More crises in Kenya, CRWRC continues aid

By January 23, 2008

Kenya (MNN) — As more deaths raise the toll to 700 and thousands
are displaced from their homes, the refugees cry out for help. Food rations are
insufficient, and as many try to flee the country for safe haven, they are often
blocked by militia forces at the border.

Mary Nyawera, a 74 year-old woman at a Ugandan
refugee camp, managed to make it safely across the border. However, she is
struggling to provide for her 22 grandchildren.

"The young children need some milk and sugar," said
Nyawera. "They don't eat maize and beans."

The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, who
has worked in Kenya since 1983, is continuing to step up and aid displaced

"There are now, and there are going to be, many
needs," said CRWRC U.S. Executive Director Andrew Ryskamp. "There are immediate
needs–for food, blankets, and other survival items–and then there will be
long-term resettlement and reconstruction needs."

The CRWRC team is working hard to assess the
situation and plan long-term relief. Much funding and prayer is needed, as the
long-term relief costs are estimated at hundreds of thousands of dollars. CRWRC
has historically partnered with local organizations and churches in Kenya to
help reduce poverty, train leaders of the church, increase health standards and
provide relief to victims of displacement and poverty.

Ryskamp said that the agency is providing $25,000
worth of grain to help feed people in Eldoret, a particularly hard-hit area in
Kenya. Some of the worst violence has occurred here, with six people killed in
the area and 50 homes destroyed over the weekend. A church in fellowship with
CRC, the Reformed Church in East Africa, has opened the doors of its
partially-built Eldoret conference center to provide shelter for the displaced.

Nyawera lost her home and her four sons in attacks
similar to those that took place in Eldoret. She and her 22 grandchildren, ages
2 to 17, fled to Uganda to escape the violence.

"My sons had met at their
uncle's home, to discuss how they could protect their families in case they
were attacked by their enemies, when youths supporting Raila Odinga attacked
them," Nyawera said in tears. "The thugs locked them in the house, set
fire on it and they all perished."

Many refugees have stories similar to Nyawera's, and
over a quarter million are seeking safety in surrounding nations. The supplies
are meager, lines are long at the border camps, and much help is needed here
as well as in Kenya. Over 600 children have taken refuge at a border camp in
Busia, and according to James Male of Save the Children, they are at risk of
malnutrition if this insufficient diet continues.

Please pray for the peace and safety of the refugees
and humanitarian aid workers, and for the churches and believers in the midst
of the turmoil. Pray for God's peace and comfort, and for His message of
salvation and hope to be shared with the victims of violence. Also pray for the
needs of the children to be met, including sufficient food rations and safe
passage across the border to refugee centers in neighboring countries.

Click here if you can help.


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