Friday, May 5, 2017

2017 Kenya Log Entry 8

 A little background information first.

Violence following the 2007 Kenyan presidential elections saw houses and businesses burned and over a half million people driven from their homes. 4,500 of these refugees set up camp beside the town of Maai Mahiu in the Rift Valley, building dwelling places out of any material they could find. Most homes were made from rice or potato bags and plastic shopping bags held up by sticks. These families never returned home, but now consider these camps their home.

Luckily, over the years, various charitable organizations have built homes for many of these families. Yet, ten years later, conditions for many have not improved much.

My daughter Val first visited these camps in 2010. I returned with her in 2013. Circumstances have gotten better, but there is still an oppressive air throughout the village. I visited again in 2015 and Val was there a year ago.

With every trip, we think, “something’s got to get better for these people.” But change is slow in coming. 
First there is the ravine which separates the school from the homes. 
 The roads into the community are long and dusty. When we were there last month, rain hadn’t fallen in a very long time. 
There’s another ravine separating more homes from the outside world.
Many of the homes are now made of cement blocks. But many, such as this fairly new home, are made with cheaper materials. 

 The family that lives here was so happy and grateful to move into this house. 

How’s the kitchen in your house compare to this? Think you still need stainless steel appliances and granite countertops? 
Once this project is finished, it will be the best outhouse many of the people in this camp have had in ten years. 

But some people are still making due with what they have. 

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