CES Kenya Peace Run – February 10, 2013
CES Canada partnered with CES Kenya in a Peace Run to create national awareness of the need for peace and reconciliation in the upcoming 2013 Kenyan elections. This timely event was covered across the nation and it made a clear statement that peaceful elections are essential for the nation’s continued health and forward growth. The run was a raw reminder of the violence of 2008 that tore a nation apart, still fresh in people’s minds.
Twenty-six world-class Kenyan athletes participated in this historic event. Each runner will cover a portion of the overall distance of 138 km, equal to approximately three marathons. The run started at Kipsigis County, along the Kericho/Kisumu Hwy, continuing past Kericho and around Kisumu, up the Nandi Hills Escarpment and ending in Kakamega.
CES Kenya Peace Run Press Release where Patron Malik Khaemba, Chairman Ben Udoto and CES Canada Volunteer Tom Conant stress that respect for human life and freedoms is paramount in a free and democratic society. Khaemba told the press, “The Peace Run will bring communities and people together to remind them that peace is the only way to growth and prosperity.”
CES Sports Ambassador Gilbert Kiptoo (left) with police escort on gruelling leg of the peace run. Gilbert was the official coordinator of all elite Kenyan athletes. His work and leadership was key to the success of the Peace Run.
Local authorities, Kenya sports organizations, Masinde Muliro University, electoral agencies, federal and provincial government and community leaders were involved. Conservative estimates indicated that tens of thousands personally cheered the athletes along the 138 km run. 1500 people gathered at Muliro Gardens for a final Peace Rally in Kakamega to end the day.Bishop Sulumeti HS Girls Choir sang as people gathered at the Peace Rally
Dancers, musicians and students parade through Kakamega with flags and banners share the message of peace
Triumphant marathon runners enter Muliro Gardens to shouts of priase from those gathered
Kakamega District Commissioner Hon Hilary Mibey brings greetings and message of peace
CES Canada volunteer Tom Conant was on the steering committee for the Peace Run and Rally. His perceptions provide a unique perspective on what happened. He reports, “This was history in the making. Never before had Kenya seen a race that covered over three marathons. And what was even more amazing was that not one ran for personal glory – it was all about Kenya and the hope that peace and unity would prevail in the upcoming elections.”
Finally, “All great things start as a simple idea, a creative action to enable bigger and better things. While it is impossible to say exactly what kind of an impact the CES 2013 Kenya Peace Run had on the people that bore witness to it, I think it safe to say that the message of peace and unity was spread far and wide. What happened in Western Kenya on February 10, 2013 was truly historic. There will never be a day quite like it.”
To read the complete Tom Conant report from Kenya: http://www.cescan.ca/harambee-report/ces-kenya-peace-run/
CES Canada acknowledges with thanks the generous support of the following:
Chase Bank Kenya
Mojazima International (Canada)
Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST)