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2008 Kenya Emergency Relief

We ran a small emergency relief programme in 2008 in Nairobi. Our Family Strengthening Programme (FSP) in Nairobi supports at least 611 families within the 10 clusters it serves. Most of our beneficiaries live in slum or semi-slum areas. 

After the announcement of the presidential results in December 2008, in Nairobi area alone, fights erupted between ethnic communities.  People from different communities supporting the two major presidential candidates fought and killed each other.  We target households with children at risk of losing parental care; they were greatly affected by the political skirmishes.  Some families’ houses were burnt down and other families were forced to flee from their homes where some had lived for more than 10 years.

In January 2008, we launched a small Emergency Relief programme to meet the basic needs of those effected including food for all those already on the program.  The distribution benefited (903) children and (372) adults. 

Displaced child Nairobi KenyaIn the month of February, the two opposing leaders came to an agreement when the ethnic fighting reduced at the community level. It was during this month; a group 50 carers had approached our office to ask us to continue with support for at least until those affected could reconstruct homes.

A consultative meeting with community stakeholders was immediately convened and amongst the major problems highlighted included:-
•    displacement due to burnt houses and hostility from neighbours,
•    lack of food,
•    lack of school uniform for the children as most had lost their personal effects to arson and pilferage of their homesteads and
•    Post election trauma.

We moved with urgency to support them using contuingenct funding. Quickly, objectives were set and a work plan developed as shown below.

1.1    Objectives
•    To restore the weakened health and nutrition status of  the clients affected
•    Help those affected clients to improve self reliance
•    Provide trauma support to both adults and children in order to cope with effects of the post election violence.
2. Actions

To achieve these objective we provided:
a)    Nutrition support for FSP and non FSP beneficiaries,
b)    Medical support and Trauma support for both adults and children

2.1     Nutrition Support.

The clients were given food rations in the month of May and June. It was planned that they be given food in three sessions. Each family received Maize Flour, Beans, Porridge flour , Cooking fat and Soya chunks     

The weights and BMI of the clients were monitored each time they came for their rations to see if they were improving and for some of them there has been visible improvement in their nutritional status.

In addition to the food rations, we visited family gardens in at Kayole, Dandora, Soweto, City Carton, Spring Valley, Kiambiu, KCC and Kariobangi and 50 families were identifed to receive from seeds and tools (slasher, panga and jembe) for kitchen gardening where it would evidentally make a difference. We have revisited these to ensure good use was being made of them.

2.2  Medical care 

We provided treatment of 50 patients for injuries sustained during the violence. A further 30 patients were issued with antiretroviral drugs to cover the period when their regular clinics within their locality were closed.

2.3 Trauma support (Children).

The process of providing trauma support to children started in the month of April. In the last eight months, 15 kids’ club activities on post election violence were conducted at Dandora, Spring Valley, Kayole, Soweto and General. 142 (67Male and 75 Female) children participated actively during the sessions.  The main focus for all the clubs was post election violence which was covered with aim of helping the children deal with effects of the post election violence. In addition, it was expected that by the end of the implementation period, children will appreciate other children or people from different cultural backgrounds. During the activities different methodologies were used namely drawing, coloring, question and answer, discussions and singing.

The adult trauma support took place over a period of three weeks.  3 therapy sessions were held at Kayole, Dandora and Soweto. 38 support group members participated in these sessions. From these sessions, it emerged that some members had gone through terror especially due to the organized groups in Kayole who had terrorized the residents.  It also emerged that children of some of the members were involved in cascading the violence.  There was also clear tribal division and it was necessary for us to reinforce the norms from time to time.  By the end of the session members were able to offload and share the pain they had gone through.  The three sessions lasted for one and a half hours each.

3.0     PARTNERS.
FSP partnered with the Government of Kenya especially through the local administration where our clients were referred to for food rations at the chief camps.  FSP and non-FSP beneficiaries were also referred to other like minded organizations that were offering support to the affected Kenyans such as Kenya Network of Women living HIV/AIDS (KENWA),  Kenyatta National hospital, Eastern Deanery and Coptic Hospital.
Below is a summary of those helped by the Emergency programme during the said period.

Food distribution  1,275
Skills training        15
Seeds and tool       50 families
Psychosocial (Children)     142
Psychosocial (Adults)      38
Medical Care     80
TOTAL                                1,600


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