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February 19th, 2012:

Contro il Traffico di Persone Umane – Against Human Trafficking

There are a number of initiatives born out of Koinonia or with the support of Koinonia that are little known to our friends. Koinonia Advisory Research and Development Services (KARDS) is the best known but there are also Consolation East Africa (born out of KARDS with a specific attention to human trafficking), Rafiki Mwafrika, REG, NAREC, SYDI, and many others. These groups are operational with no or very little support from abroad and are networking with a myriad of other similar organizations in Nairobi, in Kenya and beyond.
A small success story is that of play ‘A Blue Heart: Joy’s Story’ that aims to create awareness on human trafficking and that will be staged at the Kenya National Theatre on 24th March 2012.
As I understand the success is due to the stubborn determination of our Koinonia member Richard Muko and some of his friends, notably Bernard Muhia from Fern Poetry, but there are many others.

You get to know them if you follow this fascinating little “internet history”.

You can start from the end, visiting the website of UN-GIFT at http://www.ungift.org/knowledgehub/stories/february2012/blue-heart-campaign-inspiring-artists-in-kenya.html

The whole idea of using both performing and visual arts to pass a message against human trafficking started sometimes in 2009. KARDS did a very serious research on the topic, the first of its kind in Kenya and started getting in touch with other groups. In Mombasa they found a group known as Arise and Shine Self Help Group made up of young people.. In Nairobi there were several others, among them a group of visual artists. See:
http://consolationafrica.wordpress.com/category/counter-trafficking-art/

Another group, known as HAART, started by the Medical Missionaries of Mary developed a drama CD to educate people about human trafficking.

Fern Poetry was visiting schools to spread messages against human trafficking.. On this site a video done while visiting St. Hannah Secondary school.

The students after listening to these poems also did write their own which were posted here
http://consolationafrica.wordpress.com/category/counter-human-trafficking-poems/

The idea of the performance that will go on stage next week began with a symposium organized by KARDS that last year brought together various initiatives working against human trafficking in Shalom House. The symposium mixed visual arts, performing arts, experiences from the fields and academic presentations. During the symposium Bernard Muhia shared on the role of performing arts in countering human trafficking.
http://consolationafrica.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/the-role-of-performing-arts-in-countering-human-trafficking/

Some of the groups wanted to give continuity to the symposium, hence they came together and formed an initiative called the Blue Hearts. The story is here
http://consolationafrica.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/kenya-blue-hearts-grassroots-initiative-kbhgi/

The artist members of the group then sat together and decided to develop a counter trafficking play blending in their special talents in drama, poetry, dancing:
http://consolationafrica.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/play-a-blue-heart-joys-story/

Later they started visiting schools
http://consolationafrica.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/1911/

Finally their play i going to be taken to the Kenya National Theatre, Braeburn Theatre, Safaricom Theatre and Alliance Francaise

KARDS and Consolation East Africa, in collaboration with others, in the coming months have a line up of more symposiums giving information and formation against human trafficking, in March in Tanzania, in June in Mombasa and in November in Nairobi. The work is going on. Thanks to Richard, Bernard and all the friends who are putting their hearts in it.

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