Archive / November, 2010

Wanted: Kiswahili Translators

The former executive director of Unicef once said that 80% of the children who die every day in Africa are dying for lack of knowledge. I would sadly concur with his statement. It broke my heart to see what difficulty rural Kenyans had in understanding the healthcare information that was available to them. Excellent health [...]

When the desperately poor help the less fortunate

As our van stopped on the red soil sandy road, the women came out in their colourful headscarves, singing an African song. Each one pressed our hands as we walked with them up to see their garden plots and their tree nursery. The school children who had been bathing in the river hid in the [...]

What do Kenyans Need Most?

Given the range of needs in this country that people are struggling to address, we’ve asked community after community the same question: “What is your top priority?” The ABC development department is working on a variety of initiatives to address the many needs: weirs and wells, food security, school fees and uniforms, microcredit, farming, shelter, [...]

Elephant Orphans in Kenya

Yesterday I wrote about what Kenyan communities are doing to keep orphans in their own homes. The elephant orphanage we visited here has the same goal, taking care of the baby elephants until, as teenagers, they can be gradually reintroduced back into their communities. Ivory is more lucrative and in higher demand since the ban, [...]

Now I have a blouse and a skirt

It may not seem to be the case, but it was a joyous occasion. We had been welcomed to the village of Thange because our hosts,  the African Brotherhood Church and the Canadian Baptist Ministries, have taken a unique, and powerful approach to helping some of the many orphans in this country. Local groups of [...]

The Professional Face of Africa

This is not the Africa I expected. I am ashamed  of the assumptions I came here with. I was expecting to find a continent, a country, languishing with its hand held out for help. The people here need some assistance – there’s no doubt about that. But, to paraphrase the song, “Africans are doing it [...]

You ask me what my people need. I will tell you.

You ask me what my people need. I will tell you. We need water for our people. Water is the most important thing. If you don’t have potatoes you can eat arrowroot, but if you don’t have water, there is no substitute. With water everything comes. With water we can grow food for our people. [...]

Edward Nzinga’s Story

Soon it will be dark and I will have to leave this cyber café in Machacos town – they say it is not so safe for me to walk at night, though the hotel is not far. I wish I could even begin to tell you of all the wonderful people we spoke to today, [...]

What happened to Africa’s 20 million orphans?

What has happened to Africa’s 20 million orphans? I found a few of them today. We had driven for two hours outside of Machachos town, down red-earth roads where we saw no other cars, just motorcycles, improbably loaded with people and sacks and even animals. There are not enough orphanages for all of Kenya’s AIDS  orphans, but [...]

I’m glad you’ve come when we’re happy

Trizia, the woman with the perfect cornrows, held my hand in hers. “I’m glad you’ve come when we’re happy,” she said, holding her other hand out to the skies. “The rains have arrived.” And so begins my second day in Kenya. On my first day, after a nighttime arrival, the greeting came from a herd [...]