In November of 2008 we were able to finish 25 homes in Molo, Kenya for those who were driven out of their villages by political violence. The project had started in September of 2008 and I was able to return in November to personally see most of the houses we sponsored. We are currently building 10 more homes and I hope to continue to build as many as possible.
This project came to me as many do, unexpectedly through a series of events that could not have been planned. We contribute wheel chairs to people in this area and have done so for many years. One day in November of 2008, after a long day of distributing wheelchairs, medical equipment and computers in a remote region of Molo, we were getting ready to return to Nairobi.
On that particular day, I was accompanied by the member of parliament of the area and in the late afternoon (about 4:00 PM) he mentioned to me some of the challenges with people who lost their homes and were living in tents. When I showed interest in visiting them he was surprised but he then took me to see one the camps, which was one hour further out of our way.
We arrived at the camp to see roughly 250 families living in shelters they had created out of sticks and plastic bags or whatever materials they could find. They had been driven out of their homes nine months earlier by political violence and had been relocated by the government to this remote field with few amenities. Families included children and elderly people who were living in these meager shelters, not even tents. Very little help had been given these refugees and I wondered how could these people have live this way for nine months? How much longer could they live like this? How did they go unnoticed by other organizations which might have helped them? It is obvious to see the difficulties and suffering they have to endure everyday. With these questions, I left the refugees determined to do what I could.
These people became homeless through no fault of their own. Being able to give these people a gift of a home would give them the gift of dignity, respect and freedom.
Two days later, I came back to the refugee camp and was able to provide construction of semi-permanent shelters to the fifteen most helpless families (?helpless? families typically headed by elderly women with the responsibility of many children.) A few days later we chose ten more families in another refugee camp in the Naiwasha area; altogether twenty five families were chosen.
Our plan was to build semi-permanent homes as fast as possible so that they could move out of the tents, some of them very make-shift. I appointed Rhoda Tuita, a Kenyan woman who volunteered, to be the supervisor of the project. I am grateful to Rhoda and her husband, Col. Samuel, who made several trips to this remote region in order to see to the completion of the houses. I am also extremely grateful to our generous sponsors including the Buddhist Mahavihar Malaysia who sponsored the 10 homes that we are currently building.
We will continue to build houses as long as we have donations and people in the area who can assure us that the money is spent in support of these families.