Peace lessons

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Five years ago, Kenya's Mount Elgon district was torn apart by brutal community conflict. Kamuneru, one of many communities affected, is rebuilding and restoring the community.

Peace lessons

As families fled, Kamuneru's secondary school shrank from more than 500 pupils before the conflict to just 30 in 2009.

With most of the classrooms empty and most of the teachers gone, a new head teacher, Naboth Okadie, was appointed to rebuild the school.

Mr Okadie went to visit the school and found a community "without hope". He accepted the job there against the counsel of family and friends.

Three years later, staff, parents and pupils have worked together to re-establish the school.

A policy of inclusion and peace-making is at the heart of the school ethos.

Resources are scant, and with poverty endemic it is a struggle for families to afford the secondary fees. But the school population has risen from 30 pupils in 2010 to 160 today.

Of 22 pupils who took their exams last year, most have stayed in the district and are living at home or have got married while two boys have moved to Nairobi for teacher training.

"I have succeeded in bringing more students to the school," says Mr Okadie. "I have enabled them to exploit their talents, and changed their attitudes towards life. I have succeeded to a large extent. There is still a lot to be done."

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