Deborah Drew's Blog (20)

June 18: Welcome Committee

After our initial meeting with the camp residents we were unsure of the future of the project. I believe we crushed some of the hopes that the camp leaders had in mind. However, we put worries aside for our first day of physical work on the outhouse.  As June18 was our first official visit with all the residents we were looking forward to meeting all of the members of Hope Camp.  We didn't expect what they had planned…


Added by Deborah Drew on September 18, 2013 at 8:17pm — No Comments

June 15 - 16, 2013: Renting Cars in Nakuru

Last summer my colleague and I had our fair share of issues with renting cars in a town called Nakuru, located in the Rift Valley. Our summer blog ( was a part of our fellowship and had the requirements of remaining academic, thus many comedic and/or trying events were left out (This included a time of when I got tied up by a sheep, but that is a story for another day). Our experience renting cars in Nakuru last summer did not go well. One car…


Added by Deborah Drew on July 16, 2013 at 4:09pm — No Comments

June 17th, 2013: A Hard Conversation

With the NWC members safely in Kenya, we could really get to work. One of our goals was to effectively and clearly communicate with the leadership of Hope Camp as well as the residents of the project’s goals, any future projects, the true needs of the camp, and what was expected of the residents themselves. Many meetings occupied our first visit to the camp. They took place in a small shed that functions as the office of the Camp’s chairman’s.…


Added by Deborah Drew on July 15, 2013 at 10:30pm — No Comments

June 11 - 14, 2013: Logistics, Trials, and Tribulations. oh my.

June 11 - 14, 2013: Logistics, trials, and tribulations. oh my.

I arrived in Kenya a few days before the NWC members to arrange for various bits of logistics. This included hotel arrangements, material delivery to the camp, rental car issues, and beginning work at the camp. It was these few days that I learned quite a bit about working in development.…


Added by Deborah Drew on July 5, 2013 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

June 10, 2013: Going Back

Last summer I and a colleague visited a camp of internally displaced peoples (IDP) from the 2007/2008 post-election violence. We were staying in Kenya for the summer of 2012 on a fellowship from Georgetown University. The camp is called Hope Camp and rests close to the town of Ndaragwa in Central Province, Kenya. Please read “Scattered” for a detailed introduction to the camp.

After visiting, I was determined to do what I could which was simply tell their story. My second year…


Added by Deborah Drew on July 3, 2013 at 2:00pm — No Comments

The Theory-Practice Gap and My Trip to Cambodia

From the time I started at Georgetown, we have been discussing theories of Do No Harm, the debate between greed and grievance, relative deprivation, social identity theory, and many others. These theories have been shaped from years of psychological experiments, history, analysis, and experience. Honed to be as relevant to a situation as possible, they are excellent tools for a practitioner to keep in his or her toolbox to borrow from and use when the situation calls for it. The problem is…


Added by Deborah Drew on February 4, 2013 at 9:00pm — 1 Comment

A Pair of Arrows

The conflict resolution field is nebulous when it comes to defining it or even recognizing it. The paradigm of peacebuilding is constantly shifting and evolving as new theories are created or improved and old ideals are shown to be outdated and ineffective, so understandably, there plenty of room for varying frameworks to resolve conflicts. However, in my opinion, religion rarely seemed to be one of them. Often in conflict…


Added by Deborah Drew on January 26, 2013 at 1:33pm — No Comments

Drumroll Please

Spending time in Cambodia in an academic atmosphere means that our time is unsurprisingly and understandably spent studying the genocide and various wars that have harmed Cambodia. We have studied spirituality and Buddhism as healing methods and argued over the effectiveness of international criminal courts and reconciliations. These topics are incredibly important in understanding the past, present, and future state of Cambodia and all intertwine and collide…


Added by Deborah Drew on January 13, 2013 at 6:53am — No Comments

Siem Reap

This blog post is from the school study in Cambodia in January 2013 through George Mason University. The blog is a collaboration of all the graduate students on this trip from both George Mason and Georgetown University. It is a way to share our ideas, thoughts, questions, and observations. If you would like to see a few more, please look to

This first post of mine is simply a summary of our trip thus far, mostly acting as tourists to take in the…


Added by Deborah Drew on January 9, 2013 at 10:47am — No Comments

Private Sector Peacebuilding

Many of the businesses we have seen here in Kenya are small market businesses, souvenirs shops, or general stores. The shops are small and often staffed by only one or two people. There are not large brand name operations but rather are small kiosks or shelters where fruit, vegetables or everyday items are sold. What I find so fascinating about these small-scale businesses is that in a country with high percentage of unemployment (approximately…


Added by Deborah Drew on July 30, 2012 at 3:15pm — No Comments

A Debate: Greed V. Grievance

Here in Kenya we have heard many different reasons for fighting or hostilities amongst tribes. These reasons include tribalism, historical injustices and current political inequality. This got me thinking about the greed versus grievance debate and what is at the root cause of conflicts. Fighting over finite resources is undoubtedly a point of contention and many conflicts arise from this very issue. However, is it the only true reason for conflicts to erupt? Are any issues of grievances or…


Added by Deborah Drew on July 24, 2012 at 4:32pm — 2 Comments

Plastic Houses

Mwariki, Nakuru County

Inadequate housing structures continue to be a problem for many Kenyans. This is the issue that Sam Muiruri is trying to combat. His organization, Charisma Community Services and their specific project called Charisma Ecology are working to build structures made of plastic bottles. It is his way of providing inexpensive housing to many of Kenya’s citizens.…


Added by Deborah Drew on July 10, 2012 at 1:00pm — 3 Comments

Clean Elections Campaign in Action

The Clean Elections Campaign (CEC) has begun. The week of June 23-30 consisted of four different workshops in the Rift Valley region discussing CEC. The towns included Subukia, Molo, Sachangwan, and Elburgon.

The method of the workshops was similar for each location with the facilitator offering personal anecdotes, group discussion, and other exercises. The turnouts for participation ranged from approximately 40 to 70 participants. The venues ranged from churches in the outskirts of…


Added by Deborah Drew on July 4, 2012 at 4:57pm — No Comments

Clean Elections Campaign

Last weekend, Initiatives of Change Kenya came together for a two-day meeting in Nakuru. There, they discussed Clean Elections Campaign (CEC). This meeting was necessary to discuss the planning and approach of this year's CEC. The goal of which is to help steer the country towards peaceful elections and to avoid a repeat of the 2007/2008 post-elections violence.

On December 27, 2007 violence broke out over contested election results. This lasted until late February 2008. The violence…


Added by Deborah Drew on June 23, 2012 at 3:00am — 1 Comment

"The Devils have come out, let me save my children!"

In a little town approximately 190 km northwest from Nairobi, Initiatives of Change (IofC) hosted a workshop on 6 June called “Women as Creators of Peace.” The goal of the workshop was to bring together women from various backgrounds and tribes and converse about what peace means and how violence can be avoided this election year.

In Kenya, there are 42 different tribes including the two main ones involved in the post-election violence of 2007/2008, the Kikuyu and the…


Added by Deborah Drew on June 8, 2012 at 4:00pm — 7 Comments

Innovations in Peacebuilding

Yesterday, Monday June 4th, Dr. Ayse Kadayifci-Orellana, my colleague Josh Peacock and myself were invited to give a talk on Innovations in Peacebuilding at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. Dr. Kadayifci-Orellana spoke on the different approaches to peacebuilding and Josh and I spoke to our particular focuses while studying at Georgetown.

Dr. Kadayifci-Orellana explained the main points of the conflict resolution field. Her discussion included different ideas of violence and…


Added by Deborah Drew on June 5, 2012 at 4:00am — No Comments

Days Away

I and my colleague begin working at the organization, Initiatives of Change, in their Kenyan office in a week’s time. Initiatives of Change is an organization which bridges differences and brings communities and cultures together to overcome these differences that may lead to conflict or have led there in the past. Initiatives of Change’s approach is both at the individual level as well as the larger one. Initiatives of Change seeks to bring about changes in individuals’ attitudes and…


Added by Deborah Drew on June 1, 2012 at 3:26pm — 2 Comments

"The Muslims Are Coming!" (Humor as a Tool for Conflict Resolution)

The highly anticipated (at least by me) documentary, “The Muslims Are Coming” released its trailer a few days ago and it only made me want to see the film more. Created by Dean Obeidallah and Negin Farsad, this film follows a group of Muslim-American standup comedians who tour the southern United States doing comedy routines based on Islam and (mis)conceptions of the Muslim community, and push back against Islamophobia using jokes. Included in the film is commentary from Jon Stewart,…


Added by Deborah Drew on April 22, 2012 at 3:30pm — 3 Comments

Extractive Industries and Star Fruit Enterprise: How Both Businesses Benefit Indonesia

The newest PeaceMedia resource, a video published by the United Nations on the star fruit industry in Indonesia, demonstrates the effect that oil and gas companies can have on a local population and environment.  As someone who is very interested in corporate social responsibility and stakeholder engagement, I find this particular video compelling. It speaks of the high expectations for wealth that extractive industries bring to areas, but it also talks about the effects that these companies…


Added by Deborah Drew on April 8, 2012 at 1:42pm — 4 Comments

Art and Music's Role in Peacebuilding

Working with PeaceMedia has provided the opportunity to be exposed to various peacebuilding tactics. It has shown that there is a plethora of information out there and that countless individuals are working tirelessly to bring about peace and resolve conflicts. Most recently, I watched a video on an orchestra in Brazil that began allowing girls to take part. Traditionally a male dominated art, this orchestra is lead by a female maestra, and has women playing alongside men. This orchestra is…


Added by Deborah Drew on March 31, 2012 at 11:06pm — 5 Comments

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