06-05-2022 by Freddie del Curatolo
Children's centers, schools, health and agricultural projects, support for families and students, and food programs. From the big NGOs to the small Italian social realities registered in Kenya that have always been moving in a crystal clear way. The entire solidarity sector in Kenya is experiencing a moment of great difficulty due to the war between Russia and Ukraine.
If, on the one hand, the pandemic had focused attention on the state of health of individuals, on the other, it had left a glimmer of hope for those who, far from the logic of extreme lockdowns and queues at supermarkets, were suffering from hunger and needed material aid in the present, rather than long-term projects. This meant that a faint line of continuity of donations could continue.
After two years, the conflict at the gates of Europe and with economic implications in the making, has instead excluded Africa from the priorities of those with generous hearts. A great deal of aid from organizations, religious and secular associations, private groups and virtuous companies have made their way to Kiev and the surrounding area, sensitized by images and daily testimonies of the war.
This has not only caused donations to Kenya to drop, but has prevented many solidarity projects from being able to continue their journey with the continuity that is the basis for the realization of important goals.
The problem is even more serious and real," explains Samuele Tini, director of projects for the Manitese NGO in Kenya and head of the Coordinamento delle Onlus Italiane in Kenya (COIKE), "because it coincides with the most serious climatic and humanitarian crisis of the last 40 years in the Horn of Africa, made even more dramatic by this war that is only apparently distant from Kenya. For example, this year, after months of drought that reduced grain production, the two major exporters in East Africa, Russia and Ukraine, stopped supplies. As a result, prices of meal (corn meal is the main source of sustenance for Kenyans) have risen exponentially. In this already critical context, the drop in international aid has been added".
As we said, the most accredited non-governmental organizations, rooted in the territory, are those who suffer most from the situation, because with their projects in close contact with local communities, they certainly can't afford to take a break and are at the forefront in finding solutions.
"It's a time of stormy seas and not only do we not abandon ship, but we have to act as lifeboats for the local realities most affected by this situation - confirms Tini - So we see ourselves committed to redouble our efforts in a situation where external aid has dropped in a worrying way. Public opinion, and rightly so, is focused on the serious situation of Ukrainian refugees, so it is increasingly important to find opportunities for solidarity on the ground and try to be strong on the ground, these areas will need the help of organizations that do not leave communities at the mercy of themselves. Organizations that make transparency, certification and respect for protocols and local institutions the basis for being able to convey the message that Kenya and the Horn of Africa must be helped to overcome this terrible period".
In this context, with the resumption of tourism in sight, we increasingly invite those who are sensitive to solidarity with a country and a people they are fond of to give preference to social organizations, non-profit organizations and NGOs that develop sustainable projects and are managed by professionals in the sector, possibly present in the field. We have had too much of this in the past, with the dispersion of money (even in good faith), counterproductive donations, candy solidarity, occasional heroes and heroines, supposedly shoddy associations and non-profit organizations that serve their own interests rather than those of the poor.
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