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Kenya Reports

Report #16:
January 12, 2008

It's late since we went to Kakamega today. In the early morning I went to the school to see the situation. Most of the IDP's had moved to Turbo and only a few were left. The school was extremely dirty which is not at all surprising. School starts Monday!!! I hope to visit the IDP folks in Turbo on Monday. Tuesday I hope to go with Malesi, Getry, and Janet to Eldoret to meet with the AVP facilitators we have there.

Yesterday Malesi, Getry, and Janet met with about 25 of the bicycle taxi drivers in Kakamega. Here is a paragraph from her report:

"Yesterday we met the Boda boda taxi drivers (Bicycle riders) and the touts and small business young men in town. They began by being sorry and sharing how the violence had made them suffer. They slowly moved to deeper things. One said 'We are nothing in this nation. We are the ones to suffer. These rich people have fridges full of food. Even if the trouble goes on for a month they will not suffer. Let us just give up and continue with our poverty". Another said "Madam, these people here are being untruthful. The anger expressed by all of us Kenyans for one tribe out of 42 cannot be becuase of one incident. We have seen rigged elections before.The problem is the attitude of "these"people. They come to our town, to our homes and then they decide we are fools. I work in their vehicles and the way they treat you. We are just an angry lot and we hoped for
change. They stole even that from us. Let us not cheat you that peace will come back. We want them out of here".Another said, "Our wound is real and deep.Then Martha Karua [Kikuyu minister] speaks as though we are nothing. When she talks we just feel like laying down our lives for change". We agreed with them that there can never be peace without justice."

Gladys and I had a meeting with Dorothy Selebwa, the Clerk of USFW (United Society of Friends Women) in Kenya. I am hoping to get them more involved in the distribution of the relief aid (as a first step in reconciliation) that AGLI is receiving since this really isn't what we normally do. Since they have branches throughout the region, this will also be a good way of spreading out whatever funds we have. She will get back to me on Monday after she has contacted the USFW leaders in the 16 yearly meetings.

On the other hand I am beginning to get an overwhelming number of requests for AVP workshops. In fact I don't think we have enough experienced facilitators here to handle the load so I am thinking of inviting AVP facilitators from the US, Canada, Europe, and also English/Swahili facilitators from Rwanda and Burundi to help with the expected load.

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