Easter Weekend – Good Friday 25 March 2016
Children and personel at the Hannah-Emuriakin school have some few days extra holiday now. Yesterday, which was Maundy Thursday, there was the usual teachers’ meeting and Birgitta was there. She returned full of joy and admiration for the way the staff is running the school, their care for the 500 plus children and eagerness to make this a model school in the community. One agenda item was the idea of raising funds among middle class Kenyans in order to get the budget equation to balance. To get Kenyans to become sponsors of some of the most vulnerable children in the country. Children with a special story each one of them.
Apia is in class 6. She’s got only one arm. Both of her parents were killed by Toposaz, the Turkanas’ arch enemies across the border in South Sudan. They arrived in 2005 to raid cattle. Aqua was only 3 years old then but still has vivid memories of the attack. She was shot in the arm and later on it had to be amputated. But Apua was determined: she wanted to go to school and eventually left the bush to look for her uncle Solomon in Lokichoggio. She’s now been at our school for 3 years and is a sweet smiling young girl. Her uncle is also very grateful for the extra weekly ration of food which he gets for her from the ”Vulnerable Children’s Program”. ”I’m eating well, learning a lot and my dream is to get a good education and a job when finishing school!” she says.
And This is Happening right Now!
Just as we hear about the terrible bombings in Brussels and read yet another tragic report about some of the most horrific atrocities against civilians, especially women and children, happening just now in South Sudan, we also hear the cracks of shootings and mortars going off in the near vicinity of our compound, for several mornings this week!
The first day the Topozas arrived, killed and severely mutilated two heard’s boys, and then took off with a considerable number of livestock, especially cows, towards South Sudan. This called for a swift revenge. The next morning, the Turkana warriors staged a counter attack, killed a number of people and also suffered losses, but returned with a big booty, which was shared yesterday morning among countrymen by the dam near our school! And today, there were reports of yet another attack by Topozas right behind here! Really the wild west – if expressed slightly carelessly. But reality is indeed very dark for many around here!
The Weapons will go Silent!
When, and how will there ever be any change? There have been many peace initiatives between these groups over the years and for periods things have appeared to calm down. But then, all of a sudden, bullets and guns are talking again. Seemingly hopeless…!
But the weapons will go silent – that’s what the Bible tells us! Joined by millions around the world, for whom this particular weekend every year, once again underlines the very essence of true reconciliation – together we believe that men can really get reconciled and that weapons of violence and hatred will be put aside, because God has taken the initiative to reconciliation – through his son Jesus Christ. When faith in him and what he has done for us become part of our lives – then there is real power for change!
This is also why we will continue to work here in Turkana, together with all of you who have faithfully supported us, both personally and with prayers and with support to all the projects here in Loki!
Where Did the Money Go?
Where the money went last year is reflected in the report below. Every year when going through the accounts we’re amazed at all the generous gifts towards the projects, amazed at what has been achieved which we know means so much to many. The children attending one of the best schools in the region, the thirty or so secondary school students having a chance to pursue their studies, the more than 50 staff in the combined projects getting a monthly salary, food packages to some of the most vulnerable in the community, latrines for improved health and environment, training and coaching of a number of our co-workers, etc. etc. The list can be made longer. But please rejoice with us! Because we are rejoicing and feel greatly privileged to be part of all this!
One comment to the financial report. Of the closing balance in 2015 we will need to invest considerably this year in order to meet the budgetary needs of growing activities (such as another class being added to the school every year etc.) That’s why we also need more sponsors!
And dear friends, if you’re wanting to be part of this adventure by supporting some of these projects, please contact us and we will tell you how you can give!
Wishing you all a very blessed Easter and a beautiful Spring time!
Yours KeA & Birgitta