Arnold Omondi, a beneficiary of LWCCF’s high school sponsorship program, was a student at St. Mary’s High School Kibabii in Bungoma County. He scored a strong B+ in the secondary school exam taken by all high school seniors. This result made him one of the top 1% of the 615,284 candidates who sat for the exam. This will enable him to join the university of his choice. “From a very vulnerable back ground, he was picked from Mukuru slums in Nairobi. Today he has made us proud.”
Note: Request for sponsors for four new secondary students from Mukuru slum in Nairobi.
Dorothy Schwartz manages a sponsorship program for a non-profit organization called Living Water Children’s Fund (see http://www.lwccfund.org/joy-house-education-center/). She is looking for sponsors for the secondary students from Joy House Education Centre in Makuru, Nairobi. For further information, you may contact her at dorothy@LWCCF.org. I have added short bios and pictures of the four students needing scholarships at the end of this posting. To see a 17 minute video on the school click on
Are Nations Moral?
In the early 1980s at Pittsburgh Friends Meeting, Bob Norman, a professor of international affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, spoke in Quaker meeting to the theme that nations, like people, need to be moral. In other words, nations through their governments need to speak the truth. At that time I was quite skeptical because I saw so many instances where the US (or other) governments lied. I am not talking just about “spin” which is so common but outright lying. Now I have changed my mind.
During the last three election cycles in Kenya there has been considerable violence – over 600 people were killed, mostly by the police, in the 2007 post-election crisis and up to 100 Kenyans were killed by the police during the 2017 election cycle. In all these cases the Minister of the Interior, the police commissioner, or other government spokespeople for the security forces’ all denied that the police were using live ammunition against demonstrators. The reason they deny this is that the use of live ammunition against demonstrators is against international law. Yet there were media report after report of people including innocent bystanders and even children who were killed by bullets. The media shows spent bullet casting by the handful. And yet the government officials continue to deny they are using live ammunition. Of course by denying this they don’t have to reform and can continue using it.
This though leads to disbelief on the part of the population, namely the opposition, who are the targets of these bullets. It then increases the resistance and promotes counter-violence by the demonstrators. Great political mileage is gained by the visits by opposition politicians to those in the hospitals recovering from bullet wounds and at the funerals of those who have been killed. Since the 2008 post-election violence reform of the security forces has been high on the agenda of not only the opposition, but also civic organizations and even the international community. In short this lying is destroying the creditability of the government.
In 1979 with my parents and two of my siblings I visited Golina, my Dad’s birth village in Poland. This was right before Solidarity and the beginning of the collapse of the communist Polish government during the next decade. When I was there, I found that Poles believed exactly the opposite of what the government said since they believed that their government habitually lied. By 1979 the Polish government had no creditability with the Polish people. Therefore when Solidarity challenged the government, the government, after a few years of repression, collapsed because it was not “moral” in that it had not told the truth. Subsequently all the eastern European governments and then the Soviet Union government also collapsed. The fact that this all happened with minimal amounts of violence was due to the fact that no one believed their governments and therefore their rule collapsed because of a web of lies, a lack of morality.
Those who are watching the American scene during 2017 will surely be aware of the current lack of truth and the use of fake news by the American national government – an incredibly dangerous development.
How this is going to play out in Kenya is uncertain. Kenya is divided right down the middle and slogan such as “let’s move on” which denies this truth will only make it worse. Truth includes describing problems honestly which is the first step in working towards their resolution. Nations through their governments, therefore, to be strong, to even continue to exist, need to be moral, truthful in confronting and resolving national issues.
Students from Makuru slum who need scholarships for secondary school.
Note: students who receive a score of 250 or above on the examination are eligible for secondary school.
- AWELO AUMA SANDRA.
She is under the care of a jobless father after the mother separated from the father and married elsewhere. She has never seen her mother since she was aged 5. Living under very tough conditions, she still managed to score 305 marks out of the possible 500 in the primary school examination. She has secured admission to Our Lady of Mercy High School. See school webpage at http://ourladyofmercy.sc.ke/.
- BARAKA NEKESA CHARITY
This girl has been raised by a single mother after her father died in a road accident. She has been through harsh conditions but still managed to get the high marks of 397 out of the possible 500 in the primary school examination. She has an admission letter to Lugulu Girls High School, the best girl’s school in western Kenya and one of the finest in the country in academics. See school webpage at https://www.lugulugirls.sc.ke/.
- WERE GIDEON
Were Gideon is a total orphan who has been living with a well-wisher. Despite that he still managed to score 358 marks out of the possible 500 in the primary school examination. He has an admission letter to Butula Boys High School, one of the best schools in Western Kenya region. Its webpage is http://butulaboys.shuleweb.net/.
- JAVIS IAN KUSIMBA.
Javis was born out of wedlock, the mother later died, and he has never managed to locate his dad. Despite this, he managed to score a high mark of 390 out of the possible 500 in the primary school examination. He has an admission to St. Joseph’s National School Kitale, a prestigious school which is ranked among the top ten performers countrywide. Its webpage is http://www.stjosephsboyshigh.sc.ke/ .
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From 1998 to 2016, David Zarembka was the Coordinator of the African Great Lakes Initiative of the Friends Peace Teams. He continues his peacemaking work in East Africa with Transforming Communities for Social Change (TCSC) and Friends Church Peace Team (FCPT). He has been involved with East and Central Africa since 1964 when he taught Rwandan refugees in Tanzania. David is married to Gladys Kamonya and lives in western Kenya. David is the author of A Peace of Africa: Reflections on Life in the Great Lakes Region. He is an analyst on eastern Africa issues for TVC News in Lagos, Nigeria.
Transforming Community for Social Change (TCSC)
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Reports from Kenya: www.davidzarembka.com/