Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Message from Seraphine

Hello friends of Ladies in Action. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Seraphine Muge. I am 58 years old and reside in a village called Masogo. It is located in Nyando Constituency within Kisumu District, Kenya. Having retired 3 years ago from teaching, I continue to keep busy by assisting with the needs in my area, specifically trying to address those of child welfare and supplying necessities for those of old age.

I have been working with Ladies in Action since the year 2000. Today, I met with the team to discuss the current crises. As you all know there is violence all around us. Much of this distress is because of, as well as the cause for, a lack of food. Where there is food to be bought prices have doubled, even tripled or more; for the basic needs such as maize and cooking fat. But items are becoming scarce as shops are emptied by looters.

You see, our community is poor to begin with. With a population of about 5000 in just our small area, families have gotten by, over the years, with the little that comes from small sales of vegetables or basket weaving. Others have money sent by family members working outside of our area and sending money home. However, many of them are now stranded with no money left; some with no job to return to. The poor are now destitute. The hungry have no food. The old cannot get more. One sad example is an old woman whom I went to visit a few days back. She was complaining that she was sick, but I soon realized, she was in fact starving, having not eaten in days. Of these elderly we have about 20 who need immediate assistance.

As always, our needs are many and while food is most important for survival I am seeing children with no clothes to put on and no blankets to warm themselves with at night. I humbly ask that you consider all of our needs as you continue to read.

Our meeting today with Ladies in Action has given me much hope. Despite their limited funds, I will be taking home 20 kilos of unga (maize flour) to make porridge for the elderly this week! With plans to deliver it prepared, we must keep ourselves safe, however, as even those with the best intensions are at risk of theft or being beaten.
The meeting has lead to further plans for grocery distributions of maize flour, cooking fat and salt to the community, targeting 150 adults and 200 children. Urgency of fulfilling this need is not just for the well being of Masogo, but for Kisumu town as well, to help keep the peace and deter looting and violence.
Because of the lack of safety, we are arranging this distribution with discretion. For the adults I am arranging a meeting for prayer of adults, with no announcement of groceries to be given. At the conclusion I will hand out the goods myself so as to avoid a mob or a rush, saving a few items for those that are in need but did not make it. As for the children, I will call only those within close proximity to my home with the allure of a sweet. When they have all arrived I will distribute whatever has been provided to help them and their families. This form of distribution is the safest to arrange right now.

As I wrote before, all are at risk, the store owners, the looters, the elderly, the children, and even the donors. I very much hope that when things calm down, the Ladies in Action team will find their way safely to our area personally so that we can greet them in peace.

Thank you for reading my story. May God bless you all

Seraphine Muga

P.O.Box 1623-40100, Kisumu, Tel. 0720229741

1 comment:

Dipesh and Elodie said...

The following comment was sent by Shahid Gani, an old family friend:

Thanks for this. I've put a donation through and have sent an e-mail to many of my concerned friends. I am glad that you've given me the opportunity to be able to do something, however small it may feel. Sometimes handing over money seems a bit too easy especially when making the donation from my comfortable home. With the distance, it seems like the only thing I can do. Wish there was more.......
Looking at some of the photos being sent to me from Kisumu, I am filled with so many emotions- shock, sadness, confusion. You are all in my thoughts and prayers and I am happy that you're safe and well. I have great faith in the people of Kenya and that this is only a horrendous blip. Kenyans have a history of stability and they will fix this, although I have to say that from what I've seen of the choice of political leader I am not sure who is worse! Surely, they are in prime positions to do alot more to end all of this.

Send my love to your family. They are doing good work. I'm very proud of the work you all do.