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Kenya: Promoting respect for life

12-11-1998 News Release 98/45

 Flowers in the Morning Sun ( Maua kwenye jua la asubuhi ) is a play in Kiswahili aimed at fostering greater respect for life and human dignity during armed conflicts and internal disturbances. The production, supported by the ICRC and featuring local artists, was recently launched in Nairobi and has started touring the countryside.

As its setting, the play takes an imaginary country where indiscriminate violence is rife and where no respect is shown for humanitarian values, such as the principle of sparing women, children and elderly people. In real life, these values seem to have been forgotten in many parts of the world today.

" This play serves as a reminder. We know that humanitarian values are inherent in African cultures, but respect for them needs to be strengthened " , said Vincent Nicod, head of the ICRC regional delegation in Nairobi.

Emmanuel Nyabera, production manager and ICRC officer in charge of promoting international humanitarian law, commented: " The reception has been excellent. People take the play very seriously and appreciate the fact that it is touring the whole country to spread an important message " .

After six performances in Nairobi, the play hit the road. It has so far travelled to Maseno, Kisumu (western Kenya) and Nakuru in the Rift Valley. The performances, which are being held in universities, town halls and churches, have attracted thousands of Kenyans.

" The play is directed at all members of society, but especially young people, since they are the ones who are most often involved in armed conflicts, " added Nyabera.