A Reflection on Kisumu & the Struggle for Peace

In Kisumu, LitWord not only had a workshop that brought the girls from four different Girls Clubs there together for the first time, but also had a workshop for their mothers/grandmothers/caregivers (so many of the girls are being raised by grandparents or other family or friends because they are orphaned by the incredibly pervasive epidemic of HIV.) After hearing the children's book The Peace Book by Todd Parr, they were asked what Peace meant to them. The answer that reverberated throughout the room was that Peace was when they could successfully provide the things they so much wanted to give their children... such as a meal at the end of their long day, or the fees they needed so their children could remain in school (I learned that even free primary education newly introduced in Kenya is not entirely free, and the small amount required from each student is what is used to pay the teachers). For these women, every day is a struggle for peace.

- Lauren B