While Kenya has made significant progress in containing violent extremism, the country continues to experience frequent incidents of terrorism, especially in the Northern and Coastal regions bordering Somalia. Perceived as an island of peace in a conflict-prone and fragile region, in reality Kenya faces significant challenges from transnational organizaed crime such as terrorism, terror-related illicit financing and smuggling, narcotics trafficking, and the trade in illicit small arms and light weapons. Over the past few years, there have been increased attacks by fundamentalist militants on security officers and installations, especially those along border areas, as well as a number of high-profile terror incidents in both cities and rural settings, which have resulted in the Government of Kenya increasing its presence along the border and the security presence in urban centres.
The Strengthening Community’s Resilience against Radicalization and Violent Extremism project built resilience of vulnerable local communities against negative and radical narratives that lead to violent extremism. It facilitated psycho-social rehabilitation of returnees who have been disengaged from violent extremism and assist in their reintegration into the society with the goal of making them become a great voice for countering radicalisation among their communities.
This project worked with communities and grassroot leaders to help identify and respond early to manifestations of violent extremism, working with mothers of current fighters and victims and promoting youth employment and education programs for former members of extremist groups. The project engaged media to encourage programming that fosters tolerance and civic values.