NABUUR is an online volunteering site that connects people in the Global South with volunteers who support small scale projects in towns and villages. I was browsing through the site when I clicked on Kenya and discovered messages sent by members either through email or by SMS to their supporting volunteers. It is good to know that people on the ground are getting their stories out to each other and the wider world. Here are some of the messages:
From Kajulu, a Village near the Ugandan border
04 jan: “Hi Pelle! It’s terrible here! No phone cards. Pple dying esp. children of disease. Hunger biting. More police shooting. Trying to raise some support to assist people.”
01 jan: “Security situation is getting worse! over 300 ppl killed – one being my cousin. Gun shots everywhere. The impact is real – no basic needs available.”
30 dec: “Kibaki declared Presidential winner though opposition won. He’s just been sworn in 15 minutes after. There’s bloodshed in Kenya. Police kills over 50 ppl.”
29 dec: “Hi Pelle! I’ve been out involved in the general elections in Kenya hence not visited the cyber cafe for a week. There are bloody chaos over rigging. The violence is building up across Kenya now. So there’s no leaving any village. If things settle, then on Monday I’ll be at the cyber cafe. Keepinhttp://blacklooks.org/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=1786
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We were very very happy to receive your letter and advice. Hope you’re fine likewise to us despite the violence that rocked our country due to the disputed general elections result by the opposition leader Raila Odinga who was rigged out by president Mwai Kibaki. The violence has now gone for about 6 days leaving over 500 people dead and thousands injured cut by pangas and others. Us we are ok only waiting to hear from you.”
From Kabondo, Kenya
Dear all, the latest update fr Eric, which we received through sms
The situation is chaotic in our village, but with the continuing internaitonal pressure, we hope all will be fine. Thanks for your concern
I just wanted to let everyone know that I have heard from Eric via email, and he is safe. There has been much turmoil in the area being the home province of the opposition leader, and unfortunately, there has been violence. He did inform me that they managed to have a party but only 97 children were able to attend due to the curfew that has been imposed. He will keep us updated as he can.
Back in one piece
I am happy amid the limited challenges around here to rejoin with my beloved nabuur friends. I arrived in Nairobi yesterday from Mwihila village, though I was suppossed to have come back a week ago.
My family and I got a strange ride on our way back: fast paced drive in a convoy of many vehicles, under police guard from Kisumu city to Nairobi. The road itself is usually very bad, but to remain within the convoy sandwitched between police squads, there was no choice.
The terrain between Kisumu and Nairobi looks strange, roads litterred with remains of burnt tyres, burnt homes/farms and in some cases burnt car shells. Calm has returned to the capital city, and one cannot imagine any problem while in the city.
We were even lucky to get a vehicle from Western Kenya, where everyone who proceeded home for christmas or came to Nairobi for the same remained holed up there.
Meanwhile, I must report that everything was normal in our village. Villagers kept following BBC news on updates to our Kenyan crisis and local media is acting “patriotic”.