Kenyan Activist Hamisa Zaja Honored with Prestigious International Women Building Peace Award

In a remarkable display of commitment and courage, Kenyan activist Hamisa Zaja has clinched the esteemed 2024 International Women Building Peace Award, a testament to her unwavering dedication to peace and security in Kenya and beyond. This comes exactly a year after she made it to the last four.

Zaja, hailed as a beacon of hope in her native Mombasa County, emerged triumphant as the recipient of this prestigious award bestowed by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). Her journey to this pinnacle of recognition was marked by tireless efforts and indomitable spirit, underpinned by a deep-seated resolve to foster harmony and safeguard the rights of her fellow citizens.

An alumna of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), Zaja’s accolade is a testament to her unwavering commitment to peace and security. Her inclusion in the illustrious list of recipients signifies her profound impact on the global stage, where her endeavors have reverberated far and wide.

Zaja’s  Contributions To Her Community

Zaja’s repertoire of initiatives spans a wide spectrum, from forging alliances and resolving grievances to championing the rights of marginalized communities and shielding them from the scourge of violence. Her unwavering resolve exemplifies the pivotal role women play in peacebuilding endeavors, addressing the entrenched disparities exacerbated by conflicts.

At the helm of the Coast Association for Persons with Disabilities (CAPD) in Mombasa, Kenya, Zaja orchestrates transformative initiatives to empower marginalized communities, particularly persons with disabilities. Her influence transcends geographical boundaries, resonating on a global scale through her engagement with American counterparts under the IVLP banner, where strategies to empower women and girls worldwide are meticulously crafted. She is also the chairperson of the Mombasa Peace Committee, where she spearheads efforts to foster dialogue and reconciliation within the region, transcending barriers and bridging divides with remarkable finesse.

The Women Building Peace Award by USIP serves as a beacon of recognition for women like Zaja, who toil tirelessly in the shadows, often at personal risk, to sow the seeds of peace within their communities. It underscores the pivotal role played by grassroots-level peacebuilders in steering societies towards tranquility and reconciliation.

Zaja’s impact reverberates far beyond the confines of her immediate environment, permeating the fabric of local communities and leaving an indelible imprint on the landscape of peacebuilding. Through her mediation endeavors and initiatives to combat harmful practices, she has catalyzed transformative change, fostering a more inclusive and equitable society.

Her partnerships and collaborations, be it with the IVLP or the Mombasa Peace Committee, serve as conduits for amplifying her impact and fostering synergies aimed at realizing a shared vision of peace and prosperity for all.