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MCC helps provide relief in Kenya as election crisis continues

Tim Shenk
January 15, 2008

AKRON, Pa. – Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is supporting Kenyan churches in providing aid to thousands of people displaced by violence in Western Kenya.

Violence broke out in many Kenyan communities following disputed national elections on Dec. 27. The conflict has claimed several hundreds of lives and driven about 250,000 people from their homes, according to news reports.

MCC provided $5,000 to help the Anglican Church of Kenya give personal hygiene items to about 4,000 people near the city of Eldoret. MCC also provided $5,000 to help Kenya's National Council of Churches provide rice, beans and cooking fat to about 5,000 people near the city of Kisumu.

Cathy Bowman, an MCC Kenya representative, said that she and other MCC staff members are working with Kenyan churches and partner organizations to find further ways to help. She said that MCC is planning to increase its support for Kenyan peace organizations that work to resolve conflicts across ethnic and political lines.

"People are recognizing that reconciliation is going to take a long time and that this is something that needs to be done," Bowman said.

MCC supports a Kenyan peace organization, Nairobi Peace Institute, that is working to mediate the current conflict between Kenya's rival political parties.

MCC is accepting financial contributions for further relief and peace-building work in Kenya. Contributions should be designated "Kenya Emergency Assistance."