In the aftermath of the election violence that ensued in Kenya, Scouts in Nairobi, Eldoret and in Nakuru offered a helping hand to IDPs fleeing from their homes.
In Nakuru, in a community service exercise led by the Area Commissioner, Mr. Joseph Wahome and the Leader Trainer, Mr. Simon Muthoga, 25 Scouts provided assistance to IDPs at the Nakuru Show Ground from December 31st, 2007 – just 4 days after the election. The operation is still on-going, in close collaboration with the Red Cross.
Said Joan Muthoni of Kenya Scouts Association, who was part of the exercise, 'activities we conducted included serving meals, offloading donations, controlling traffic of donors vehicles, receiving IDPs – those on transit as well as those coming to the camp, keeping the children busy by entertaining them and educating them on hygiene'. She added that they also manned an information centre for helping those who were looking for their relatives and loved ones.
The IDPs arrived at the Show Ground from various places, namely: Eldoret, Kericho, Pondamali and Captembo among others. The Kenya Scouts Association held a meeting on January 21, 2008 with a view to assess the situation hence consider possibilities of how to assist further families of the victims of the clashes.
Scouts offered services but mainly in Kibera slums, Jamuhuri Park which is adjacent to the National Scouts Headquarters.
In Kibera they helped in the distribution of food, shelter and clothing, with Mr. Musa Mukagwa, National Director, Security and Special Programmes- Kenya Scouts Association, leading the team
In Mathare, Scouts helped the displaced in pitching tents and moving the affected to the camps and offered First Aid and counseling sessions led by Paul Musembi, Youth Forum Chairman, Africa.
In Kahawa Scouts helped in relocating the displaced. An activity led by Philip Kisila, Impesa Rover Crew Leader.
Mr. Selesioh Njiru, a police officer and an Area Commissioner for Embakasi, helped the displaced persons in camps and was later promoted thanks to his commendable service to those in difficulties.
As tension remains high in Kenya, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan flew into Kenya on January 22, 2008 in order to chair the mediation. Yoweri Museveni, Ugandan President had arrived earlier in the country and held talks with the president. Graça Machel, wife of Nelson Mandela, and other African Eminent Persons, also arrived in order to look for a solution for the political impasse.
At the regional level, Rubina M. Haroon and Alphonsine Kabagabo, Regional Directors of both WOSM and WAGGGS in Africa respectively recently signed a joint statement in a bid to appeal for stability in Kenya.
Part of the statement reads: 'Our organizations wish to join the many others concerned for the safety and well-being of all Kenyan citizens in these trying times and urge restraint and constructive dialogue between the stakeholders to achieve a speedy resolution and restoration of normalcy'.
Paul Musembi, Youth Forum Chairman, Africa
Joan Muthoni, Kenya Scouts Association
The Daily Nation
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