As is usual at Christmas, we received the latest newsletter (Attached at bottom of the article) from Nairobi, from which we share below some of the difficulties being faced by this faithful team in a deprived community: Korogocho is one of the largest slums in Nairobi and is made up of nine villages. The area is characterized by poor living standards and high levels of crime. Korogocho is different from other well-known informal settlements in Kenya such as Kibera and Mathare. It has been found to have high levels of poverty and low levels of infrastructure compared to the rest. Most organizations fear the area because of crime, in contrast to other informal settlements where residents are perceived to be more entrepreneurial. In terms of development projects, most are perceived to be initiated by NGO’s with government support in some way. However, the locals believe that the government is not doing enough for them. The situation in Korogocho is heartbreaking because most children raised in the slums end up in the streets being involved in crime and drugs. Some run away from school into the street life because that is all that they have experienced since they were born.
The drought has become more dangerous than the Covid-19 pandemic in Kenya. The early cessation of the long rains season has worsened the drought situation in 19 out of the 23 arid and semi-arid counties that were already bearing the brunt of poor
performance of three previous consecutive failed seasons. This is the fourth consecutive poor rainfall season since the 2020 short rains. This has caused a lot of suffering for the pastoralist livelihood.
The decline in livestock prices and increase in prices of most consumer goods continue to undermine the purchasing power of households, exacerbating food insecurity. In some areas, over 90 per cent of water sources have dried up and, as crops fail, and families lose their livestock which, for many is their only source of income, more than four million people are grappling with acute hunger. An estimated 134,000 women are currently pregnant or breast-feeding in drought-affected regions of Kenya; many are now malnourished and anaemic, conditions which can be life-threatening. It is usually women and girls who are sent to fetch water because of the drought, they have to walk seven kilometres away, even further, and wait for hours at boreholes. This puts them at greater risk of violence, at a time when hostilities among communities desperate to secure scarce resources. (Note: The newsletter contains many more details on this tragedy and also the effects of the Ukraine war)
VPM’s tribute in memory of Queen Elizabeth 11 Rev. Franklyn Otwoma recalls his discussions with Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher Lord–Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire
(Queens Representative) in April 2016 at “Work Aid UK” meeting in the UK where Revd. Otwoma was the main invited guest speaker from Africa.
FROM THE EDITOR
We want to say a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you for your love and support for VPM. You are invited to make a donation to any of our projects. Your contribution no matter how big or small is entirely important and greatly valued.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR 2023
Amazingly, despite all the challenges of operating in the Korogocho slums, the VPM staff faithfully continues with their mission of Primary School, Feeding Programme, Health Clinic, Orphanage and Missionary Church. Now they are appealing for fund raising from Sponsors to allow successful Primary 6 candidates to take advantage of placements
in High School and hence lift them out of poverty. They are asking us to sponsor an orphan at only £15/month!
The Mission Director, Bishop Franklyn Otwoma, knows the Christian community in Epsom and truly appreciates the generous support from Christ Church over many years. We continue to share in love donations to VPM which a number of our congregation and others in Epsom and across the UK have made over the Christmas period. Please pray for VPM and to learn more about all their extensive activities, their website is:
David & Rosemary Blacoe (Mission Champions)