Apr 16 2008

Letter from Kenya

We received this letter recently written by a sponsored child who lives near Nairobi, Kenya, to her sponsor in the U.S. We were touched by her first-hand descriptions of how the recent violence in Kenya has affected her. We’re withholding her name to protect her security in the still-volatile nation. If you’d like to read more about the unrest in Kenya and how it affected sponsored members, we’ve written several news stories here.

17 March, 2008

Dear Joe,

How have you been? Well, I hope it has been well with you. How was your Christmas and more how is your new year going? For me I am happy now that the violence has ceased and that am in my last year in high school.

I spent my Christmas very well since the election hadn’t taken place but ever since 28th (of December) it was very bad. You know we live in a place like 80 kilometers from the capital city Nairobi … where when people learned that President Kibaki had won they celebrated because the majority are the tribe of Kikuyus, so all my Luo friends were evacuated back to their ancestral home.

We had lived with them all my life only to be separated like long-time enemies. As the violence continued we were even told not to wear specific clothes like trousers. Although I am Kikuyu, I used to go to the police station where almost like 5,000 people had camped since they neither had a home nor money to take them back to their rural homes.

I remember I didn’t celebrate the new year as I am used to but I had to stay indoors. If you were to be seen straying after 7 p.m. (that was the curfew time), you could have been killed by either the police or a vigilante group called Mungikis.

Properties were looted and burned in various places and at night a person could hear gunshots next to your house. Things got out of hand and the Mungikis claimed that my mother was a supporter of the opposition that is the party of Raila Odinga so she was brought home by policemen.

Thank you very much for the lunch you sponsored for us last year. It was very nice. Our photos were taken and we were given clothes. It was really thrilling because we didn’t expect it.

All in all, even after the post-election violence, we came back to school, though a little bit late, but it doesn’t matter so long as we finish school. I really am in a dilemma between doing telecommunications engineering and doing designing (graphic or Web).

I hope your daughter is progressing on well. I really wish that the people of U.S.A. will choose a president fairly and hence no violence will take place.

Since I am one of the biggest supporters of Manchester United, I really felt bad when they were defeated by Arsenal in the FA cup. (It’s rather odd for a girl to like football in Kenya but nothing is ever odd to me).

I pray and hope that your job is progressing well.

In school this year there was a celebration due to the good performance of last year’s candidates, and so our hopes are hoisted high that we as the current candidates will pass come the examinations.

Right now Kenya is going back to her usual doings but for me life will never be the same. The wound will take long to heal. Thank you for your support and everything you have done for me. I wish you a happy Easter holiday.

Your sponsored child,

(Name withheld)

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