Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Early Impressions from Kenya

Kenya was a special surprise for me. It was vibrant, interested in Arts to some extent, politically aware and with much interest in quality, rather than simply offering the minimum. NGOs seemed organised and with potential for some funding from a variety of sources and a clear adoption of many Western ideals, such as good financial management, progressive thinking and desire for continuous improvement.

Nakuru was in parts a beautiful city, but in others problematic – the continuing issues of streetkids exemplifies. The surrounding areas were distinctively Kenyan, with a real appreciation for the importance of wildlife to their culture. Entrepreneurship in the form of buying and selling was also instilled into the culture, yet there was no evidence of this being nurtured in the aid programmes, which can often lead to dependence on aid, as was seen in the UK until ten years or so ago. Also, Christinasworld commented on this issue, when applied to Sudan in her blog at: http://christinaswwworld.blogspot.com/2009/03/does-food-drop-from-sky.html.

Farms were often quite large and the roadside land was almost entirely well-utilised by farmers, unless it was too soggy because of the rainy season. We passed by at speed on our way to Uganda (more next time) on roads which were simply awful. The Kushinda!/SEA team were exhausted being shaken about by the roads and this left a poor impression from an otherwise wonderful country, where thousands are unemployed looking for work, government is saying “spend, spend, spend”, yet the roads before and after Kisumu are extremely damaging to vehicles. Why not train up more roadmenders from the thousands ready to do anything?

Dennis Kimambo from Repacted asks me to request some support for transporting computers from Computeraid International - you can reach him at kimambodenis@yahoo.com

Next posting will be from Uganda and will have some photos from Kisenyi...

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