- The graduands were drawn from four clusters of executive courses, Humanitarian Diplomatic Chaplaincy, Humanitarian Volunteer Corps, Humanitarian Diplomacy, and Diplomatic Etiquette and Protocol.
- Training diplomatic chaplains and humanitarian experts capacitates them to drive fruitful negotiations with governments to help those suffering in different countries.
- Young learners, during the proposed internship and community service programs, should be encouraged to also study such transformational courses on peace and humanitarian diplomacy.
As the world continues to advance and transition into a connected global village, the need for new skills, humanitarian action, peace, diplomacy, and patriotism continues to gain importance.
In an auspicious graduation event held in Karen, Nairobi, 71 students at the International College of Peace Studies graduated on August 5, 2023, after finishing up with various TVET-accredited and executive courses offered at the institution.
The graduation was graced by scholars from different universities, senior bishops of different churches worldwide, humanitarian personnel and peace ambassadors, among many other change-makers.
The graduands were drawn from four clusters of executive courses, Humanitarian Diplomatic Chaplaincy, Humanitarian Volunteer Corps, Humanitarian Diplomacy, and Diplomatic Etiquette and Protocol.
One of the graduands, Rev. Dr. Martha Mwirigi, representing the Diplomatic Etiquette and Protocol class, thanked His Eminence Dr. Kennedy Waningu, the President for Africa and Provost, International College of Peace Studies, for supporting them throughout their learning experience.
“In the past few months, we have been sharpened, and we are coming to the world more equipped; we promise the world that we are coming out there more capacitated and more skilled to drive change,” she noted.
Bishop Dedan Gathara, one of the graduands, thanked Dr. Waningu for “having taken the vision of transforming the world to be a village where we can meet, discuss and share problems.”
As a graduate of Humanitarian Chaplaincy, he noted that they have been trained to understand what is happening around the world, when to take humanitarian action, and how to do it.
“Learning will always increase your ability to interpret times and seasons. This is not the end of learning, but a beginning,” he urged the congregation, revealing that age should never stop them to stop learning.
Bishop Joseph Mutisya marveled at the many lessons he learned during the Humanitarian Volunteer classes, shaping the many decisions he has to make on a regular basis.
Leah Waweru, who sits in the National Peace Council, expressed her satisfaction with the diversity of skills gained from the institution. She was representing the Board of Trustees.
“Let’s not restrict ourselves to Kenya, but to the world,” she urged.
Ms. Waweru further appreciated the Board and all the committees within the institution for their selfless and insightful leadership and also thanked those who’ve been referring more students to join the institution, which is its main mode of getting students.
International College of Peace Studies is anchored on Humanity, Neutrality, Impartiality, and Independence.
“Whatever you have learnt, graduands, don’t keep it to yourself; share it, and if possible, invite as many to benefit from what you have benefitted from,” she urged.
Push your teachers
His Eminence, Dr. Waningu, urged the graduands and all other learners always to be ready to go the extra mile and grasp something new.
“As students, you don’t need your teacher to push you, but to push your teacher, not to the wall, but to the goal,” he urged.
Dr. Waningu briefed the congregation concerning the college.
“International College of Peace Studies is a college center for the Center of Executive Education for the United Nations University General Assembly in Costa Rica. It is a TVET-Accredited institution,” he said.
Accredited in April 2021, the International College of Peace Studies began offering its training programs in 2019. It is registered in Kenya to offer practical professional training courses independently.
The school is multi-accredited, priding itself on the endorsement and accreditation of its executive courses by the American Accreditation Association, Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA), CPD Accreditation in the UK, and European Digital Education Network, among other accreditation bodies and partner institutions from across the globe.
The short-term courses are mainly offered to executives to allow them to learn within their professional schedules with enough flexibility.
Dr. Waningu also thanked the Kenyan government for allowing the institution, in partnership with the Kenya Police, to launch the longest peace ribbon on April 2023, spearheaded by the National Peace Council in Kenya, facilitated by the Global Peace Signature.
It was 200 meters long, with flags of different countries, appealing for peace globally.
The institution’s wing has been conducting peace appeals in Migori, Isiolo, and Kigoma in Tanzania, and aims to have peace tours all around Africa.
The peace advocacy is also made possible by Peace Ambassadors in different African countries, and it enjoys the support of the United Nations and other international organizations across the globe.
The institution is apolitical and independent, promoting peace and national cohesion in all its courses.
“Next month, the General Assembly of the United Nations will be hosting the International Peace tour, set to be held in Costa Rica,” he revealed.
The event, specifically a leadership and Negotiation Skills workshop, will be held on September 7-8, 2023.
It brings key players from international organizations to train changemakers on how to serve with impact on the humanitarian sector.
He added that it’s meant to bring leaders together and promote conflict resolution through dialogue, peace-building and other peaceful conflict-resolution approaches.
Dr. Waningu urged more people to join the institution in traveling to participate in the upcoming peace-building events.
With several others, Amb. Dominic Obadiah, the institution’s Ambassador for Special Programs in the Office of His Eminence on International Relations and a graduate of Humanitarian Diplomatic Chaplaincy from the International College of Peace Studies, is set to travel to Costa Rica to prepare the U-Peace University mandated by the United Nations University to host the event.
Dr. Waningu also recognized different transformational minds who have been spurring him on.
Supporting women for peace
Specifically, on his mission to support women, he recognized Edinah Kangwana MBS, MHC., for her impactful women’s leadership and peace ambassadorship.
Ms. Kangwana is a professionally trained and certified mediator and a graduate of Humanitarian Diplomacy from the International College of Peace Studies.
“She’s one of the history makers who have inspired me to support women for peace,” Dr. Waningu acknowledged.
He further underscored the power of volunteerism, noting that it has the power to change things in the governmental and nongovernmental spheres.
“Experts would bring in their skills, ideas and expertise and offer advice to leaders, redeeming and growing the economy of Kenya,” he added.
Dr. Waningu also called upon the congregation to prop up the institution. “We are calling upon all of you to support us to continue getting rooted, not only in Kenya, but also in other places of the world,” he urged.
The graduation’s Chief Guest was Dr. Walter Okibo MBS, a strategist, entrepreneur, governance and leadership expert, an immediate former Kisii County Minister of Lands and Physical Planning, and a senior lecturer at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
He expressed his satisfaction with the impact of the courses and training the institution is offering, noting that they are the kind of knowledge and approaches Kenya and the world need for a total transformation.
Drawing from the education recommendations delivered to President William Ruto by the Presidential Working Party on Education Reform in Kenya on August 1, 2023, he pointed out that the young learners, during the proposed internship and community service programs, should be encouraged to also study such transformational courses on peace and humanitarian diplomacy.
“The only way to change the way things are done in Kenya and Africa is by going ahead and studying the right courses to be fully equipped to drive the change,” he noted.
He thanked the party for advising the government to introduce volunteerism, internships, and community service within the Competency-Based Curriculum.
“How I wish the section of volunteerism couldn’t end there but be augmented with humanitarianism, peace development, civility and more importantly, patriotism,” he hoped.
The equality and inclusion advocate says that most of today’s happenings reveal a sense of non-patriotism on the part of citizens, adding, “From my academic point of thinking, this suggests an error made from the time civic education was scrapped off the curriculum.”
Dr. Okibo further underlined the need for more such institutions that offer courses meant to shape how people look at things, which would ultimately change the world by enhancing humanitarian sensitivity, peace-building, diplomacy, civility, and patriotism.
“It’s time to focus on heightening love for one another, cultivating peace and uplifting patriotism,” he commented.
Congratulating the graduands for making it to the last mile, he reminded them, “As you move out there, you are the ambassadors, the people sent to spearhead humanitarian action and peace. The world will only change if you and I are intentional to change it.”
Acknowledging the timeliness of the idea to start and run the institution, he urged Dr. Waningu and the congregation to stay focused and “keep on drilling until fire comes out, for we are the change-makers of our time.”
“Graduands, this is not the end of the road. Continue upskilling until you become an expert in your area of interest. Willingly, do more courses and change the world. Simultaneously, go out there and start practicing what you’ve gained here,” he urged.
The strategist pointed out that having the right attitude, gained from the right courses, is key in transforming nations, adding that Kenya is not under-developed, and with the right mindset and making use of the right ideas, there lies all possibilities to change how things are, and even enhance mental wellness, which is by far determined by what we feed our minds with.
In a media interview with Scholar Media Africa, some of the institution’s management and now recent graduates highlighted their satisfaction with the training, urging more people to join and earn vital skills.
“This has been a period of learning. I welcome my fellow women to come and join us in this institution, for it’s the best place to be. Let’s preach peace, for it’s what will change the world,” urged Ms. Mwirigi.
Amb. Obadiah admitted that he sought to learn more and be equipped to serve the world better.
He is a multi-award-winning civility champion who has been promoting peace, humanitarian action, and civility-sensitive approaches to conflict resolution in different parts of the globe.
As a trained Humanitarian chaplain and champion, he says it’s high time the youth stopped being misused by the political class for their political interests and to cause mayhem.
“The college trains young people, among other older leaders, to focus on creating peaceful environments. There can always be a solution; when more people join the institution to learn, they will become better solution-givers. Be ambassadors of change and peace, for it all starts with you and me,” he urged.
On why more African professionals need to tap from these courses, Dr. Waningu says that Africa has been bedeviled by different impediments, which slow down efforts to achieve peace and humanitarian diplomacy.
“They are essential for poverty eradication through socio-economic development,” he said.
This is made possible through proper capacity building and transformation. Internal and external conflicts have also robbed citizens of their basic rights in many African countries.
Training diplomatic chaplains and humanitarian experts capacitates them to drive fruitful negotiations with governments to help those suffering in different countries, and other categories of people in need of help.
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Worth noting is that the humanitarian and peace graduands were not only released to change the world but were also sworn into office, set to undertake different assignments in the humanitarian, diplomatic, and peacebuilding decision-making tables across the globe.