In Kenya, A Kids' Campaign To Encourage Voter Turnout

The country's electoral commission distributed over 9 million copies of a popular comic book containing pledge forms for parents to sign.

What's the Latest Development?

To help encourage peaceful turnouts in national elections being held this week, an independent electoral commission partnered with Kenya's largest mobile phone network to distribute 9.5 million copies of a popular comic book to schoolchildren. Inside each copy is a form, "Parents' Pledge," that encourages parents to vote. The campaign offers prizes to children who return forms with their parents' signatures. One parent who signed the form says, "We see it as good advice from our children...When we vote wisely and peacefully we determine their future."

What's the Big Idea?

With eight candidates on this year's ballot, and memories of the violence that accompanied the last general election in 2007-2008 still lingering, many different efforts have been made to ensure a better outcome this time around. All forms of media, from TV and radio to the Internet and even graffiti, have been used to promote peaceful participation. The comic book approach is an example of "pester power," says the commission's Joel Mabonga: "When the child presents the comics to their parents so that they can read for them, they ask them if they are going to vote...They want to be assured their parents are not left out."

Photo Credit:

Read it at The Christian Science Monitor

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less
Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through the world.

Keep reading Show less

Harvard: Men who can do 40 pushups have a 'significantly' lower risk of heart disease

Turns out pushups are more telling than treadmill tests when it comes to cardiovascular health.

Airman 1st Class Justin Baker completes another push-up during the First Sergeants' push-up a-thon June 28, 2011, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Participants were allowed 10 minutes to do as many push-ups as they could during the fundraiser. Airman Baker, a contract specialist assigned to the 354th Contracting Squadron, completed 278 push-ups. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Janine Thibault)
Surprising Science
  • Men who can perform 40 pushups in one minute are 96 percent less likely to have cardiovascular disease than those who do less than 10.
  • The Harvard study focused on over 1,100 firefighters with a median age of 39.
  • The exact results might not be applicable to men of other age groups or to women, researchers warn.
Keep reading Show less

U.S. reacts to New Zealand's gun ban

On Thursday, New Zealand moved to ban an array of semi-automatic guns and firearms components following a mass shooting that killed 50 people.

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Gun control supporters are pointing to the ban as an example of swift, decisive action that the U.S. desperately needs.
  • Others note the inherent differences between the two nations, arguing that it is a good thing that it is relatively hard to pass such legislation in such a short timeframe.
  • The ban will surely shape future conversations about gun control in the U.S.
Keep reading Show less