Green String Network (GSN) is a multi-disciplinary team of peacebuilders, community development workers, psychologists and researchers designing trauma-informed interventions and methods for their evaluation. Our work is focused on addressing trauma as one of the root causes of violent behavior.
We seek to understand how trauma and exposure to violence shape identity, memory, perceptions, attitudes and behaviour. An important aspect of examining violent behaviour is understanding the nature of resilience. That is, we study peaceful behaviour, particularly resistance to reactionary forces and ideas. Our programs support participants in a process of deconstructing the narratives associated with beliefs and histories of conflict and grievances. The gendered nature of conflict is among issues examined. This is done through the use of artwork and storytelling. Much of our work is focused on issues related to violence prevention, including violent extremism, violent crime, gender-based violence, and ethnic violence.
We support conflict transformation by addressing trauma and its effect on people and their environment. Our approach is based on social healing and trauma-informed solutions for countering violence. We assist communities in chronic violence and specialize in the most fragile areas. Our strength lies in the people we serve who ultimately are charged with the difficult task of healing and transformation.
We are innovating the integration of peacebuilding and governance programming with mental health from an African world-view, in new and creative ways. We believe what we have learned has implications globally.
Summary of relevant work
GSN has launched a program focused on trauma-informed dialogue in Abyei, the critical border area of Sudan and South Sudan.
In Somalia, in partnership with SOYDEN, a Somali NGO, GSN has implemented trauma-informed peacebuilding interventions for leaders, former Al-Shabab members, and communities throughout Somalia. Green String Network began its initial design of evaluations for our trauma-informed interventions e.g., Quraca Nabadda (Tree of Peace), a 12-week peacebuilding dialogue program that is designed for communities. It has also been used in the rehabilitation of former al-Shabaab members.
WebR is a program designed for leaders. It tackles issues related to trauma and conflict and focuses on trauma awareness and building resilience. This intervention has been carried out in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya.
Kumekucha, is presently being implemented in Kenya as a Prevention of Violent Extremism program. Kumekucha which means it’s a New Dawn in Kiswahili is the Kenyan version of the Quraca Nabadda. It was launched in 2017, has been implemented in Kilifi, Lamu, Tana River, Mombasa and in Majengo, a hotspot in Nairobi for al-Shabaab recruitment. To date, the total number of direct participants in Kenya is 4300. In 2018, Kumekucha was selected for recognition by the Paris Peace Forum as one of top 10 programs worldwide.
The trauma-informed policing program in Kenya is an innovative program working with the Kenyan National Police Service (NPS). Police abuse is cited as one of the major reasons for joining al-Shabaab by participants in GSN programs. The program addresses the cycle of violence, trauma, and conflict with the community and issues of wellness and self-care within the service. The program was launched in 2017 and is ongoing. In April of this year, the NPS announced a country-wide rollout of the program. The new program is called Muamko Mpya: Healing the uniform. In 2018-2019, GSN also trained wardens and imams working with prisoners in WebR, to support their self-care and raise awareness about both wardens and inmates’ exposure to trauma.
Yegarachin, is the Ethiopian version of Kumekucha that was launched in 2018 in partnership with Pact Ethiopia, in Gambella. The focus of the program has been the ethnic divide among the population and the challenges faced with cross-border identity and conflict issues. The pilot project is coming to a close in September 2019.
National Police Service (NPS) (Kenya)
Mombasa County Government (Kenya)
SAMBA Youth Sport (Kenya)
Somalia Youth Development Network (SOYDEN) (Somalia)
Peace and Development Centre (Ethiopia)
Dust Depo (Kenya)
Visual Arts Association (South Sudan)
Coast Inter-Faith Council of Clerks (CICC) (Kenya)