Mary – our matron at the Halfway House – made this old woman feel at home during her temporary stay a the Halfway House. The woman was later picked up by relatives who took her to their urban home in the slums of Nairobi. Earlier she had fled her rural home – barefooted with no belongings at all. Mary packed her a bag of clothes and a blanket to go with – what a drop in the ocean…
Seit den Unruhen in Kenia haben im Nest und in unserem Halfway Haus vorübergehend oder auf längere Zeit mittlerweile 18 Erwachsene und 36 Kinder Zuflucht gefunden. Bevor die Familien fliehen mussten, waren die meisten Kleinst-Bauern auf dem Land gewesen. Ihre Häuser wurden abgebrannt, ihr Vieh gestohlen – meist von arbeitslosen Jugendlichen und kriminellen Banden, die sich das politische Chaos im Lande zunutze machten und unter dem Deckmantel der “ethnischen Säuberung” handelten. Jene Menschen, die bei uns eintreffen (repräsentativ für die Mehrheit der Vertriebenen) haben alle etwas gemeinsam: sie hatten ihr Leben lang ein einfaches aber friedliches Leben auf dem Land geführt und sie hatten mir den Ausbrüchen der Gewalt nicht gerechnet. Nun stehen sie vor der großen Frage: wie geht es weiter? Auch wir haben keine Antwort.
Ever since the violence outbreaks started in Kenya we have offered more than a dozen people a temporary home at the Halfway House or The Nest in Limuru. Some of them have appreciated a warm bed for just a day or two, others have been staying for longer. They all fled their homesteads and little farms following the violence that struck their rural home areas. Their houses have been burnt and their cattle stolen – they are left with nothing but their worries for the future. We are asking ourselves, what will happen to all these people? We have watched many of them come and go. We have shared their fears and hopes. We have helped them out with what we are able to give: food, shelter, clothes and some emergency money. But we have no answer to their deepest worry: where is home?
“I used to own 10 cows, 13 goats and chicken for eggs. Our house was burnt down, the animals where taken away. But the worst of all, I couldn’t save the title deed for my land. I have no proof of who I was.”
“I had been growing maize, beens and cabbages in our little farm. It has always been enough to support my family. Our youngest daughter and our three grandchildren have been living with us on the farm. Now we are all stranded with no hopes.”
” I have three children. The oldest is now staying with the other children at The Nest, attending school. The two youngest are staying with me and my parents at the Halfway House. We are glad to be here for the time being.”