Sunday, January 6, 2008

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT NOW

Ladies in Action, which was founded by my mother, Nejla Pabari and a few other ladies from Kisumu has been involved in child welfare and other community needs for several years. Projects have always been flexible in terms of meeting the needs of the communities which range from reconstructing schools, digging boreholes, planting trees, paying for further education and feeding orphans and elderly people. With a strong network within the surrounding communities and no shortage of volunteers, Ladies in Action is able to reach out to literally thousands of needy people.

Ladies in Action have two main funders in addition to various individual supporters: the Klara Foundation which is based in the Netherlands and Jersey Overseas Aid . Susan Deans was a volunteer who came out from Jersey and was so touched by the work that Ladies in Action are doing that she set up the Kisumu Orphans Education Fund [Member of Jersey Association of Charities no 306] as a way to keep raising funds for the overwhelming number of orphans around Kisumu.

Due to the clashes caused by the elections, thousands of people have been displaced having lost their homes and their livelihoods. Hundreds of children have been left at various police stations, schools and hospitals for their security; and families all over have little if nothing to feed themselves on. There has been a tremendous amount of support from Kenyans within the Nairobi environs. Mine, my sister and Lorna have been out the whole day in the Nairobi city helping distibute food and other supplies. Unfortunately, there has been as much civil support within Kisumu.

Therefore, Ladies in Action are reaching out to assist clash victims, orphans and affected familes with food supplies. Children will be given one proper meal daily which includes a plate of beans and porridge which costs Ksh. 20/- per child (about USD $ 0.32). Children will be encouraged to come to various outreach centres to eat and the Ladies in Action will organise large deliveries of porridge to be taken to orphanages.

$32 can feed 100 children daily!

In addition, weekly shopping bags will be given to displaced families. This will include: cooking oil, maize flour, 3 boxes of matches , and a small packet of salt. Each grocery bag will cost
Ksh. 150/- per fami
ly (USD $ 2.4) .

$24 can provide basic necessities for 10 families weekly!

The other major concern is health. For several years, Ladies in Action have organised free medical camps to treat basic ailments such as malaria, open infections and wounds and worms. This will have to be stepped up.

To treat 400 children costs Ksh. 20,000/- (USD $325).

Ladies in Action would like to do this for the next three months. We do not know how many people are out there that need support. It is impossible to know at this point since the country is still so unsettled. They will basically provide for as many people as there is funding. All funds donated online will then be transfered to the Ladies in Action bank account in Kisumu. Please note that 100% of funds donated (minus bank transfer costs which have no say over) will be used to buy and distribute supplies and we will post regular reports on the activities.

So there it is. What more do I have to say...

Let's do our bit for Kenya...

Thank you.

Dipesh, Elodie and Maya (Nairobi)

Mr. and Mrs. Pabari (Kisumu)

Susan Deans (Jersey Island)

Mine Pabari (Nairobi)

3 comments:

Dipesh and Elodie said...

We have just received our first donation! Thank you so much Feiko and Penny and family who lived in Kisumu for several years and more importantly made me coffee and kicked my butt at scrabble. Let's hope we can do that again under a mango tree...thank you.

Mine said...

As I stood on the sidelines watching the Red Cross hand out little survival packs in Jamhuri Park..I couldn't believe this was my country..this was down the road from where I live...these were people I passed on the street each day as they made their way to work. How quickly we arrived here..to this place where hundreds of thousands have been reduced to squabbling in a queue for a little parcel.

Myself and a friend were assigned to the store. Lorna worked with the counselling team. Maria & I were told that the children desperately needed fruit and vegetables..they needed sufurias to cook in and firewood. So - we grabbed the money we had and send out messages to all our friends. Out of the 20 messages I sent to those in Nairobi, only 5 responded. It's hard not to be judgemental at a time like this. Unfortunately (for him), I bumped into a friend that is highly opinionated...an intellectual that knows what Kenya should and shouldn't do. He gave me a sheepish "how are you"...and not that much more. I claim no rights to judge...but I cannot help but ask..to those of us that live in the leafy suburbs..surely there must be a lesson in all this. Surely it must tell us that it's no longer enough to hide away in our comfort zones intellectualising over dinner about the occasional newspiece we happen to read?

But...there is always joy & hope in every situation. By the end of the day, the store was full. People came from all over to contribute ..sukuma, diapers...I even watched a little girl hand over her teddy bear.

I try hard not to think too far into the future..not to dwell too much on the storied Lorna told me from her sessions with the displaced women. The questions they asked about "tomorrow"...about starting all over again. I try not to think about the Kisii woman who's been sleeping in the bushes because she couldn't figure out how to get a registration card that would give her access to food and medical attention. Or those who haven't been able to get supplies for days because others have taken more than they should have.

I focus instead on the charcoal and beans I need to get this morning. I focus on the civil society group that simply refuses to be silenced into accepting the injustice that sparked this madness. I focus on the need to slowly, bit by bit ..drop by drop help to rebuild our country..our hope.

Lisa Hickey said...

Surely, I can donate $32 today to help feed 100 children. My god, it is the least I can do and I so wish that I could be there with you on the ground actually helping to distribute items and comfort these people that are in so much need at the moment. Thank you for all that you are doing. It truly is amazing work. Lisa

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