It has now been 3 months since the post-election crisis in Kenya which forced hundreds of thousands to leave their homes and communities. YMCA Kenya acted swiftly to help displaced communities and now provides training and accommodation for displaced young people.
Local people know local needs
The YMCA has recruited five volunteer Social Workers in different areas to help identify the needs of students, families and communities, to distribute advocacy materials, do local fundraising and organise community outreach activities. They are all local residents so they have a clear understanding of local needs.
YMCA offers education to displaced students
To date, 190 students who have fled their homes due to the violence have been enrolled in regional YMCA schools. Some are learning computer skills while the rest are receiving primary and secondary education. The target is to provide these services to 400 young people.
Helping Internally Displaced Persons
Staff and volunteers from the Ngecha YMCA have been visiting and helping over 100 internally displaced families camping at a church in the area. The YMCA, in close co-operation with the local Chief, has been distributing food to the families and has donated other basic items.
Advocating for peace
The YMCA has produced posters with messages of peace which have been widely distributed. People are hanging them in shopping centres, their homes offices and workshops. The YMCA has developed peace leaflets for advocacy work as well as stickers to put on public transport for all to see.
Long term involvement needed
The World Alliance appealed for 50,000 USD to support Kenya YMCA to respond to the crisis. This amount has been generously met by the world-wide YMCA family and the Kenya YMCA is now working on a second phase of the emergency response. The next stage will emphasise peacebuilding through supporting affected families and encouraging reconciliation.