Project #6848

Build a Peace Field for 600 Children in Kenya

by Horn of Africa Development Initiative - HODI


In 2016, tribal wars broke up again in Marsabit and in most parts of Northern Kenya. As I make this note some camel had been stolen, 3 people killed and plans to recover the same is underway. In 2016, some great things happen; HODI expanded its programs from Marsabit Central to Laisamis, Chalbi and Moyale. Building Resilient Communities in 150 villages and expanding our football program to 10 Fields reaching 3,000 children through shoot to score not to kill.

Tomorrow, December 31st, is the last day to make a charitable donation for the 2016 tax year. It's also your last chance to get your new monthly donation 200% matched by Global Giving! In 2017, we plan to launch our strategy and reach 250 villages and Build a Peace Village.

We count on your support to make it possible!

Thank You,

Fatuma A. Adan

Executive Director,



Jaldesa Primary
Jaldesa Primary

According to a new report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and Society for International Development, illiteracy levels are high in northern Counties. Marsabit has a high level of 76%. In 2013 when HODI started working in Balozi, most vulnrable children had limited access to free primary education due to poor management of the schools, communities did not place high value in the education of their children and there was a poor learning environment.

It was not enough to just identify the issue but engaging the community through Mala Mari (community conversations) to deal with the underlying causes laid a foundation for success. The school was cut from most engagement due to its being 17km away from the town. A majority of the community were livestock hearders and had no time to discuss the education of their children. To many, just sending them to school was enough, the rest being the teachers’ responsibility. The task has been tough for the past three years, but getting together to dialogue through Mala Mari was just the beginning.

Mala Mari is well structured and involves working with community facilitators to help engage the community and each step of the way, community ownership of the process is crucial. HODI initiated the process and it was taken over by the facilitators and our role was that of backstopping, reflecting, learning and acting on the gaps that existed. Parents were engaged separately through Mala Mari and the children who were the main beneficieries were engaged in the school. Teachers were engaged through subject circles and shared their challenges and how to overcome them.

There are significant visible changes in the community in three years: reduced number of drop outs from the school; a high number of parents actively involved in the education of their children and improvement in school governance. As they exchanged with other communities and villages, they learnt one good practice of contributing to a kitty to undertake some of the development plans they had for the school.

One such plan was that of the playground for the school. One acre of land was donated by a community member. Contributions were made by other community members, and through this, they were able to raise enough to buy an extra 1.5 acres of land. With a total 2.5 acres of land, they were able to create a new playground for their children.

“I am happy that parents are actively participating in school management after HODI’s intervention through community conversations. As a school, we are getting a lot of support from parents and this has produced more recent successful fundraising efforts.” Kano Dida, headteacher at Jaldesa Primary School, explains.

We are dedicating the Month of December to share our stories of change and we want take this chance to say thank you for your support in making this change possible. Time to go off now as we prepare our next story of change, looking forward to share that too..

The playground
The playground


Changing one village at a time!
Changing one village at a time!

You planted a seed five years ago and you watered and nurtured it with your support. Take a moment see for yourself our stories of change. One household at a time and one village to the next, we are raising hope, giving our communities reasons to believe in themselves. Not to sit around and wait but sit down and dialogue with each other and come up with own solutions to problems of many decades. Together rising above poverty with sustainable livelihoods, building skills where none existed, tapping into what we know and learning from one another one step at a time.  

Quality Education for our children, ensuring none drops out and even returning those who drop out it is now a shared responsibility “Our Children”. It seemed impossible until we started and today it is the power of 10ksh per household turning our communities from relief to Resilience with a culture of saving.

Separated by tribal wars we have built peace the best way we know how instead of separation we reached out and instead of building walls we built bridges. Building Peaceful Communities was not easy with our football we Shoot to score not to kill reaching out to the hearts and souls of many young children divided by tribal wars. Our girls needed a voice and a choice and together we created a safe space through advocacy while Breaking the Silence.

It takes you and me to make change happen! We are kindly asking you to take a moment and see the impact of the work we do! In 2015 alone we reached over 15,000 households in 138 villages. With your support we can reach more communities and make more change happen. We are inviting you to sign up for monthly recurring donations! 

Join HODI in Changing Lives and Livelihoods


HODI Peace Field
HODI Peace Field

Marsabit County in Northern Kenya, which is afflicted by tribal conflicts and in the recent past we have seen the conflict escalate further and further. The clashes have left a trail of destruction which includes human death, destruction of properties, human displacement, trauma and psychological disturbance Children have not been spared either some lost their dear life; schools were destroyed and learning came to a halt. As HODI we use football as a tool for social change under our program of Shoot to Score not to Kill we engage the youths not to take up guns and kill each other. Ours is a proactive engagement of the children to help break away from the cycle of violence. We play home and away football games and experience the ‘enemy tribe’ first hand and help the children form an independent decision. Our children are trained as peace ambassadors equipped with skills of conflict transformation and how to deal with violence at personal level. They learn about fair play and the reward for it both as individual and as a team and that violence has no benefit to them. The project continues to benefit over 1000 children armed with guns and hatred for other tribes as a neutral safe space where Football replaces the gun, battle field is replaced by Peace Field, while the Peace Ambassadors replace fierce warriors. Also a safe space for young girls rescued from marriages, early pregnancies and drop outs from school. The initiative has seen girls break the silence on other issues among them FGM, Early Marriage and Early pregnancies.

One young boy reckoned ‘ohhh I don’t have to be scared of the motorbikes crossing the field of play it is safe now and I can just play’.

The Children in HODI are overjoyed as they set foot on the HODI Peace Field, the joy cannot be hidden and most were grateful we now have a space to call our own.

It is a new dawn, we are over joyed with the new developments and each of you helped us take this step. In October 2014 we acquired the Title Deed for the land on which HODI Peace Center will STAND. You have not only given us the space for children to play but also a safe space where they can transform to be non-violent and learn about resolving conflict and peaceful coexistence. We owe the HODI Peace Field to each of you for your individual contributions, for inviting your family and friends to contribute. Our gratitude also goes out to The Pam Dahlgren Hope through Education Award for education by FAWCO and Stuttgart Peace Award.

While we have the Peace field and a safe space for children to play, our DREAM is to build an even safer and bigger house that will be the HODI Peace Center. It will be big enough to house the girls saved from early forced marriages; big enough to train peace ambassadors. As HODI we will definately keep you posted on the progress of this project, with each step of the way. 

In the meantime, time to go and clear the bushes in the Peace Field!

Kids play
Kids play
Breaking the Silence using football
Breaking the Silence using football


Ntarisa in Brazil
Ntarisa in Brazil

In the recent past we struggled with communication and keeping you up to date on our progress. As the connection went from bad to worse the number of girls increased immensely day in day out. This is greatly due to your generous contribution as HODI we have covered more ground and reached more girls. One such girls is Ntarisa who struggled in her life and education with no father and a sick mother. The only choice she had was marriage but she defied the odds and is now a role model to many more younger girls and she travelled to share her experience in Brazil during the World Cup, thanks to your donations!

This August for the first time ever we are holding the 1st ever Horn of Africa Cup to help break silence on violence against girls and the boys will shoot to score not to kill and we look forward to generous donations.




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Organization Information

Horn of Africa Development Initiative - HODI

Location: Marsabit, Upper Eastern - Kenya
Website: http:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Fatuma Abdulkadir Adan
Marsabit, Marsabit Kenya
$7,105 raised of $17,000 goal
106 donations
$9,895 to go
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