Amani clubs brief


The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) is a statutory body established under the National Cohesion and Integration (NCI) Act, No. 12 of 2008 and it draws its existence from Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation Agreement signed in Nairobi on 28th February 2008 but later became operational in September 2009. The motivation behind the establishment of NCIC was a blunt recognition that Kenya is rich in diverse cultural practices and many political affiliations that required a common rallying strategy to enhance cohesion amongst them.


The purpose of the Commission is to facilitate and promote equality of opportunity, good relations, harmony and peaceful co-existence between persons of different ethnic and racial communities of Kenya and to advise the government on all aspects thereof. The Mission of NCIC is to eliminate all forms of discrimination and promote diversity through knowledge creation, advocacy, capacity building and policy development.


NCIC envisions a Kenyan society whose values are harmonious and non-discriminatory for peaceful co-existence and integration. The Commission endeavors to invest in Youth, especially in learning institutions, since learning institutions offer an excellent platform to socialize youths into principles of non-violence and national values in building a peaceful multi-ethnic nation. Targeting the young people in school and equipping them with the right values and virtues before they exit to the larger community is an effective way for character formation and promoting national cohesion, tolerance and integration.


The Commission in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has facilitated the establishment of Peace (Amani) Clubs in institutions of learning in Kenya. Amani Clubs were first established in 2014 with the aim of building a platform for social dialogue and dispute resolution, mediation and entrenching peace education activities among youths in different schools in the country. This is in cognizance of the pivotal role the youth play in nation building and their potential in making a difference in eliminating discrimination on the basis of ethnicity and other traits that undermine cohesion and integration.


The Commissions’ support for the establishment of Amani (Peace) Clubs is in partial fulfillment of Section 25 of the National Cohesion and Integration (NCI) Act, 2008, which outlines the objectives of the creation of the Commission, and in particular subsection (2) which provides that: Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Commission shall: (a) promote the elimination of all forms of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity and race and (d) plan, supervise, coordinate and promote educational and training programmes to create public awareness, support and advancement of peace and harmony among ethnic communities and racial groups.


The goal of Amani (Peace) Clubs is to promote appreciation of diversity, peaceful co-existence and dispute resolution among students. Amani  Clubs are a suitable tool for arresting negative ethnic tendencies by providing young people with a platform to develop a culture of positive values and embrace personal responsibility.  Amani Club members are expected to influence other youth, their communities and their parents thus causing ripple effect in the promotion of national cohesion and integration. Additionally, the clubs enhance good character and self discipline among the target group. Amani Clubs empower the youth to among other things, promote peace in their day to day lives through words and actions; deal with life’s challenges peacefully; and become responsible citizens. 


Since the establishment, Amani clubs were well received and many schools across different Counties have established active Amani Clubs. NCIC in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, supported by UNICEF have developed guidelines through consultative processes for the establishment of Amani Clubs. The Amani Club Guidelines provide a reference point in regard to the establishment and operationalisation of Amani (Peace) Clubs in all learning institutions in a structured and coherent manner.


To strengthen and legitimise Amani Clubs in different counties, the Commission has been conducting capacity building workshops to enhance understanding of the guidelines and enable participants establish the clubs in their respective institutions. The workshops are meant to train patrons of Amani Clubs in schools so they can initiate Amani (Peace) Clubs in their respective institutions and use them as the alternative means of inculcating discipline through dialogue which will eventually create cohesion and integration among the members of the school community.

Since establishment, of Amani (Peace) Clubs in 2014, capacity building and sensitization forums have been conducted in over 30 Counties where  functional Amani (Peace) clubs have been established in 621 schools. There are 29,268 Amani Club members, 13,187 boys and 16,017 girls who actively participate in peace and cohesion related activities.


To keep track of the progress achieved towards the establishment and operationalization of Amani Clubs, the Commission has been conducting Monitoring and Evaluation exercises in different Counties such as Kwale, Kitui, Kisumu and Migori Counties The M&E exercises has enabled the Commission and its partners to be able to document the best practices and recommendations and later utilize the same to evaluate whether the proposed strategies and objectives are being achieved as planned and the corrective action to be taken where necessary.

Through engagement with the Ministry of Education, Twaweza Communications and Google Kenya, the Commission has established a partneship to promote unity and peaceful coexistence among the youth through a virtual and human network dubbed “Amani Google Hangout Bridges”. The online platform has enabled the Commission to provide a model, bridging the division between people, communities and cultures using technology.


Amani (Peace) Clubs have been influencial in strengthening unity and promoting cohesion as Amani Club members took part in the translation of the first stanza of the National Anthem into a local language of their choice and taught other schools. Matuga Girls Amani Club translated the first stanza of the National Anthem into Digo and using the Google tool, they taught Arya Girls Amani Club members. Arya Girls translated the first stanza of the National Anthem into Hindi and taught Nairobi School Amani Club members while Nairobi School Amani Club members translated it into Dholuo language and taught Matuga Girls.


Amani (Peace) Clubs have made great strides in instilling good morals among the students as most of the schools with the presence of these clubs reported low cases of truancy and indiscipline among the students. Schools with active Amani Clubs also reported no cases of strike when the country was going through a period where students were burning their schools as a way of retaliating school rules and so forth. These clubs have helped in providing services to the communities by engaging in volunteer work and sensitizing the locals on importance of peace and unity as Amani Club activities include Community Service and Volunteerism.


Different Counties across the country have launched Amani Clubs Association which is a union between a group of individuals who come together voluntarily to achieve a purpose or goal. In this case, County Amani Clubs Association have been established to promote peace in different Counties to create awareness on the status of peace and significance of Amani Clubs. This enables different Counties to widen the canopies of cohesion, discipline and moral uprightness within their County.


Amani (Peace) Clubs engage in Annual National Essay writing competition on topics related to peace building, conflict resolution, management of diversity, national cohesion and integration. Through Amani  Clubs,  young people are engaged in a number of programmes and activities that value peace and develop peace-building skills. This enables the  country to create a society of people who are tolerant and respectful to divergent views; able to dialogue instead of resulting to physical confrontations; able to stand against incitement to violence; able to reach out to others and co-exist peacefully; and able to engage in democratic processes peceafully and from an informed position.

Amani Clubs help fight bullying, radicalisation and rivalry in schools. In Kwale County, Waa and Kwale Boys High School are two boys’ boarding schools that neighbour each other. Despite their close proximity, the schools have since time immemorial, had constant violent encounters. Some recorded incidences include, when two boys met and engaged in a violent fight at one of the ferry stations stop and during the Regional Science Fair in Lamu in the year 2012, students of Waa and Kwale High fought against each other leading to an intervention by police officers and several boys were arrested and locked up in cells. These incidences amongst others have continued to fuel the enmity between students of both schools. During the launch of the Peace Torch in Kwale County which was conducted by Amani Club members, the torch was passed from Waa Boys to Kwale High by the students. This event marked the beginning of a peaceful encounter between both schools. The Amani Club patrons and teachers of interest have spent time speaking to the students about the importance of peace and promoting dialogue that is geared towards enhancing the social development of the students.


In 2015, Kwale boys participated in a Reconciliation meeting that was hosted by Waa Boys. This meeting sought to understand the origin of the enmity between the two schools and reasons for the frequent violent encounters. During the meeting, they shared snacks, planted trees as a sign of a new beginning and decided to live together in harmony. Since these efforts of promoting peace and reconciliation started, the two schools have not been involved in any violence, instead they engage in collaborative activities that support their initiatives and the communities around them. The schools administrations have been supportive of peace activities, a move that has encouraged the young students to continue the positive efforts.


The launch of Amani clubs in different schools has helped curb bullying as demonstrated in Waa girls' secondary school where there were high cases of bullying. With the establishment of peace corners and dialogue forums through Amani Clubs, students raise their concerns and come up with solutions thus reducing truancy and indiscipline cases in the school.Amani Clubs have created a sense of respect among students thus reducing cases of violence in school as students council and peace clubs solve most of the indiscipline issues in schools without the involvement of teachers.