Peace in Our Pockets follows the inspirational Kenyan activists of Sisi ni Amani as they strengthen civic engagement and democracy and prevent electoral violence in the lead up to Kenya’s 2013 elections. With cutting-edge SMS text-messaging and grassroots organizing, the peacebuilders transform the very meaning of peace in their country.
Documentary • 2015 • 55 minutes • HD • English & Swahili w/English Subtitles
We produced Peace in Our Pockets to be a catalyst for dialogue and social change around the world. The film showcases young people fusing scalable mobile phone technology with old-school, community organizing. This is a powerful case-study in peacebuilding offering lessons for activists and organizers around the world.
Contact us to learn more about how you can bring the film to your community and use a screening event as a catalyst for dialogue and action.
More About the Film
Following the 2007 national elections, Kenyan politicians used text messages to incite violence and exploit long-standing tribal tensions. In response, thousands of activists across Kenya organized to counteract those who would tear their country apart. Sisi ni Amani (“We Are Peace” in Swahili) formed in 2010 to embrace the same technology in the pursuit of peace. Peace in Our Pockets explores the power of text messaging to educate, engage, and empower citizens in Nairobi’s informal settlements and communities across Kenya.
The grassroots leaders of Sisi ni Amani include George Ooko, who brings a vision of peace that begins with mentoring children through music. Mary Njambi’s passion for women’s rights grew out of a childhood filled with domestic violence. She devotes much of her time to teaching and advocating for the girl child. Simon Kokoyo’s long walks from the informal settlements through Nairobi’s wealthy neighborhoods to his primary school opened his eyes at a young age to extreme inequalities in his country. He promotes human rights and development by using GPS technology to map community assets and needs. Musonik Wilson, a passionate pastor, adapts Sisi ni Amani’s model of peace work to defuse tensions around rural land disputes in the Rift Valley of Kenya.
Rachel Brown, the American founder of Sisi ni Amani, works with the Kenyan activists to leverage the ubiquitous mobile phone for positive social change. Together they harness the power and scalability of text messaging to prepare citizens for elections under a new constitution, to organize unprecedented political debates, and to monitor tensions as the elections near.
Peace in Our Pockets follows these peacebuilders as they expand their network beyond Nairobi, mobilizing thousands of new subscribers and ramping up their efforts to monitor tensions and potential conflict. As Kenyans go to the polls and the votes are tallied, the activists send out hundreds of thousands of peace messages. Yet they continue to look beyond the election cycle to the intersections of peace and democracy.
This project was fiscally sponsored by The Southern Documentary Fund.