokowe and Hindi. The van is a component of the project under KRCS that is used to raise awareness and promote key messages on social cohesion and peace building.
Conflict Prevention Peace and Economic Opportunities for the Youth in Kenya focuses on empowering youth to grow into economic and social actors with their own views. It supports young people with acquiring technical, life and business skills required by the job market, entrepreneurship development and life skills. Kenya Red Cross Society is implementing the project in eight counties in the coastal and northern Kenya including: Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu, Mombasa and Kwale.