“Kamuingi Koyaga Ndiri” – Together, We Can by Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga

by Allison Wilbur on February 21, 2011

Kamiuingi Koyaga Ndiri” - Together, We Can by Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga

“Kamuingi Koyaga Ndiri” – Together, We Can

Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga

San Antonio, Texas, USA

This quilt depicts images of five women carrying a heavy load on their heads. Their mental and physical strength and resiliency are symbolized by their heads made of metal. The heavy weight of their load is symbolized by the basket made of steel. The hopes and success of this heavy lifting is symbolized by the fruits (of their labor) sprouting from the basket. It takes courage and strength to put a heavy load on the head and still walk tall.

The heads of the five women on the quilt represent the five continents; the universality of the mission of the women of the world in search of peace and security. As we redefine our concepts of the boundaries of our communities, and share responsibility for one another, we will discover that working together towards peace and security is one of the foundations for both our individual and collective response.

“Kamuingi Koyaga Ndiri” is a proverb from the Kikuyu people of Kenya which means “Together, we can.”

Women are in the minority as combatants and perpetrators of war, yet they increasingly suffer the greatest harm. In contemporary conflicts, as much as 90 percent of casualties are among civilians, most of whom are women and children.

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