The conference came out with a plan of action as a guide to the committee. The committee embarked on business immediately convening meetings on the following dates:-
1st February 2008
9th February 2008
19th February 2008
The following work has so far been accomplished as a result of the committee meetings.
POLITICAL CRISIS INTERVENTION
- A pastoral letter from the conference was written on 27th January 2008 to president Mwai Kibaki and Hon Odinga requesting them to speed up the process of reconciliation and peace building to avoid more blood- shed in Kenya.
- An effort to ues the media to publicize massages of peace and reconciliation has been made, particularly when the media covered occasions of distribution of humanitarian items to IDPs at their centers.
HUMANITARIAN CRISIS INTERVENTION
The committee put itself in groups and visited various IDO centers on specific dates, distributing humanitarian items to the displaced.
THURSDAY 7th FEBRUARY 2008
GROUP I: Visited Machewa Chief Centre in trans-nzoia District, valley Province, which had 360
GROUP II: Visited Kiminini Market where IDP had camped at Deliverance Church with 1,270 People and Toba Vunja Church with 80 families. This was also in Trans-nzoia District, Rift Valley Province.
GROUP III: Visited Sabata Shopping center in the same district as above where there were 1,858 People.
Most displaced people in all centers came from Mt Elgon. Items distributed at every centre were maize, beans, rice, cooking fats, salt, sugar, soap, blankets, water filters and clothes donated by Kenyan friends. The amount depended on the number of the people at the centers.
FRIDAY 15th FEBRUARY 2008
The Committee decide to revist the above three centers on this date due to overwhelming needs at the centers. In addition to the above, Milembe Friends Church was visited where 3,200 people were staying on 3 farms, i.e Milembe farm, Rengecha farm, and Meso farm. Same items of varying quantities were supplied.
TUESDAY 26th FEBRUARY 2008
Two Centres were visited on this date:-
ELDORET: Joshua Lilande, Seth Chayuga and Sammy Akifuma visited the place and found 50 families. Maize, beans, rice, cooking fats, salt, sugar, soap and blankets were given out. Eldoret is in Uasin Gishu District in Rift Valley Province.
CHEPTULU CHIEFS CENTRE: Had over 1,200 people driven away from Rift valley where they had bought land and settled. Their houses were burnt to ashes, cattle taken away and are now housed by relatives and friends. The centers are in Kakamega District, western province. Maize, beans, rice, cooking fats, salt, sugar, soap, and blankets were distributed by John Muhanji, Glady’s Kang’ahi, Dorothy Selebwa, Rose Imbega, Eric Lijoodi, Wesley H. Sasita, Joseph M. Makokha and Friends Theological College Principal, Lecturers and students plus Juddy of Kaimosi Friends Hospital. Clothes donated by Kenyan Friends were also given out.
NAIROBI: Ksh. 75,000 was sent to the clerk of Nairobi yearly meeting for the needs of the place. A report is yet to be given on what was bought and distributed.
WEDNESDAY 27th FEBRUARY 2008
Giachere Friends Secondary school in Kisii District, Nyanza province was visted by John Muhanji, Gladys Kang’ahi, Dorothy Selebwa, Rose Imbega. Wesley Harun Sasita, Joseph Mamai Makokha and Juddy of Friends Hospital Kaimosi. 160 students, boys and girls had run away from Nakuru, Njoro, Eldoret, Burnt forest and other places and were admitted to this school without fees payment, exercise books, text books, personal effects. This heavily strained the school resources. Many of the students were traumatized. One of the girls students could not complete her story of experience of the violence she witnessed.
We delivered 20 bags of maize, 5 bags of beans, 3 bags of sugar, 2 packets of salt and 2 cartons of soap all of which were not enough for the needs of the displaced students. Other needs the school requested for were desks, text books, school uniforms, counseling for trauma healing distinctly seen in students.
The next and 4th meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 11th March 2008 when we shall identify other IDP centers for our visits.
Apart from what was given, all the centers visited requested fro the following:-
- School fees for the displaced students.
- More food up to next harvest.
- Farm inputs incase they go back to their homes.
- Material to reconstruct their houses.
- More blankets
- Tents as they await resettlement.
- Sanitary towels for young and girls.
- Counseling and trauma healing
Unfortunately, we are limited with funds to attend to these genuine needs.
Spiritual Crisis and Listening Programme
- Before distribution of humanitarian items, each group gave the IDPs time to speak out their experiences of the violence as we listened. Then words of encouragement and advice against hatred and retaliation were given by committee members.
- The gospel of peace was preached from the Bible by pastors who had accompanied the groups. AVP and CAPP people had moments with individuals displaced person’s
60 AVP and CAPP members had a workshop on 23rd February 2008 and laid down strategies on when to visit IDP camps for counseling and trauma healing sessions. Right now they are in the field for “listening sessions” and counseling where people tell their stories in safe environment.
In three weeks time from 23rd, they will assemble back to asses the progress.
To guarantee integrity and transparency in use of funds the FCPT committee put the money at it’s disposal into vote heads. We eceived US$ 22261 (KSh. 1,58,620)
FCPT Committee expenses
Direct Humanitarian Aid
Peace making / Reconciliation activities
We are adhering to the above “crisis management" budget allocation as much as possible. The Committee sits, identifies what to be bought, it does the budget for what to be bought and John Muhanji gives cash to members who would have been identified for purchasing and all items are brought to one central store from where they are carried to IDP centers. Virement, where necessary, can be done by the whole committee. So far there is total respect to the budget allocation.
Mediation in situations of acute and persistent conflict.
An attempt to talk to Sabaot Land Defense force has started and is still at very infant stage. This is an armed group with powerful weapons who may be responsible for deaths of many people in mt Elgon. It is our hope that our talks with them will convince them to demand for their rights peacefully as we convince the Government to listen to their grievances without harassment. This attempt may bring lasting solution to the violence in the area that has persisted for more than two years now.
It may also, if successful, reintegrate displaced people into the community and rebuild trust between neighbors.
On behalf of Friends Church peace Team, I highly appreciate the assistance our overseas friends have given us. It has enabled us reach where we are and we hope to cover more short-term work. But long term work has to start now that peace in Kenya has been reached. Displaced people required resettlement. Houses will be required, farm inputs, youths empowerment, economic development, advocacy, spiritual development of the pece testimony and organizational capacity are the activities we have earmarked to do as long-term activities. We kindly ask for more financial support locally and from overseas for the above to be accomplished. We are strongly committed to integrity, transparency and accountability in use of funds.
May God Almighty’s Hand be seen in this work.
Joseph Mamai Makokha
Friends Church Peace Team
5th March 2008