How to help Kenya

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If you are looking for ways to help Kenyan relief efforts Mamamikes is an excellent place to start. Donations can be made straight to the Red Cross and there are other ingenious methods of helping Kenyans such as sending mobile phone credits straight to their own mobiles and which can used as credit to barter for goods. It is also possible to pay for electricity bills for family or friends who are struggling right now to make ends meet. Shopping vouchers to be used at Kenya’s main supermarkets are also available.

Shailja Patel also brings to my attention Sukuma Kenya who work with displaced people in Kenya and says

Sukuma Kenya was set up a few weeks ago by Dipesh Pabari, close friend, dedicated Kenyan journalist and activist. It’s the charity I recommend to everyone who asks where they can donate to ease the suffering of displaced Kenyans. First, because I can personally vouch that EVERY PENNY you donate, beyond transaction fees, goes directly to the relief effort. All those involved are volunteers – no overhead costs.

Secondly, because it channels the relief efforts through a Kisumu organization, Ladies in Action, that has been in operation for several years. The Ladies in Action are all long-term Kisumu residents (many were born there) who have chosen not to flee the crisis. They know Kisumu better than any outside relief organization.

While Rachel Wambui Kungu of Pyramids of Peace reports that together with a team of Kikuyu peacemakers she has successfully met with member of the feared Mungiki in Naivasha who have agreed to participate in peace talks.

They have given their names and phone numbers to participate in the Pyramid of Peace and to engage the violent Mungikis who have moved onward to Nairobi. They agreed to remove the road blocks for the next seven days. They will organize a large meeting in two days or so to meet with leaders from the Catholic church and with the local head of the police. Afterwards, they wish to meet with the Kalenjins for dialogue. They are ready for a permanent peace upon three reasonable conditions: 1) that Kalenjins and others stop fighting and free the roads as well, 2) that the opposition leaders tell their people to stop fighting, 3) that the youth be involved in the decisions affecting them.

…Rachel and her team of Kikuyu peacemakers from Nairobi arrived in Naivasha at 11:30 am by public transportation. The morning was tense, but all went well in Naivasha. Their local contacts told the women not to wear their jeans, but rather to buy some scarfs and kangas (dresses), which they did. This is so that they would not be confused with men from a distance, and not be perceived as a threat. [This does appear to be dewey-eyed. The Standard reports that women are being chased and intimidated for wearing trousers in Naivasha by the same gangs -Athenæum]

Soon they were talking with the local youth, and afterwards with the real Mungikis, a clique known for their violentness. They had a very productive conversation as I described above. They spoke with more than thirty people, many of whom were key Mungiki leaders, and received excellent cooperation. They agreed that they would each speak further with five or ten people and invite them all for the great public meeting they will organize in the next two days along with Rachel and her team. They do not want to deal yet with the police in the area because they accuse them of much harm to their people, including their women, but at the meeting they will invite the local head of the police. They have confirmed their intent by providing their names and numbers to post publicly in our Pyramid of Peace.

Funds donated to Pyramid of Peace will help buy mobile phones and airtime for this budding peace initiative. A donation will also help to purchase a laptop for Rachel to file reports on the work they are carrying out.

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