We started the planning with a lot of energy and gusto in October 2012 and kicked off the offline signature collection in November, after which the e-signature online platform was launched on December 1st 2012. We are still aggressively pounding the hallways and pavements of our primary and secondary schools, universities and colleges, as well as public and private business premises and institutions, in and around Nairobi.
Signature forms in hand, our aim is very simple: we wish to collect 1,000,000 physical & online signatures for Peace’ on behalf of the Kenyan CHILD.
In November of last year, during the Rotary Paul Harris Fellows dinner held at the Goan Gymkhana, the initiative’s Founder & Chairperson, Rotarian Paula Lanco had the opportunity to officially launch the campaign in the presence of Rotary District 9200’s very able District Governor, Geeta Manek and other fellow Rotarians. It was a success and we are thankful to all who stepped up that evening and added their voice to the campaign.
Fast forward to January 2013 and we have collected thousands of physical signatures. We are still overwhelmed by those Rotarians and friends, who have so generously taken time out to help spread the word, through their own peace initiatives (our partners- see below), or have signed the numerous Umeclick? singature forms making rounds in the clubs; and/ or have contributed in kind or financially to the campaign; or even just introduced the campaign to valuable contacts and personalities, within their diverse networks.
Today, we continue to enlist your (the public) added support and goodwill in helping us reach out to more people and surpass our targets.
For those who are wondering what the Umeclick campaign is all about, here is a brief introduction.
The ‘Umeclick?’ campaign (also referred to as YOU ME click? for the Non sheng speaking:-)) is an initiative of the Kenya Rotary New Generations team, which is led largely by Rotaractors of D9200, in conjunction with Rotary D9200. It is spearheaded by the Umeclick? Peace committee, which seeks to collect one million signatures offline and online, from various schools, institutions and groups across the nation.
The offline signatures are very symbolic as they act as a physical representation of ‘the voice of OUR Kenyan child’, calling out to the nation and our leaders to maintain peace during and after the upcoming March 4th general elections. The campaign also seeks to call for hastening of inclusion of peace studies in the Kenyan schools education curriculum.
Reason for the Campaign
For decades, Rotary clubs in District 9200 (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea) have worked with children and youth through our Interact and Rotaract clubs, in promoting peace within their communities. We strongly believe that our youngsters are our hope for ensuring our nation’s future, as well as our “tools” for promoting Rotary values of world peace and understanding.
In light of; Kenya’s 2007/ 8 post election violence that saw ‘more than ‘*1,200 Kenyans killed, thousands more injured, over 300,000 people displaced and around 42,000 houses and many businesses looted or destroyed; with significant number of cases of sexual violence’ also reported, it goes without saying that this peace campaign is very important.
Moreover, the recent ongoing spate of violence in the coast and north eastern provinces (amongst various other parts of the nation) paint a stark reality and emphasise what the fact that peace is something we as Kenyans cannot afford to live without.
Just look at the still existing IDP camps, orphaned children, diseased and impoverished Kenyans and it’s enough to make you realise that we are at a crucial phase as a nation. It is why we are pushing so hard for a peaceful future, where our children can learn to live in harmony with each other irrespective of tribe, colour, political affiliations or gender. It is why too, we have also positioned these same children at the forefront of the campaign. If not to push for our peace agenda, to at the very least further humanise the campaign.
How to help us reach our 1M target
It’s very simple. All we ask is that you show your support by going to our website www.umeclick.com TODAY and signing up on the E-Signature platform. You may also visit our Umeclick? Facebook, Twitter & G+ pages and add your voice to the campaign.
You guy! We need your support. Help us spread the word. Click for Peace TODAY and then go a step further and INVITE A FRIEND to sign up as well. THANK YOU in advance.
Looking to partner with us, please contact the Chairperson on: +254 722 895 505.
Article written and submitted by: Rotarians Lilian Okado & Paula Lanco: Images by Brand2D and Google images.
* Source: Ushahidi report posted on www.ushahidi.com titled UN Human Rights Team issues Report on Post-Election Violence in Kenya.