Pipeline IDP Camp Celebration!

This is a little out of order, but I wanted to post about my visit to the Pipeline IDP Camp in Nakuru last Friday. First of all, a little background on the IDP camps and why they’re there… a long story short, at the end of 2007 certain parts of Kenya experienced violent tribal clashes as a result of the presidential election. Hundreds of thousands of Kenyans were displaced and driven off of their land and away from their homes. They became known as IDP’s – Internally Displaced Persons. For a while, the IDP’s lived in UN and Red Cross tents in the Rift Valley area, among others. Eventually the government gave each IDP 10,000 ksh (about $130) to restart their lives. Even in Kenya, this is an insultingly small amount, so several families pooled their money together and bought pieces of land to create smaller IDP camps. GVN/VICDA has a program that builds homes for the IDP’s (about $600/house, let me know if you’re interested in donating) but in the meantime the IDP’s are still living in tents that are now old and leaking. This particular camp is called Pipeline.

Peter and “Mary” (see next post) are a couple from Melbourne, Australia who have been volunteering at Pipeline for six weeks. Upon their arrival, they saw a need for a Medical Clinic and a Business Centre at the camp, so they devoted their volunteer time to completing the project. Anyone who has tried to build anything in Kenya will understand that to go from concept to actual building in less than 6 weeks is unheard of! Several other volunteers, myself included, visited the camp to witness the opening of the Medical Clinic/Business Centre and to tour the camp. The day was full of dancing, plays, speeches and songs – a truly happy day! Even the Kenyan news covered the event, as well as a local radio station. The need at Pipeline, as well as otherIDP camps, is still enormous, but this new facility will greatly assist in finding jobs for able workers as well as provide quality, free health care for the members of the camp. Well done, Peter and Mary!

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