Historically, the concept of donating money to help strangers has not been something readily thought about in East Africa. For the first time in Kenyan History, there is a current campaign underway called “Kenyans Help Kenya”. This cause is focused on helping fellow country men, women and children who are starving and dying of thirst in drought ridden areas of the country.
Everyone is getting involved; the taxi drivers, the day to day mothers, students and business men and everyone is donating, via the mobile phone texting system, shillings in all amounts. Every person that you talk to will share with you that they have donated, maybe only 10 shillings, but they are a part of this cause. They will also share with you that they are now learning that it is not required that you be rich to be able to help your fellow Kenyan and to make a difference.
They are not looking to the outside world for assistance because they can do it themselves. And everyone wants to be a part of it. In
over 2 weeks, this cause has raised over 500million shilling to provide desperately needed corn, beans and water to drought and food deprived areas of Kenya. And they are not stopping there. Their newest target is 1 Billion shilling in the next 4 weeks.
The corporations are getting involved as well. Kenyan Airways if providing free jets to deliver the food, the Petrol companies are
donating the fuel, Phone providers are managing the banking logistics and many companies are matching their employees contributions ( another first in Kenya history). Kenya Red Cross is managing the whole food and water distribution process. All parties are holding each other accountable and all parties are making sure the public is kept apprised of the progress. Trust is building day by day.
For the first time, the people in the streets are feeling the “power of WE”. My favorite quote was when my taxi driver said, “ I am not a rich man and I have many problems of my own but I now know that my small contribution is a part of something much bigger than me”.
A new era is dawning! I am excited to be able to witness a small step toward the new future. Erna, posted in Kenya