Help Kenya’s Planned Parenthood

From Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

Our Kenyan partner clinics are overwhelmed by need and lacking supplies.

Please, help Planned Parenthood get condoms, emergency contraception, and medical care to the victims of sexual violence in Kenya ? and to women and men around the world. Thank you.

In the aftermath of the unimaginable chaos and sexual violence that gripped Kenya for months, Dr. Sarah Onyango knows exactly what to do. The only problem is, there aren’t enough supplies or resources to do it.

There aren’t enough post-trauma counselors, pregnancy tests, condoms, or emergency contraception.

Normally, I write to you about how to help Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the women, men, and young people we serve surmount challenges here in the U.S. But the reports coming out of our Africa Regional Office in Kenya are beyond comprehension. And that’s why I’m writing you today.

Right now, I need your help to ensure that critical reproductive health services continue to be available to the millions of Kenyans who need them ? and that we have the funds to continue our work around the world. Please help.

Talking to our Africa Regional Director, Dr. Onyango, I could hardly believe her composure given the challenges she’s facing. Her update spoke of progress, but against odds that I can’t even imagine. She told me that her staff members who feared for their lives have been successfully relocated; the health care provider who was shot is now recovering; the health clinics that were burned down or destroyed are nowhere near being rebuilt, but the nurses and counselors have found ways to continue to treat rape and trauma survivors; and health workers continue to distribute what contraceptives they have left however they can.


Joint Government?

Just announced on The Today Show:

Today Kenya’s ruling party and opposition agreed to form a joint government in an effort to end weeks of post-election violence there that’s killing more than a thousand lives. The two sides are still discussing which roles each party would play.

A quick news search produced the following results:

Kenya govt sees end in sight at crisis talks
Reuters – 13 minutes ago
27 polls, shattering Kenya’s image as a stable business, tourism and transport hub. “It is not complete yet, but the progress is excellent. …

Breakthrough reported in Kenya crisis talks
Reuters South Africa, South Africa -35 minutes ago
NAIROBI, Feb 8 (Reuters) – Negotiators for Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga have achieved a “breakthrough” in their dispute … has updated their post-election chronology but has yet to mention this development.

Viral Politics

A new form of post-election unrest, the Kibaki Tosha Tena Virus and the Odinga Raila Pop-up, has reared its ugly head, infiltrating technology, breaching Kenya’s borders and adding more frustration to the already troublesome mix.

As for the first virus, says:

Seeing this “KIBAKI TOSHA KIBAKI TENA” message during Windows logon means that you have been infected with W32.Baki.A. A worm that spreads via local, network and removable drives. It is known to promote a presidential candidate in Kenya and has a full message of:

“KIBAKI FOR PRESIDENT VOTE KIBAKI FOR A BETTER FUTURE. We need a person who have thought of tomorrow and willing to salvage our country. Kibaki have done so in the past five years. KIBAKI TOSHA TENA”


I Have No Tribe

David Kobia just went live with his new brainchild, I Have No Tribe. This site is dedicated to positive discourse on the Kenyan conflict from around the world and it has been met with great response in the form of debate, poetry, hope and support.

In early January, Kobia contributed to tech development of Ushahidi, a forum for civilian reporting on acts of violence through electronic means during the Kenyan government’s (recently lifted) ban on media. That project was the brainchild of bloggers Kenyan Pundit, White African, Afromusing, and Mentalacrobatics.

No News Is Not Good News

Kenya: Media Being Silenced As Political Crisis Intensifies, Washington
A continuing ban on live broadcasts and new death threats to journalists in Kenya are silencing media reports on the country’s escalating political crisis

The organisations say the ban harms the ability of journalists to cover Kenya’s unfolding political crisis, and that “the situation is worse than the government wants the public and the world to believe.” According to the Media Institute, nearly 1,500 people have died and more than 250,000 have fled their homes.

Autosmiler has posted a series of text messages from her friend Emmanuel Leina Tasur, a Kenyan Village Volunteer host, with news regarding Kericho, Transmara, Nakuru, Naivasha, Kisumu, Nyeri, and Nyahururu. Although brief in their transmission, they somehow say so much.

Kenya’s Suspension of Safety

Village Volunteers has officially suspended their volunteer program through February, and cannot guarantee volunteer placement in Kenya for future months.

While it is our hope that peace will be restored soon, we are committed to the safety of our volunteers and will not be able to resume our program in Kenya until we can be assured that all volunteers will be safe.

Safety seems a distant dream. AlJazeera’s video today illustrates a situation so far removed from safe that, from where I sit, only the escalation of crimes against humanity is plainly evident. I cannot fathom how, in interviews, angry mobs can speak of rights to land, land that has been stolen but cannot feel physical and emotional pain, and at the same time they steal the rights of human beings who have an enormous capacity for pain when limb is severed from body, father from mother, parents from children, life from death – forever. The land will remain, but it will be indelibly stained with the blood of the murdered and wounded.