Thursday, January 31, 2008

Good News From Gatina

Gatina Village in Kawangware is an amalgamation of tribes, mostly a mix of Kikuyu, Somali, Kamba, Luhya, and Luo. Despite its ethnic diversity, Gatina has a strong sense of community. Many of the families have lived in this section of the slum for several generations. There is a strong commitment to peace, and so far Gatina has avoided the clashes that have consumed Kibera, Mathare, and other parts of Kawangware. On Tuesday, villagers were worried about rumors that gangs of outsiders were planning to come and destroy the peace by raiding and looting businesses and homes in Gatina. After the murder/assassination of an opposition MP all shops and schools in Gatina closed for the day. Some villagers took up weapons to defend their homes in case of any attack. So far though things have been very calm. Work continues at Light and Power as normal and the guys are glad to hang out, laugh together, and just make paper bags. We receive reports and security updates before visiting the Centre, but so far there have been very few concerns. The community appreciates our presence, and life continues as people of various tribes, though often very poor, continue to work side by side. . . In the current climate, that indeed is good news.

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