Kenyans 4 Kenya: Charity Starts at Home

Last week, I wrote about the horrors of the ongoing drought and famine crisis in East Africa and what AJWS is doing to respond. As the crisis continues to unfold, we are hearing more and more about the perils faced by Somalis and Kenyans fleeing the famine. Today, however, instead of writing about the number of children who have died from the crisis or stories of women who have been raped, I want to share a story of hope.

Shortly after the crisis began, several Kenyan corporations joined forces to form the Kenyans 4 Kenya campaign. In addition to raising over $3.5 million from Kenyan companies, the initiative has also managed to raise nearly $2.5 million from Kenyan citizens. One hundred percent of the funds raised by the campaign will be given to the Kenya Red Cross to support drought-affected communities in north eastern Kenya.

The other day, I heard an incredibly inspirational story about a Kenyan policeman who donated his entire monthly salary to Kenyans 4 Kenya. The average Kenyan police officer earns just over $150 a month and to think that this officer would donate his whole salary to his fellow citizens gives me a huge amount of inspiration. Even in a situation as dire as the one that millions of people in East Africa are facing today, individual acts like this one bring me hope, inspire me to do my work, and indeed, save lives on the ground.

But it is not only the generosity of the policeman that touched me. Kenyans can donate as little as nine cents at a time to the campaign. The campaign have received almost 500,000 individual donations from people ranging from women working at a market who make just one dollar a day, to business people who are able to donate thousands of dollars at a time. If you ever need an example of how charity starts from home, Kenyans 4 Kenya is a pretty good one.

If you would like to stand in solidarity with all the Kenyans who are supporting their fellow citizens in need, please consider donating to our East African drought and famine relief fund. As always, we are continuing to closely monitor the situation and work with organizations who are responding on the ground. Stay tuned for more updates.