Kenya

Kenya: As couple flees violence, a baby is born

Rose Ayako was nine months pregnant and due to deliver any day when Kenya erupted in violence after the disputed election of President Mwai Kibaki. Fearing for their lives for their unborn child, Rose and her husband Freddie fled their home in search of safety. They found it at a World Concern-run camp for internally displaced people in Mulot.

Rose gave birth to a baby boy, David, while living in the camp. With the help of our relief team based in the nearby town of Narok, Rose was provided with the urgent medical attention she needed as well as extra portions of maize meal, rice, and milk to help with her unique nutritional needs.

Rose's story is one that speaks profoundly to the history underlying the turbulence and violence in Kenya, once one of the most prosperous and peaceful nations on the continent.

Even before the disputed elections of December 27th, Rose's life had been marked by tribal prejudice. Rose fell in love with and married Freddie, a member of the neighboring Kisii tribe, one of 42 tribes that make up Kenya's richly diverse population. However, as a result of her marriage with Freddie, Rose was ostracized from her native Kalengins and forced to live away from the only friends and family she had ever known. For the last year, mostly alone, Rose and Freddie made their life together by selling household goods at the local market in Mulot.

Then came the tragic violence in the wake of the hotly contested election that reinstated incumbent President, Mwai Kibaki. As the nation plummeted into chaos, many Kenyans from the opposition party began placing blame on individual tribes that had historically supported President Kibaki and his party. Among the tribes being targeted were the Kisiis, the very tribe to which Rose's husband belonged, and the very tribe her native Kalengins had isolated. The couple chose to flee as the death toll mounted.

While Rose and her family wait for peace to return to Kenya, she sends 'many thanks and gratitude' to the relief team and to the donors who continue to give generously to assist in World Concern's ongoing relief efforts.