Archive | November, 2009

A new constitution!

19 Nov

Yesterday, the Harmonized Draft of the new Constitution of Kenya was publizided.

Now we have 30 days to give our feedback… So lets start by reading it!

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A challenge to the new Age

18 Nov

Change Agent

By Halima Murunga

Africa the land of contrasts, where hunger bequeaths the poor and obesity plagues the rich.

Gone are the days of the revolutionary youth who fought for change, in with the youth who only listens passively to the problems of the community, caring only for themselves not for their neighbor. ‘That’s their problem.’

We live in the age of materialism, shielded from any thought of poverty, war, and hunger. The screen being the only window into the other side of the income divide.

Concerned with new gadgets, fashion and hedonism, not concerned that most of us are denied the necessities of life, food, shelter and clothing.

We live in the age of information, the internet, mobiles and social networking not aware the people around us are denied information because of their income and status in society.

Healthcare for the rich is a necessity, the poor man life is expendable, just a statistic.

The politician only shouts for change, preaches integrity, yet his fodder is the public treasury.

Over 60% of our population languishes in poverty. Deny a man his rights and one day he will fight back in anger. Election violence was not just political outburst, but an outcry for change in society.

2012 awaits. Are you going to change the imbalance our society or sit in your house as you watch your country burn.

Be the change and lets not keep this continent God’s blind spot.

A challenge to the new Age

18 Nov

Change Agent

By Halima Murunga

Africa the land of contrasts, where hunger bequeaths the poor and obesity plagues the rich.

Gone are the days of the revolutionary youth who fought for change, in with the youth who only listens passively to the problems of the community, caring only for themselves not for their neighbor. ‘That’s their problem.’

We live in the age of materialism, shielded from any thought of poverty, war, and hunger. The screen being the only window into the other side of the income divide.

Concerned with new gadgets, fashion and hedonism, not concerned that most of us are denied the necessities of life, food, shelter and clothing.

We live in the age of information, the internet, mobiles and social networking not aware the people around us are denied information because of their income and status in society.

Healthcare for the rich is a necessity, the poor man life is expendable, just a statistic.

The politician only shouts for change, preaches integrity, yet his fodder is the public treasury.

Over 60% of our population languishes in poverty. Deny a man his rights and one day he will fight back in anger. Election violence was not just political outburst, but an outcry for change in society.

2012 awaits. Are you going to change the imbalance our society or sit in your house as you watch your country burn.

Be the change and lets not keep this continent God’s blind spot.

Just a story

15 Nov

I was loughing my head off when I read an article Claudi shared with me. I suggest you read it before you go on with this post… Yesterday evening I decided to use the advice given there. Am I being sarcastic?

“My name is not so important, but I am living in Mukuru Slum in Nairobi. I am one of the thousands of girls in my area who never went to secondary school.

I want to open a bakery in town, but there is no starting capital for me to do so. I know I am great in cooking and catering, but maybe the fact that I was born and live where I live keeps me from doing that. I had a job in a restaurant, we come early at around 6 to cook and serve the food and leave around 5 after cleaning. This is when I start selling small snacks on the street, because the 4,500 KSh (40 Euros) I earn per month won´t allow me to save for my dream to come true. Sundays are my free days, this is when I focus on church, doing my laundry and meeting friends.

One of these days I asked my boss to increase my salary because I felt that I am doing a great job. She had put me on a two-month break before when the restaurant was not going well. Instead of giving me the chance she said if I am complaining she can as well fire me. The way she treated me made me very unhappy and I  felt frustrated.

I went home to discuss with my brother and mum whether I should stay or leave the place. My brother got angry and said he does not see my contribution to the family income and I should leave. Sometimes he behaves like that, because he is the man in the house since my dad left. I understand him… these days with the drought the food prices went up and the water shortage makes all of us aggressive and sick.

There is a man who I like. He offered me to go to his rural area with him. He promised me that in Western Kenya there is a lot of rain and enough food for everybody. So I decided to go with him and I told me family goodbye. The weather in Western was quite humid so that I fell sick, I think it was malaria. In fact the man did not have a job where we were so I started selling Chapatis on the street to sustain ourselves. Just two months down the line I find out that I am pregnant. I can barely move my legs at night, it is so painful. I admit to hospital and they confirm my situation. The man is not interested in my situation. I think he changed a lot since we left Nairobi!

Through a neighbours phone I tell my family that I want to come back to Nairobi. Fortunately they m-pesa me some money and I just leave the man behind. Arriving in Mukuru I realize that I have to go to the doctor. Under tears tell my mum that I am pregnant. She does not speak with me but takes me to the doctor and pays for my treatment. I sleep at a friends room, she is married and her husband says I can only stay until I find another place.

The worst right now is the flu I have and my paining legs. I don´t know how to pay my food and the doctors bills. I really need to know where I stay until I deliver. The doctor says that I am HIV negative, so that is a good thing.”

A long break

11 Nov

I have not posted in a long while. Mainly because I am doing great here in Kenya!

After we came back from the International Congress our amount of work has increased. Visiting all the LCs, working on recruitment and integration of the new members. A lot of interesting tasks were to be done: Working with an expansion team to a new university, training weekends and lastly organizing a conference for 200 delegates from over 10 countries!

Also not forgetting all my friends in the various parts of town, getting a new hairstyle and planning for my christmas trip to the coast and Tanzania.

This is my crazy facilitator team at Pioneers Conference: Individuals from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Nigeria… Thanks for being with us and making this event so life-changing for our delegates!

Pioneers 09 - Faci Group picture