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Banner - Mt Trio, Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia - (c) 2007

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Kenya - Another story

As is so often the case, the true extent of the violence and suffering is often not the same as that seen on the television news and is often not more fully known or understood until well after the events have taken place - think Rwanda.

Through my work with Day 4 I am involved with a ministry - City Harvest - which works among the slum dwellers of Nairobi, improving living standards, training and providing access to retroviral medication and AIDS/HIV clinics. When the violence broke out in Nairobi at the start of January I knew that Edward Simiyu and his team would be affected and would also be involved at the heart of the relief effort. With this in mind we launched the Day 4 Kenya Appeal to raise funds to send to City Harvest to use in the relief effort.

The reports we have been receiving from Edward paint a picture of disaster that is much more wide spread than that seen in much of the media reports coming out of Kenya in recent weeks. More than half a million men, women and children displaced from their slum communities and left without food, water, clothing, shelter or security. To the north of Nairobi homes, schools and churches have been destroyed and many people killed.

2 weeks ago Edward and a number of other local Christians embarked on a journey through roadblocks manned by armed youth - bent on violent retribution in what many in Kenya have likened to the early days of the Rwandan genocide - in order to supply humanitarian aid to those in remote areas, unaccessible to most other relief organisations.

Edward's report of the convoy's journey paints a picture of corruption, disaster and dispare. The military, sent to help those affected by the indiscriminate violence, were demanding money in exchange for protection, schools churches and homes were looted, ransacked and burnt and bodies left to rot where they lie, providing a source of food for scavenging dogs.

Here are some photos from the road to Eldoret.

Refugees sleeping in the opening with all their belongings in plastic bags

All that remains of Kondoo Shopping Centre

Wrecks of elite forces vehicles, sent in to stop the violence. The troops were repelled and then their vehicles burnt and thrown into the river.

The remains of Kamuyu Primary School - looted and destroyed

All that's left of an AOG church looted and stripped back to the frame

One of many homes completely destroyed - more can be seen in the background

The remains of Eldoret church where many people died after seeking refuge from the violence. The church was torched.

The situation in Kenya is dire. Please continue to pray for this country and its people. Please also consider linking back to this blog post and promoting the Day 4 Kenya Appeal on your blogs. 100% of funds donated will make it to Kenya to be used specifically for the relief effort. Please also consider donating - response to the appeal has been slow, yet even small donations add up and can make a big difference to the suffering in Kenya.

I'll leave you with some words from Edward and thanks again for promoting and praying and donating!

Please pray for Kenya. The suffering and damage is more than what the media has highlighted. More churches have been destroyed than those counted and reported. More churches are likely to suffer the same fate with the precedence now set should unrest continue. The dead are still unaccounted [for] and we are all likely to die if unrest continues. Prices have shot up and calm that was returning is threatened by uncertainty especially this week as more rallies are planned for Wednesday to Friday. They are never peaceful. Two of our HIV/AIDS support group members had their houses torched and are still in trauma. A number ran out of the life prolonging ARVs and now have to change their line of drugs.

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