Okay, I’m breaking from the rules of Watchmeturn30.com and not posting a photo of me from today, but a photo of me from around this time last year. I was volunteering in Kenya through a program called Village Volunteers, and this is a classroom at Pathfinder Academy, a school where we lived in huts and worked with the children.
Recent elections in Kenya have triggered violence between the different tribes, volunteers are being evacuated and many people are dying. So I’m posting this letter from Joshua, the headmaster of Pathfinder Academy and an amazing man who constantly works to better his community by housing orphans at his school, educating farmers on sustainable practices and more. I’m praying that the children at the school are protected, and that the violence can be stopped. Here is Joshua’s letter:
“Dear Friends and supporters,
My warm greetings from Kitale, Kenya. I have not been able to communicate because of so many reasons and so many people have asked how we are doing in the midst of the crisis. I know you have been watching the news about Kenya and may have received other e-mails about the situation, but I want to send this update.
We have been safe till Monday when unknown people set one of our volunteer huts on fire. I was outside my house at 7.30PM relaxing after hard work and no lunch when Alison Johnson, our 1st 2008 volunteer came running while yelling that the house was on fire. Security men were within the school compound. Someone had scrawled through the nearby cassava crop and tossed the fire on the hut next to net bathrooms. The hut was burnt but no one was hurt during the incidence. I think the person realized that it was difficult to enter the compound and this why he had to toss the fire to the house from the neighbors’ farm. We lost a chair, water tank and a few other items. God was on our side that the fire did not spread to the other houses and electricity line was not destroyed.
Neighbors, students and government who arrived at the scene assisted to put off the fire. In any case we are all in good health condition and we continue to take care of the children at Pathfinder Academy and in the villages.
Alison Johnson traveled to Nairobi safely as arranged to avoid rallies for Mass action to force President Kibaki to quit office. She will be flying out on 20th. It is not safe to be in Kenya at the moment with the rallies going on in major towns and cities.
Kiminini Division has 6, 000 kids displaced and are being accommodated by churches and school. These children are going to miss school according to the District Education office of Trans-Nzoia District. Pathfinder Academy has taken on some of these kids. The school has kids from Eldoret, Mt. Elgon, and Busia and within the district.
Over 20 of the CGP clients have had their homes burned and are without shelter or food. Some have moved to Nairobi and Eldoret Police station. Some of affected Pathfinder Academy students have nothing to rely on as most of them lost everything. Many of you have asked how you can help. If you can help, this would be great.
The best way to help is to provide funds for food for the kids, school supplies (writing materials, text books, blankets, mosquito nets and uniforms), food and materials for temporal housing for the kids at Pathfinder Academy and affected villagers at Sirisia Medical Center, where 10 children on average are dying each day.
If you want to help you can send a check to Village Volunteers. Designate it for “Kenya Crisis” and send it to: Village Volunteers; 5100 South Dawson Street, Suite 202; Seattle, WA 98118 USA; Phone: (206) 577-0515
Please pray with me – for peace to prevail in Kenya.