Regional paint maker launches campaign to promote peace in Kenya
Posted Tuesday, February 5 2013 at 14:22
East Africa's paints manufacturer, Crown Paints (Kenya) has launched a peace initiative, urging various Kenyan communities to co-exist harmoniously in the run-up to the country's March 4 general elections.
The paints manufacturer said the campaign, dubbed "Crown Paints Uniting Colours Peace Campaign" is seeking to encourage Kenyans and various communities to live peacefully as the country gears up for the upcoming general elections. Speaking on Monday during the launch in Nairobi, Crown Paints CEO Rakesh Rao said the company was committed to playing its role as a responsible citizen hence its support for the campaign.
"The Crown Paints Peace Campaign aims to foster harmony among Kenyans. As a company, we are aware of the role that each one of us has to play in promoting peace and harmony among Kenyans," Rao said. "At Crown we have over 6,000 shades of colour that blend seamlessly and believe that the 42 tribes of Kenya can co-exist peacefully."
The campaign, launched in Nairobi's Kibera slums, will mainly involve disseminating peace messages through various media channels including billboards, print and electronic advertising and social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Kenyans go to the polls on March 4 to elect representatives for county and national governments in line with provisions of a new constitution that was enacted in August 2010. Election managers stressed that the March polls have generated unprecedented interest locally and abroad as the country transition to a new political order. Experts shared his sentiments and warned that electoral malpractices are major cause of civil disruptions in Africa.
Kenyans can participate in the campaign by sending peace messages to each other. Rao said his company chose to launch the peace campaign in Kibera because the area was one of the worst-hit during the post-election violence in 2008."Kibera people suffered a lot after the last election. Yet Kibera is a cosmopolitan area, the face of Kenya, so to speak. It therefore serves as a good model for promoting inter-community peace and harmony. But we are optimistic the upcoming elections will be peaceful," said Rao. Crown Paints has partnered with Amani Arts, Amani Heart, an organization promoting peace through creative arts. The organization has been working with schools in Kibera to preach peace.
Crown Paints is providing paint and brush materials to support the initiative. The firm has put side 115,000 U.S dollars to support the campaign. During the launch event, guests and children drawn from ten schools in Kibera took part in painting peace messages on a specially-designated wall within Undugu Football Grounds. The wall-painting activity was symbolic of the role of every individual in promoting peace and unity at community level.