Monday, 21 January 2008

Sending help to Kenya

Okay, this has taken me long enough. The situation in Kenya is getting worse for many. I know January is the worst time in the year for being broke for most people, thanks to the commercialisation of Christmas, but that's a totally different post. Anyway, like many Kenyans abroad, I happen to be breadwinner for my family back in Kenya. It's not an easy task, but I just can't let my family live in poverty while I 'enjoy' my life in the UK. It is unfortunate - my brother is educated to diploma level in computer sciences and yet he cannot get an internship let alone a job. He can do software and hardware development stuff and more (excuse my lack of knowledge in techical stuff) but he needs to study more, to a Bachelors level, then if he's lucky, he may get an internship someplace that'll lead to a job and perhaps an opportunity to pursue an MSc if he so wishes to - who knows. Anyway, all Kenyan employers are asking for BScs and MScs, so his diploma is falling short of what is desired. I got so excited when Google picked Kenya as it's African headquarters but well, Vic isn't qualified enough and has zero experience, so no joy just yet!

Unfortunately, nepotism still works majorly in Kenya and it happens that my family do not happen to have the 'connections', but that's okay, the boy is driven and well behaved and as long as he's interested and as long as God has given me the strength and the opportunity to work and pay his school fees, then he'll learn - at least it keeps him busy and away from the dangers brought on by boredom, and someday he'll get something. Went off on a tangent there, excuse me....

Anyway, I was sending home some dough today to my family as I do most months for their basics and I just could not ignore the plight of the many Kenyans displaced in the violence that is the fight for democracy, sigh. I've said (to myself) so many times that 'I'm broke, I'll do it when I can afford to spare cash', but the uses for money are so many and I realised that thinking that way was probably an excuse not to give. So, I felt guilty - big time. Very guilty. It took a potential family emergency, a heavily pregnant sister who has recently been told the baby is in an awkward position and may need more medical intervention. Her husband, my brother in law happens to be in a trade majorly affected by the current issues in Kenya and cannot work, and without work, there's no pay, and all the money they saved for the new arrival they've had to fall back on. That got me thinking of the poor people displaced without homes, their living shattered, without food, clean water, even basics like sheets and blankets. I felt I had to send a small amount of cash to help. It's something I've procrastinated for a long enough time and thanks to mamamikes I was able to send the little I could afford very quickly and got a free SMS to boot. Donations are as low as £5 and mamamikes lists all that the donated cash can buy. I'm ashamed it has taken worrying for a close family member to get it to sink and take action. Very ashamed. Very ashamed. At least, and I thank God for this, all my family are all to my knowledge safe and well and have food, water and warm beds.

Another way to donate is directly to the Kenya Red Cross Society. Please, please, think about donating just a little something. Every tiny amount donated helps people like these pictured below. A blanket will go a long way in keeping somebody warm. 5 litres of water will quench somebody's thirst for a few days. Every little helps. It all goes a long way in providing the very basic for many that have no place to call home but a show ground.

Courtesy of Whispering Inn - Thank you

The following are all from Joseph Karoki who is doing a wonderful job blogging images of what is happening in Kenya right now. Asante Joseph, God bless.