Saturday, January 26, 2008

Jan 21, Emergency Relief Fund

From: the Board of Friends of Kakamega

Dear friends,

Greetings and thank you for your all prayers and encouragement over these past troubled weeks. We just spoke with Dorothy Saturday morning and she says that having us all behind her has been keeping her strong at this time. Like everyone else in Kenya her life has been turned upside down by the political crisis and violence. She says she never expected that Kenyans could do this to one another.

The Friends of Kakamega Board has decided that we would like to help in the effort to assist the tens of thousands of people who have had to run to refugee centers for safety, like those holed up in the police compound in Kakamega town.

Friends of Kakamega is creating an Emergency Relief Fund for this purpose. We are beginning this by immediately sending $3000 that a donor has released for us to help people in the refugee centers. ?Many of you have asked how you might help. And so we are making it possible for you to send money to Friends of Kakamega specifically for the purpose of emergency relief; ?the funds will go to the Friends United Meeting (FUM) Quaker office in Kisumu where they will oversee the distribution of aid.

Dorothy has already had success in bringing blankets and mattresses to the refugee centre in Kakamega Town. She has also gone to the Lugari refugee centre which has swelled to 18,000 people!

Lugari is northeast of Kakamega, near Eldoret where the church was burned with people in it. Kalinjin tribal men have been attacking Luhya (Dorothy's tribe) as well as Luo (Odinga's tribe) and Kikuyu people (Kibaki's tribe). There have been terrible massacres around there. Dorothy and her husband Evans brought blankets, food, soap and medicines. She says blankets are still available for purchase. And some food stuffs are becoming available (grains, not vegetables) but the price has doubled and tripled. She says the people at Lugari need so much prayer and encouragement as they despair of how they will ever put their lives back together with nothing to start over with. And they fear the violence and retributions will not end.

United Society of Friends Women (USFW)
As you know, the Kakamega Orphan Project and Care Centre is run by Quaker (Friends) Women. The USFW is a highly organized and decentralized organization run by women with an excellent reputation for their honesty and ethic of trying to do God's work. It is the USFW women who will purchase the blankets/food, etc and distribute the aid to refugee centres. One-third of the money we send over will be for refugee centers in and near Kakamega; two-thirds will be used by USFW groups in other parts of Kenya that are in desperate need. All will be carefully overseen by the FUM Quaker office in Kisumu . The Kenyan and American staff working at that office will have fiscal responsibility for funds coming in.
A shop burned out in Kakamega, down the street from the bank.

Later this week a conference for all the Kenyan Quaker groups in westernKenya will be held in Kakamega to consider what their political and humanitarianresponse to the crisis should be and how they can work best together. This is a timefor them to really lead with the Friends Peace Testimony and find ways to carry that Testimony out.

A Kikuyu owned maize mill and shop in Kakamega.

Please help them bring a little relief and hope. ? You can send money to:
Friends of Kakamega
51 Hunter Road
Freeport, ME ?04032

All donations are fully tax-deductible. ? No administrative overhead costs will
be taken from the donations.

We thank you for whatever help you can give. It will be sent over immediately. We are happy to answer any questions you might have about this. I'm also happy to send you a more detailed information/understanding of the situation.I just don't want to flood everyone with more emails than I've already been sending.

Please continue to hold the Kenyan people in the Light, that there may bea political settlement that begins to unfold and that there be a reduction inthe extreme levels of inequity, corruption, frustration and violence.

Thank you for being our friends,
The Board of Friends of Kakamega?

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