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Former KY3 Photographer creates documentary about aftermath of Kenyan violence

SPRINGFIELD, Mo --   Bringing hope to Kenya is the goal of a new documentary created by a former KY3 staffer. The film shines a spotlight on post election violence and the fallout. The documentary is titled Kenya--Until Hope is Found.

Drury University Filmmaker in Residence Patrick Mureithi says the film isn't meant to be political or have an agenda, other than helping a embattled country find some peace.

The presidential elections in Kenya in 2007 were disputed after the polls closed.  "The political protests quickly turned into political violence. It began to manifest along tribal lines. So it became ethnic violence," Mureithi explained.

The country was soon in turmoil and on the brink of genocide.  "Twelve hundred people dead and half a million displaced from their homes," he said.

World leaders came together to broker a power sharing agreement in the country.

"This not just about the Kenyan story or the African story, it's about the human story."

While the agreement defused the situation, it did not erase the damage already done.

"If we are saying we want peace in Kenya, then we also have to say we have to heal from trauma. They are interconnected. We can't have one without the other."

Mureithi, a Kenya native, is not only trying to undo the trauma from 2007, but he is hoping to prevent more trauma when Kenyans go to the polls in March to elect a new president.

"With this trauma that has continued to go on unaddressed, there is a great danger of even greater violence occurring," he said. 

"In Kenya, you have 79 qualified psychiatrists in a country 40 million people. That's one psychiatrist for every half a million people."

Patrick is bringing his message of peace to the people---traveling to slums in Kenya and teaching them techniques on how to deal with stress, anxiety, and grief.

"In my documentary, I share a technique called Faster EFT. The EFT stands for Emotionally Focused Transformations."

It is a technique Patrick admits he wasn't so sure about at first. "This is ridiculous. It's some new age nonsense right? I tried it because I was in such pain."

Patrick was seeing results both with himself and with the people that had been through so much.

"There is not shame if we are broken or wounded. Absolutely none. The real shame is when we don't do something about it.  We deny ourselves peace of mind," Mureithi said. 

Patrick hopes his documentary will have a lasting effect not just for the people of Kenya but for anyone dealing with trauma.

"Hopefully in the future, we can rejoice…not because we ended a conflict…because we prevented one."   

Patrick is in Kenya  gathering more film for the documentary.  He is also doing a media tour in the country promoting the film before the next Presidential elections in March.


Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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