It was inspiring to witness the power of inner healing. 22 women from various counties in Kenya, including Marsabit, Kajiado, Nyeri, and Nairobi, participated in a conversation focused on the vital concept of "filling one's cup" the importance of self-care before helping others. A majority of these women work at the grassroots level in their communities by running safe houses, organizations that support individuals affected by gender-based violence (GBV), or civil society organizations involved in peace and women's agenda. The conversations centered on the challenges of letting go and healing from past wounds resonated deeply, particularly among the women who have had to grapple with releasing toxic relationships, circumstances, and beliefs that encircle their lives. As part of this transformative process, each woman was encouraged to bestow upon herself a new name, symbolizing her self-affirmation and commitment to living authentically.

Last week was truly rewarding as we had the privilege of conducting Mediation and Conflict Transformation Training for 42 participants at Makerere University Rotary Peace Center. It brought together a diverse group of individuals with unique backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Cohort 7 had Rotary Peace Fellows representing different countries including, Madagascar, Uganda, Rwanda, Yemen, Nigeria, DRC, South Sudan, USA, Canada, and Siera Leone. Police officers from the Uganda Police Force who are currently doing their Masters in Peace and Conflict Transformation. Members Staff from the Makerere University. It was an enriching experience for everyone involved, and we're grateful for the opportunity to contribute to their growth and development.

The "Unconference: Beyond Data, Beyond Borders” was an open space for over 100 representatives from social enterprises and nonprofits to collectively address challenges explore innovative solutions, and develop a collaborative ethos centered on data-driven learning for social impact. ACA was represented by Debby BIlity and Joy Kiminja from SFA. Communities often possess a wealth of knowledge, skills, and resources that can be cultivated to address various challenges effectively. Local communities understand their own needs, culture, and context better than external entities, making them well-positioned to develop solutions that are tailored to their specific circumstances. These grassroots approaches can lead to more sustainable and impactful outcomes in the long run. Leveraging localized data can also provide valuable insights into the unique dynamics of a community, enabling more informed decision-making and targeted interventions.

As part of community engagement, ACA, in collaboration with SFA and CES, held a meeting on 18th January 2024, with local leaders, including the chief, elders, women, and youth representatives. The goal was to establish rapport and explore collaborative opportunities to address community needs. During the meeting, we gained a deeper understanding of the community's challenges and ongoing efforts, informing the establishment of joint initiatives for sustainable development and positive impact.