Kenya Loses a Peace Crusader

More on this here and here

Mary Onyango fought cancer bravely for over 10 years. She did not allow the disease to pin her down but continued doing a lot to encourage the other women struggling with cancer and lately she had become a great advocate for peace and integration in the country.

Kenya lost the vice chairperson of of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) on 31st March 2011. Ms Mary Onyango was a crusader of ethnic unity and national integration. She succumbed to cancer  at the Agha Khan Hospital in Kisumu. Ms Onyango was first diagnosed with breast cancer in January 1999. She then helped in co-founding the Kenya Breast Health Program — a breast cancer advocacy and support organization — with the late Julia Mulaha. Her work of advocacy for the victims of breast cancer is unbelievable. With small means she helped as many women as possible to access cancer screening services. She invested most of her energy in this endeavor.

In his message, the President said the country has not only lost a peace crusader but also a dedicated public servant who worked tirelessly to reconcile Kenyans to ensure that peace prevails during and after the next General Elections. The prime minister said that Ms Onyango was a believer in peace and worked hard to ensure that the next elections are held in an atmosphere of peace and trust, a feat she believed would be achieved through the Kenya Kwanza Campaign.

In her last public duty Ms Onyango is reported to have said that Kenya as a country has been polarised by politicians who use tribes to advance their personal goals. She called to Kenyans to rise beyond ethnicity and the self inworking for peace in the country.

It is important to ensure that Ms. Onyango’s crusade should not go in vain. She has bequethed Kenya the NCIC charter a document that constrain the actions of politicians and forbids them to foment violence through their campaign actions and speeches. Violence throws people to vulnerability and could have adverse effect like exposing many people to slavery. The work of Mary will never go in vain.

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