Class VII (2009-2010)

3. Joseph Hongoh

Sponsor Club: Mombassa, Kenya, District 9200

 

Joseph Hongoh was born and raised in Kenya. He graduated in 2002 with Honors from Kenyatta University, specializing in Education, Literature and Linguistics. Thereafter, he joined Parliament of Kenya as an intern, and served as Parliamentary Committee Assistant to the Committees of Education and Research; Defense and Foreign Relations; and Administration of National Security and Local Authorities. Here, he gained vital skills in research, policy making, working with communities and electorates as well as linking them with Parliamentarians.

In 2004, Mr. Hongoh joined the Great Lakes Parliamentary Forum on Peace. Here, he helped coordinate peacebuilding and conflict resolution activities of parliamentarians drawn from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda Southern Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia. He undertook several programs with parliamentarians, including capacity building on issues of peace; problem solving workshops and focused group discussions; fact finding missions; inter-community and inter-parliamentary dialogue forums. Examples of these initiatives included addressing interethnic conflict in Rwanda and Burundi; resource-based conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; small-arms problem and cattle rustling in eastern Uganda, northern Kenya and Southern Sudan; and internal displacement and refugee problems in northern Uganda and Kenya; and peace negotiations between the Government of Uganda and the Lords Resistance Army (LRA). In 2008, he was reassigned to Kenya to support Parliamentarians reconnect with communities, especially after the post election violence. In November 2009, Mr. Hongoh undertook an internship position with the Office of the Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process, the Government of Philippines. He was attached to the Peace Institutions Development Office, a team that is charged with institutionalization and strengthening of sub-national and community-based conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peace advocacy, and rehabilitation and development efforts in conflict-affected areas.

Mr. Hongoh has focused his future on research and policy analysis. He plans to undertake more studies in the future to enhance his skills in this field. As a Rotary Peace fellow, Mr. Hongoh plans to document and share his experience on working with diverse communities to build peace and inter-cultural understanding. At a personal level, he continues to support the less fortunate gain access to education.