George Gachara, co-founder of the Picha Mtaani a street exhibition initiative in Kenya, has been chosen as a recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Leadership Award from the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) International Development Committee.
George was selected in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to advancing conflict resolution internationally. The awards will be presented on October 12, 2011 at ACR’s Annual Conference in San Diego, California (USA).
George has helped create spaces for young people to become agents of peace and reconciliation in their communities. In the aftermath of the 2007 presidential election in Kenya, waves of political and ethnic violence swept the country, resulting in the deaths of over 1,500 people and the internal displacement of 600,000.
“As a country we stood on the brink of collapse. We saw how bad things can get. For us, Peace cannot be just an interval between wars, which is why we’re driving a much needed cultural transformation,” He said.
He adds, “Addressing conflict is not merely about pacification of peoples, but addressing injustices, inequalities between people. Unless we can meet this challenge, new conflicts will flare up and we will lose another generation to war, it is our duty to nurture a future and hope for young people suffering from unemployment and have little prospects of improving their lives.”
The International Development Committee of the ACR’s International Section each year honors exceptional work promoting conflict resolution in development projects around the world.