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Dont forget fellow Kenyans living in IDP camp


Would you use this loo? No? What if you had no choice? Welcome to a Kenyan IDP camp.

Growing up in an IDP camp

As a Kenyan I’m disgusted with how we have  handled the post election crisis and in particular the victims who still live in IDP camps around the country. Two years on, these peole are still living in hell. As a result, we are now raising a generation of children – victims of the post election violence in campas that are beginning to look like slums.  The Kenyan Government does not recognize most  IDP camps near Nakuru  – and have sent the donors away.

Call this a home?

Each member of the camp has a small footprint on which they have a tent donated by UNHCR and intended to be used for 6 months. Back then, remember the post election violence? It was assumed that people would not need to be in IDP camps for more than that. Well, it’s more than 2 years on and they are still in the camps – more than 6,000 people live in this camp. The tents are in tatters.

Although the Chinese government donated metal sheets for roofing, the members of the IDP camp say that the DC in Nakuru has held onto them and will not release them because he wants these IDP’s out of there.

Overflowing toilets have been locked

Although this is a horrible place to live, this camp is surpprisingly well organized, structured and managed by an elected committee. Toilets were put in 2 years ago by WHO but are now full. Most of them are locked. Where to people go? Use your imagination.

Despite the horrendous smell, kids play near the toilets

Drying maize

We spent a couple of hours in the IDP camp meeting and talking to people living there. These are not lazy, uneducated, helpless people. These are people who ran businesses, had homes, farms and jobs. They lost everything.

We asked what their priorities are. The answer was simple, medicine, toilets and food.

Trauma lingers in the faces of people who endure unimaginable suffering

Many of the women were raped, their husbands and family members killed, their children raped, their homes burned, and property looted. They lost their land, and their livestock. They cannot imagine going back to live with the beasts who did this to them. There is no counselling, no support, and no official government efforts to deal with the consequences like HIV.

Clinic officer

Yet these people do live in hope. They have no choice really. Linet is a university student. She also runs the little clinic on the IDP camp serving over hundreds of patients.  Some of them die from manageable diseases. But despite the setbacks, she still has reason to smile. She told me that this IDP camp is now home.

Not lazy, this guy has built a shed for producing mushrooms. A micro enterpriset hhat could be successful if he gets funds to start off the first mushrooms.

Studying in an IDP camp

The place is very congested, but people make do. There are no jobs for these people but that does not stop this student from continuing with his studies.

In the IDP camp we came across a few foreign volunteers who were helping with schools and sports. As Kenyans we need to support these IDP’s too.

You can help

Peter and I asked guests at our wedding to donate funds or materials to this IDP camp. We have raised enough to purchase medicines for the clinic and to build one line of new toilets. We also gave a little something to the kids.We thank all our generous friends who supported this appeal.

If you would like to help  here are some things that these guys need

1. More medical supplies

2. More toilets (a line of 6 toilets costs about Kh 20,000)

3. Help with medical fees – several members of the IDP camps are in hospital and cannot be released until fees are paid up

4. Support for microfinance and studies.

5. Jobs

Leave a comment if you’d like to join us in helping

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May 28, 2010 - Posted by | Kenya, politics, rape, Women | , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Thank you sooo much for this blog. I am passionate about many of the issues that you share. I have no money right now but have gone back to get my nursing degree so that I can visit countries like Kenya, Ethiopia and India and genuinely help people. I have added your blog to my blogroll so that my readers can read your great blog!
    http://www.thecrazylady.wordpress.com

    Comment by thecrazylady | May 28, 2010 | Reply


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