16 Jan Kenyan Stay Alive Friends Need Emergency Help in Midst of Civil Unrest
Kenyan Stay Alive Friends Need Emergency Help in Midst
of Civil Unrest
Dear Friend of the Family,
Recent tragic events in Kenya have not only stifled our work in the Stay Alive aids prevention program, but have caused us much concern for the friends and families we work with in that African nation.
Stay Alive is currently being taught to thousands of children in Kenya. Its success in teaching these children consequential thinking skills is eveident in an independent evaluation that found Stay Alive had resulted in a 61-percent reduction in teen pregnancy in Kenya (Panos, Panos and Cox, 2006).
Our friends and colleagues, and many of the children and families involved with the Stay Alive program, are suffering without food or provisions because of the resulting unrest. These children and families need our help.
A national election took place December 27. The electoral commission of Kenya declared that the incumbent, President Mwai Kibaki, had won re-election. However, many of the nation’s people believe they have been disenfranchised, which led to riots and killings.
Hundreds of people have been killed thus far as a result of the unrest. The shipment of food and other goods throughout the country has been interrupted, and people are short of food and other necessities. Fear of the fighting in the streets has resulted in many people staying in their homes. Food costs have tripled, and many people have not been able to work and earn an income during this civil strife. More than 250,000 people have left their homes, and some have taken refuge in neighboring countries.
One of our Stay Alive partners told us by email that he had been approached by people recruiting men to fight in the street:
“They came to my door and I told them that only a tractor could remove me from the house because I believed in peace rather than fighting. They left my door when they learned that I am asthmatic and thus could not run for a long time. They did not hurt any one in our compound, which has about 18 apartments or families. One neighbor who had cows lost all of them when they were all slaughtered. I know God protected us. It is now reported that the fighting is worse in Western Kenya — especially in Eldoret, Kisumu and Kericho. They burned a church with people inside; about 10 died, including two children. At least we are still alive, though we have lost our beloved ones.”
Michelle Stone, the director of Stay Alive, is working closely with Reach the Children, our partner organization which helps implement Stay Alive in Africa. Reach the Children has set up an emergency relief fund for Kenya: the 1106-K2 Kenya Emergency Food Fund. The next wire to Kenya will occur on Thursday.
Michelle believes that if our families want to help, they should consider giving up one meal this week and then send the cost of that meal to Reach the Children by Thursday. She said, “There is a great urgency in the fund drive because the crisis is now more than two weeks old.” The funds collected will be sent to Kenya to feed orphans and families who ordinarily do all they can to work and provide for themselves, but during this disaster have been unable to do so.
We are all anxious for a return to peace in Kenya and we look forward to resumption of normal life and the continued teaching of Stay Alive. This program has done so much to help families in Kenya.*
How To Help
Go to www.reachthechildren.org. Click on “Donate” and then “Where It Is Needed Most.” Please indicate “1106-K2 Kenya Emergency Food Fund” in the comment box. Reach the Children will wire donation money to Kenya January 17, with another wire to follow when more donations arrive.
Thank you for your generosity and for your consideration of this great cause.
President United Families International