TICAH brought in 52 elders from Pokomo, Digo, Rabbai, Kauma, Chonyi, Maasai, Luo, Kikuyu, Kisii and Luhya. We were fortunate to be the host to these men and women, torture survivors, healers and cultural peace elders.
On 19 May 2015 we held a ceremony at the peace path at the National Museum with all the elders and other invited guests. Part of the process included extensive discussions on regalia and other items used by different communities to symbolize the peace process. Elders from the Luhya community came with one stone from Western Kenya and three indigenous plants being used as symbols of peace and reconciliation, which were planted near the peace path.
Herbalists shared their knowledge on the use of indigenous medicines. In attendance were the Miales who got to learn, share and ask questions about using our traditions for healing. Key in this sitting was how the different communities treat and manage asthma. There was a striking resemblance in the remedies suggested; all the medicines were somehow ‘sweet’, would at one point in the course of treatment result in nausea and could not be used for an extended period. For example the medicine suggested by the Digo had a one-week dosage period; the one suggested by the Maasai was a once in 3 months dosage. People who have used the latter have brought back positive and encouraging feedback.
Torture survivors shared stories of their life during detention and imprisonment; the kind of humiliations they and their families suffered through and how life has been since their release; how they are coping with the wound of torture and their processes of healing.