Rachel Holding a Mobile Phone, originally uploaded by whiteafrican.

Rachel Kung’u is an amazing woman, and has been quite a heavy user of Ushahidi. Ory and I had a chance to meet with her while in Nairobi this June, and we talked at length about the violence that happened earlier in the year.

She started the Peace Caravan idea back in 2003:

“the idea to start the PEACE CARAVAN was to encourage the youth to form as many youth groups as possible at there own local community in order to tap the available resources within the area for self –reliance and community development. To emphasize that education is not the only way to success but teamwork, hard work, discovering own talents and turning them to a career into a better future.”

Rachel has been active with the youth of the region for some time, working as a voluntary youth philanthropist for a number of years. When the violence broke out in January, she and her team were particularly well positioned to physically go into areas and promote peace.

Even with the end to the major violence of January and February, there are some big issues with the internally displaced people (IDP) who are trying to return to their homes. Rachel is running another Peace Caravan right now, you can find out more on her blog.

“…the issue of Repatriation of IDPs is still alarming, i will briefly say that it was a rushed repatriation and the returnees have no choice since they are returning in order to be considered for compensation. Even though it is the case Kuresoi in Molo Distrist and Kipkelion in Kericho was a vacated place and the IDPS have not taken risk of going back despite the conditions.”

I would encourage anyone who is interested in seeing actual change happen to contact Rachel. She knows more about involving and engaging youth in proactive ways than almost anyone else I know. Her projects also need funding, and you’d be surprised at how much she can do with so little.