Kenya + 1 more

Kenya elections aftermath updated 14 Jan 2008

January 14, 2008

The post-election unrest in Kenya is slowly settling, violence remains sporadic, and the threat of new uprisings still lingers. In addition to damaged homes, businesses and public buildings, looting is taking place and there are basic commodity shortages as well as price hikes.

CCF is meeting the most pressing needs of children and their families in Nairobi, the country's capital city.  CCF is providing critical supplies to meet basic needs and creating programs to address the needs of women and children affected by violence.  CCF is poised to open five Child Centered Spaces in Nairobi which will provide a safe and structured environment for children.

These Child Centered Spaces give children a safe place where they can play with others and begin to heal.  The centers also provide a place for parents and caregivers to discuss how to best meet the basic needs of their families. CCF boasts a strong history of successfully providing centers which focus on the psychosocial needs of children during emergencies.

"We all know children need to feel safe," said CCF President and CEO Anne Lynam Goddard. "Children also need normalcy restored as much as possible including the ability to play and just be a kid. It is our priority in Kenya to meet these needs of children as they try to cope with the unstable situation surrounding them."

In times of unrest, women and children are especially vulnerable to rape and other forms of violence. CCF remains committed to changing this cycle of violence and is responding in Kenya by creating programs to address the psychosocial impacts to affected children.

CCF is also supplying basics such as food, blankets, mosquito nets, soap and jerry cans for water to families in Nairobi.  Currently, CCF is implementing a six-month program designed not only to meet immediate needs of affected families, but also to provide sustainable services in the aftermath of the violence.

January 11, 2008

CCF remains in close contact with staff in Kenya.  Their safety and security continues to be of highest concern.  The security situation remains volatile and continues to hamper the efforts of humanitarian organizations wanting to respond.

CCF is currently focusing efforts on the Kenyan refugees fleeing to Busia district in Uganda, where CCF has worked since 1983.  "We are glad we have been able to help," said Luther Anukur, the CCF-Uganda Program Director. 

January 9, 2008

The instability and violence stemming from the Dec. 27 presidential elections in Kenya is continuing to present security issues for many Kenyans. CCF's national office in Nairobi is now open, although the security situation remains volatile. CCF staff have been hindered in traveling to the program areas.

"The security of our staff is of utmost importance," CCF President and CEO Anne Lynam Goddard said. "In order to properly support families and children, we must first ensure the safety of our staff. CCF is well-established in Kenya and is committed to the 51 programs we currently run in the country. We have worked in Kenya since 1960 and are preparing to assist the communities impacted by this crisis."

Security issues have forced thousands of Kenyans to flee to neighboring Uganda. CCF-Uganda is responding to the needs of the Kenyan refugees by working with the Uganda Red Cross in the Busia area to provide blankets, soap, basins and jerrycans to carry water. Radio messages created by CCF-Uganda are aired every evening to encourage refugees of the benefits of registration.

January 7, 2008

Following the violent clashes in Kenya, 5,400 refugees are estimated to have entered Uganda, in an area where CCF works with local communities. Local Ugandan government authorities in Busia District asked CCF-Uganda to assist the Ugandan Red Cross with initial registration and assistance to the refugees, as CCF is well-placed due to the community networks (such as Child Well-Being Committees) that CCF has set up to protect vulnerable children.

CCF is working with local authorities, UNICEF, the Ugandan Red Cross and the World Food Program to discuss the needs and assess the response to these refugees. CCF-Uganda staff reported today that CCF has procured jerry cans, blankets and basins which are being distributed in the Busia area.

"Because CCF has been working in Busia, local authorities have asked us to help and inform refugees of their rights and of the availability of assistance to them," said Anne Edgerton, Director of Emergency Response at CCF headquarters in Richmond, Va. "We are using radio announcements and our Child Well-Being Committees to transmit the message, and we are assessing the condition and numbers of refugees in the area."

CCF-Uganda is a member of the Busia District Disaster Preparedness committee, which is coordinating response and general information.

January 3, 2008

Violence has broken out in Kenya following the country's Dec. 27 presidential, parliamentary and civic elections. Most of the incidents have occurred in urban areas, particularly Nairobi, Kisumu, Eldoret, Mombassa and Kakamega.

As of Jan. 3, 2008 media reports estimate that 100,000 people have been displaced from their homes and more than 300 lives lost. Looting, arson and fighting have been reported since the election results were released on Dec. 30. Violence has also been targeted along ethnic lines.

"As an organization dedicated to the well-being of children for 70 years, it is heartbreaking to see the post-election violence in Kenya," says Christian Children's Fund President Anne Goddard. "We urge the leaders and people of Kenya to exercise restraint and pursue peace."

At this time, we are not aware of any injury to children or family members who participate in our programs or to any CCF staff members.

CCF-Kenya is monitoring the situation for the 1.3 million children and family members participating in its programs and precautions are being taken to safeguard the well-being of staff.