Bridging Ages Kenya Launched

By: Beatrice Okoth. Secretary -Bridging Ages Kenya

Bridging Ages Kenya was launched at a fun-filled ceremony at Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi, on Tuesday the 8th of November 2016. The function was presided by Mrs. Njeri Wanyoike, the Vice Chairperson of The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), and Dr. Purity Kiura, Director of Antiquities, Sites & Monuments, National Museums of Kenya. The ceremony was witnessed by the president of Bridging Ages International Annina Ylikoski, the former president Ebbe Westergren and Johanna Ejderstedt from Kalmar county Museum, Sweden. The ceremony was also attended by members of Bridging Ages Kenya from the following chapters: Maseno University Chapter, Kenyatta University, National Museums of Kenya, Western Kenya, TICAH youth and Marsabit County. Kenya now officially joins a group of 25 countries in four continents that are part of Bridging Ages International.

Elected officials Bridging Ages Kenya

During the occasion, Bridging Ages Kenya logo was unveiled. The elected officials to the Board of Management included Dr. Mildred Ayere, president; Beatrice Okoth, secretary; Grace Mitambo, treasurer; and David Mbuthia, organizing secretary.

At this occasion, members were trained on the Times Travel method which is a learning and educational method that uses local history and heritage to create reflection on contemporary issues.

Time Travel Event: Independence Day 1963

Members of Bridging Ages Kenya and Bridging Ages International as well the public later engaged in a Time Travel event at Uhuru Gardens; a heritage site where the inaugural independence day celebration was conducted on 12th December 1963. The theme of this Time Travel event was cohesion and integration. The scenario was the preparations for Independence Day celebration a day before the actual event. The activities included painting of the flag, the making of beads and a lot of cultural dances. Also the dreams and hopes for the Kenya were written in poems and illustrated in paintings. The key question was the hopes and dreams of the new country. What are our fears and threats? What unites us? Afterwards, the 200 participants were taken through a reflection on what unites them as a nation.

This activity was very timely as it comes a few months before a general election next year that many fear may be marked by ethnic divisions and conflicts. Kenyans still freshly remember the post election violence of 2007/2008.

What people said about the event

The guest speaker, Mrs. Njeri Wanyoike vice-chair from NCIC, was so impressed with the Time Travel method that she urged members to embrace it by using more of the local history and heritage to gain understanding of current issues and to solve emerging problems for a more cohesive society. She told

the members that a lot of answers to current predicaments in the country lie in understanding our past and using that knowledge to interpret our situations. She applauded the National Museums of Kenya for being part of this innovative method.

Members of the public who freely and enthusiastically participated in the Time Travel praised it for being engaging, illuminating and exciting. Jane, a teacher from Western Kenya, said that she would adopt the method to teach her students because “it makes learning history fun and memorable”. Kinuthia, a student from Uhuru Gardens Primary said that the event was “fun and I was free to participate in activities and learn the importance of unity”.

Beatrice Okoth, secretary, Bridging Ages Kenya