Congratulations to George Gachara, Global Changemaker from Kenya and international award winner!
George, an author, co-founder of Picha Mtaani, a street exhibition initiative in Kenya, is the recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Leadership Award from the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) International Development Committee. George was selected in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to advancing conflict resolution internationally. The award was presented on 12 October at ACR’s Annual Conference in San Diego, California, USA.
George has helped create spaces for young people to become agents of peace and reconciliation in their communities. In the aftermath of the 2007 presidential election in Kenya, waves of political and ethnic violence swept the country, resulting in the deaths of over 1,500 people and the internal displacement of 600,000. “As a country we stood on the brink of collapse. We saw how bad things can get. For us, peace cannot be just an interval between wars, which is why we’re driving a much needed cultural transformation,” he said.
The International Development Committee of the ACR’s International Section each year honours exceptional work promoting conflict resolution in development projects around the world.
George was also a speaker at the 7th UNESCO Youth Forum, held on 17-20 October 2011 in UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, prior to UNESCO’s General Conference, brought together youth delegates, civil society participants, UN entities, intergovernmental organizations, academics and the private sector from all over the world to exchange views, share experiences, reflect together on the theme ‘How youth drive change’ and, above all, to present their recommendations to the representatives of Member States during the 36th UNESCO General Conference.
George was the keynote speaker on the sessions on ‘Citizens in action: youth in political and public life’ as well as ‘Countering youth exclusion, vulnerability and violence.’