Crafting peace and building a safer world

Kumekucha: It’s a New Dawn

Green String Network

The Kumekucha (It's a New Dawn) intervention is a community-led social healing program which, through a tested methodology, addresses symptoms of trauma, guides peer groups through discussions about violent extremism, forgiveness and reconciliation, and deconstructs entrenched cycles of violence at the family level while making clear links to the community and societal levels. Green String Network’s social healing initiative was developed in 2013 to address trauma and recurring cycles of violence in Somalia, and in 2017 was adopted to address the underlying causes of violent extremism in Kenya. With support from the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism (CT), GSN has been able to equip parents, community leaders and police officers with the tools necessary to notice and address signs of strife and radicalization at the community level in four counties on the Kenyan coast, and in Nairobi. The trauma-informed (TI) approach identifies and utilizes connections between violence, trauma, negative health outcomes and negative social behaviors (such as violent extremism). The TI approaches increase safety, control and resilience for people who are seeking services (i.e. social services, security, livelihoods, education) in relation to their experiences of violence. Violence begins with a thought, yet few interventions focus on the mental wellbeing. The current focus of the project is in Mombasa County working with the Governor's Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Action Plan.