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Re-Living the Wounds


I was recently touched by an interview on the local TV channel involving a young teenage girl narrating her ordeals of Kenya’s post-poll chaos in January 2008. The girl, together with her niece, her sibling and her friend, survived the fire when Kiambaa Church in Eldoret was petrol-bombed during the Kenya’s most intense post poll chaos.

The girl, Mary Wahito, 16, talked of the dilemma she faced in trying to save her siblings and herself when her mother got swallowed up in the commotion and screams, leaving her entirely on her own with the young ones.

“The flames were catching up with us so fast. I did not know what to do with Jedida, my niece strapped on my back and Anthony, my brother, holding my hand,” she said with tears in her eyes.
And with the obvious stampade for everyone to get out of the burning church, her brother was shoved away from her and she did not know how she lost Jedida from her back. “I only remember being tramped on the ground and the flames catching up with me so fast,” she said.
Fortunately she says, they met in the hospital with severe burns. She is glad that they survived the fire that swallowed more than 30 people at a church where they had gone to seek refuge when their homes were burnt down by their rival tribal groups.

The thorny issue that is still fresh in Mary’s mind is why women and children suffered most yet most of them did not even vote. As she and others struggle to put life back to normal (which will never be because of the trauma and the serious burns), one unaswered question is why engage in chaos yet those who suffer are wrongly targeted.

My dear women, let us promote peace in whatever capacity we can for the sake of the obvious victims of circumstances... the innocent women and children.



JaniceW's picture


Joanne.... your posts are so powerful and I thank you for giving voice to the so many unheard women and children of Kenya. I had posted this on another journal but felt that it was appropriate to repeat here, where you are so attentive in speaking out for your fellow citizens.

An article appeared recently in the New York Times which highlights some of the conflict that still goes on today. There is still much to be done in bringing peace to our sisters, brothers and neighbours in Kenya but through the efforts of people such as yourself, I know that more will speak out against the injustices and hopefully, lives will be transformed for the better.

Peace be with you.....

Joannes's picture


Thanks janice for paying attention to what goes on in my country. I have gone through the New York piece, and truely, it depicts what the current political, economic and social state that my country is undergoing. It is now one year since the grand coalition was formed butnothing has changed apart from increased corruption, more hunger and starvation and the rotten state of thousands who are still in camps after their homes were razed down during the post poll chaos.

All ordinary kenyans are left with is to struggle against all odds to get something for the stomach. By the way, kenyans can not afford their most staple meal, 'unga' maize flour, because of very high prices. It is ironical that they are suffering yet there are huge scandals in government involving 'stolen maize'.

Thanks once more.


We Can Do It!

Maria de Chirikof's picture

awareness again

I think it helps us to understand that the rivals know that by targeting the woman and children they keep your group as whole weaker. This is what we really need to find a way to explain to the men. That their rivals love them behaving this way since it gives them a chance to grow stronger by keeping yourself subdued for them.

That is a powerful story! It helps so much to hear about people from all over and for them to know that people from all over the world care about them. Healing all these wounds begins with little things like this!

Keep up the great work of raising awareness, it is our most powerful weapon!


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