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Progress in Kenya

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  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    I survey the different ways that independent thinkers around the world are helping Kenyans in this time of crisis, especially those who we know because we
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2008
      I survey the different ways that "independent thinkers" around the world
      are helping Kenyans in this time of crisis, especially those who we know
      because we work together at the Minciu Sodas laboratory http://www.ms.lt

      Ways to help include:
      * making phone calls to Kenya:
      * write to your foreign minister:
      * join our chat: http://www.worknets.org/chat/
      * join Samwel Kongere's email group:
      * help us create peace songs and videos for Kenya
      * share this letter
      * contribute money for Kenyan "independent thinkers" by PayPal to ms@...

      I share news from Eldoret, Nairobi, Naruku, Mbita Point and also Tanzania.

      +254 723 007 877 Amos Obwanga (recommended to us by Samwel Kongere) is
      in Eldoret, the city where the church was burned down with people
      inside. He explained the tribal situation that he faces. Amos and
      others of the Luo tribe have come to the region for work and they stay
      in the homes of Kikuyu landlords. The Kikuyus are surrounded by the
      Kalenjin tribe. Currently, some 1,500 Kalenjin youths want to drive out
      the Kikuyus and claim the land. They are threatening to burn down the
      houses to the ground. The surrounded people are well organized and able
      to sleep in shifts, some inside while the others guard outside. In the
      day the Kikuyu youths are more fearsome (especially on Monday and
      Tuesday) but at night they haven't yet managed to cause harm. They had
      problem crossing a river and also some police came to them and so they
      started retreating. But the police are not stationed there and so the
      people are vulnerable. They have almost nothing to eat because
      everything is closed except for one or two shops. The prices have
      doubled: a gallon of cooking charcoal was 20 shillings but now 50
      shillings; sugar rose from 65 shillings to 80 and even 100 shillings; a
      100 shilling phone card is now 150 shillings and a 50 shilling card is
      100 shillings. They listen to the BBC news on the radio. He was very
      happy to get a phone call from an Italian in Nairobi. We spoke about
      encouraging dialogue by "looking at everything from the opponent's point
      of view". He was interested by the idea that he might engage the local
      Kikuyu leaders (who overwhelmingly supported the current president) to
      urge the President to call for an audit of the election results (which
      would immediately end the crisis). Likewise, I said that we can engage
      the Kalenjin community around the world to help us find local leaders
      who might post their telephone numbers and state their support for
      Kikuyus that they not be harmed in any way. There is, for example,
      http://www.kalenjin.net led by Kaplimo Hse +254 722 992 107 Who might
      engage them?

      +254 723 568 251 KennedyOwino reports that everything is now calm (not
      like 3 or 4 hours ago) where he is in the Kangware slum of Nairobi.
      They are now inside sleeping and the police are not allowing anybody
      outside. There is exchange of gunfire between an illegal clique Mongeke
      and the police. They can now receive text messages (SMS) from foreign
      countries. But there is a shortage of phone credit cards. (One thing
      we could do is to write openly to the Kenyan phone companies that they
      provide free SMS service while the crisis persists. Who might pursue
      that?) Food is not yet a big problem because they will be able to get
      it in the shops, but it might be in two or three days because trucks
      can't come into Nairobi. Kennedy says that the politicians should deal
      with their conflicts themselves and not make it a conflict among the
      civilians. Nafsi Afrika Acrobats http://www.nafsiafriacrobats.org will
      meet tomorrow with their dancers and decide what they can do. Political
      meetings will not be allowed, though. I told Kennedy to please consider
      how we might help and support them. I also told him of Pamela McLean's
      (UK) ideas of songs of peace
      http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/mendenyo/message/876 and that we're
      involving our Tanzanian participants. I have sent her contribution to
      the Uyoga association there so they could help more. Josephat Ndibalema
      and William Wambura +255 762 437 54 have been translating news and
      letters into Kiswahili http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hakielimurafiki/
      and Abinel Emanuel chatted with us about his deepest value in life:
      Educate and change young people's lives through music. So we're asking
      us all to think about this. Thank you, Meadowlea (USA). Also, Kiyavilo
      Msekwa of Arusha, Tanzania today visited the border to learn about the
      refugees and will go again tomorrow. And Davis Weddi works for a radio
      station in Uganda so I wonder if he might be able to help with
      encouraging musical expression here. Guilhem Buzenet offered to help
      and I hope he might share his video skills!

      +254 722 388 275 Dennis Kimambo in Nakuru is a community theater
      activist (REPACTED) who recently won a prestigious grant from Rising
      Voices http://wiki.rising.globalvoicesonline.org/REPACTED Wednesday he
      organized a peace meeting locally and they will meet again Saturday.
      When he came to our online chat room we asked him to call +254 722 366
      777 Muyela, who is a lawyer in Nakuru, and he did. Later, Eric
      Wanjamah, a student in Sweden, chatted with Sasha Mrkailo of Serbia (see
      the transcript below) and asked for help to call and check on his sister
      Charity +254 710 615 702 in Nakuru. Dennis writes: "hope you to talk to
      you guys soon :: as i write this email i am just from the most affected
      areas outside nakuru :: the situation is much worse than its being told
      to the world :: there are places even going with the RED CROSS its not
      possible :: we are helping to bring the children and mothers to safety".
      We have sent some donated funds to Dennis to fuel his great work.

      Jackton Arija of Mbita Point wrote: "Thank you all for your concern
      about Kenya, a lot is happenning here and many and many people have lost
      their lives. As Sam has said there is no food,no transport and no money
      and medication.Right now as speak we dont have food and i am just in the
      house with my kids boiling hot water and putting some remaining sugar on
      it for the kids." Kennedy Owino will call Samwel Kongere +254 725 600
      439 so that he can check on Jackton and his family. We have sent funds
      to Samwel for him to distribute. See his inspiring reports:
      http://www.ms.lt/?thinker=Samwel_Kongere Meanwhile, Asif Daya checked
      on Samwel's daughter in Nairobi, she is fine.

      The people of Kenya face awful challenges but there are bright spots in
      the news. There are many ways to help and a key one is simply to call,
      to record their news, to share news, to include ever more people who
      might allow their phone numbers to be posted, to encourage mediation and
      "thinking from the opponent's point of view", to share creative ideas
      (like peace songs), and to give compassion, love, prayer.

      Thank you to Joy Tang of One Village Foundation
      http://www.onevillagefoundation.org and all who share this letter.
      We're very interested to link with other efforts. Thank you to Ricardo,
      Agnese, Pamela, Andrius who together contributed $1,000 which we have
      already sent out to people helping in eight different places.

      Thank you for helping!


      Andrius Kulikauskas
      Minciu Sodas
      +370 699 30003
      Vilnius, Lithuania


      Sasha Mrkailo of Serbia chats with Eric Wanjamah from Kenya but studying
      in Sweden

      Sasha: where are you now Eric? :: If I remember corectly you are from
      Kenya? :: I am very upset with what is happening there :: very sad

      EricWanjamah: am in Gothenburg, Sweden. Yes, am a Kenyan but studying in
      Sweden :: am very worried

      Sasha: from which part of Kenya? :: what is hapening there? :: is your
      family safe?

      EricWanjamah: am from central Kenya, a kikuyu...reports indicate that is
      is genocide against kikuyus

      Sasha: disaster

      EricWanjamah: i don't want to imagine genocide

      Sasha: arent Kikyu majority ? :: no dont imagine kiling ,magine people
      discus things

      EricWanjamah: they are 22%, about 8million people

      Sasha: so its very mixed country

      EricWanjamah: 42 tribes in total

      Sasha: but the problem is not ethnic I think :: the problem is injustice
      :: political manipulation and people are demanding justice :: but sadly
      in a violent way :: Kenyans need to learn to demand justice in a
      nonvilent way

      EricWanjamah: Kikuyus have dominated economic and political spheres in
      Kenya, it is like the other tribes have started an uprising against the

      Sasha: otherwise all will lose

      EricWanjamah: true

      Sasha: are Kikuyu ready to share the power and control? :: what do you
      think? :: how to resolve this peacefully? :: the tragedy is that
      violence wil solve nothing :: afer violence you have again to sit down
      and solve problems

      EricWanjamah: the previous Government was all inclusive :: Sasha,I lost
      you :: my browser requires authentication after every 5 mins or so

      Sasha: I said that violence will not solve anything, after violence you
      have to again solve problems

      EricWanjamah: I believe Kikuyus are willing to share everything

      Sasha: the problem ISthe problem, not Kikuyu is the problem :: or any
      other ethnic group

      EricWanjamah: Kikuyu's are very industrious and form the economic
      backbone of Kenya

      Sasha: what do you think of this elections , where they fair?

      EricWanjamah: they are now consolidating the political power to protect
      their economic gains :: i think the elections were not fair :: but that
      does not warrant such kind of voilence

      Sasha: that is the problem, I feel :: of course, nothing does :: but its
      the cause and we need to work on causes :: not on symptoms

      EricWanjamah: since the 1960's...Kikuyus and Luos not been the bestof

      Sasha: belive me I respect all people of Kenya, I even didnt know that
      there are so many tribes in Kenya

      EricWanjamah: i have many Luo friends as well but the politicians are
      causing animosity

      Sasha: yes the politicians are just using the situation to gain more power

      EricWanjamah: they have succeeded is potraying either tribe is
      rensponsible for their dilemma

      Sasha: but ordinary people must understand that violence is not the way
      :: the problem is not tribe against tribe, the problem is people against
      injustice :: yes and they wil use media to make people angry :: but we
      need to make pople there more calm and rational :: is your family safe

      EricWanjamah: they are very worried :: running out of basic supplies ::
      life is becoming very expensive

      Sasha: oh man I am so sorry :: its like when a war starts :: you are
      sociology student? :: is there something that can be done to stop this ?

      EricWanjamah: am a Social Work student

      Sasha: tell me are cellphone numbers public in Kenya?

      EricWanjamah: they are not :: but people choose whether to make them public

      Sasha: is there some directory on the web with numbers?

      EricWanjamah: no

      Sasha: what do you think? :: hmm

      EricWanjamah: someone has just informed me that the Government has
      carried out a massive evacuation of those displaced by the violence

      Sasha: http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?KenyaCommunication :: we are
      gathering here some informations :: so you can add maybe some fresh
      informations there :: trust me that is almost of no help, from my
      experience here :: nobody wants to help refugees , sadly

      EricWanjamah: thank you...i will

      Sasha: very sad :: please read what Denis wrote about a peace meeting ::
      my idea was that if we can find a database of Kenyan numbers to send
      them SMS about nonvilence and peace bulding

      EricWanjamah: that meeting took place in my area....I recognize even the
      buildings. I have to sign off now but will be back in less that an hour
      (if there will be someone in te room)

      Sasha: convincing them to dont use vilence and encouraging them to
      cooperate with their neiborghs no mather which tribe

      EricWanjamah: i like that idea but not possible for now

      Sasha: yes I will be around

      EricWanjamah: later

      Sasha: no my dear friend its now or never

      EricWanjamah: sure :: we have to act, in our own little way :: catch you
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