Friday, January 4, 2008

Kenya Damu...

Where do I begin. I was reading a fellow blogger the other day who wrote that she was tired of writing about what is happening to our country. I think that is what many of us are feeling as the phones constantly ring, as we meet to discuss what we can do, as we sit in front of the TV and watch the senseless anger, as we talk to people on the streets who tell us that people are hungry, people are running, the Mungiki has started going door to door, that there are militia groups all along the Kisumu - Kericho road, that hundreds of thousands are displaced and that the deathtoll is still rising and the politicians are sitting in the comfort of the press conference rooms preaching peace or meeting behind closed doors making decisions for the rest of us.
We are tired because this is not our story; this is not a story we want to tell; this is a story we are not interested in. But it is happening and we all share one common fear that keeps us going - things are only going to get worse.
So, we have started our own blog, but there is more than this to useless words on the screen - we need help from all of you out there. While the politicians busy themselves with useless dialogue, the rest of us have to get up to pick up the pieces.
There is very little we can do to stop what is happening but we can help those that have been affected. Some of you know my folks who are held out in Kisumu. They have been running a charity called Ladies in Action for several years now to assist the needy which unfortunately, there was never any shortage of - even before this. We want to use this blog for as long as it takes to help raise awareness and funds to help the victims in whichever way we can. My mother has been doing this for years so the least we can do is help her to continue and meet the rapidly growing humanitarian demands.
The photo above was taken by our friend Georgina Goodwin who has been out everyday collecting images and trying to tell the horror story. Food as you see lies in the path of destruction while prices across the country are escalating and supplies are dwindling. Kisumu is one of the worst hit areas. There is nothing left of the town as you can see from the image below taken by my father.

I hope by tomorrow we will have set up a system for online donations. We will use our account in France to receive the funds and then cash it our here and send funds to my folks or buy supplies and find a way to get them to Kisumu. The reason we have to do it like this is that we do not have the time to set up an account overseas and register as a charity and go through the whole process but we will ensure all our supporters that we report accurately and to the cent where the donations go. In any case, this is really a way to mobilise our friends and we believe you all know us well enough and all your friends know you well enough.
So, please would you all start considering this call for help. Most of you will not think twice about donating, but what would also help is if you can think about how you might mobilise others to help.
For those of you that have any link to Kenya...well, Kenya is calling...


Jonathan Walsh said...

Fantastic idea!
We're all hoping that Kenya comes to its sense soon, and the politicians start to think about the people, not just their wallets.

A dogs life in Africa said...

Hi Dipesh,

I think its great that Kenyan's are coming out to help fellow citizens in this time of need.

The good news is of course that the public are demanding democracy - they believe the vote was stolen and are not willing to let any amount of rigging determine the election. The sad thing is that the this election also revealed how angry the poorest of society are. loads of people are out there giving handouts - but I think its humiliating that what people want is a chance to make a fair living - not the generosity of gifts out of pity.

Lets hope that whoever becomes president makes poverty alleviation through job creation and economic development a reality.

In terms of donations - I note that you are transferring funds through your parents, make sure you protect yourself and your reputation - please make sure that it's all legal and transparent.

Sukuma Kenya said...

Thanks for your immediate comments. In terms of transparency for receiving donations, I don't doubt that the friends, and friends of friends would doubt us in anyway. We will also bank everything through Ladies in Action accounts but at the moment they are having a hard time accessing cash in Kisumu so we have to be able to trust one another and make sure we do as much as possible immediately.

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