Archbishops' Appeal for Kenya

22/02/2008

A message from the Archbishop of York:

"At last week's General Synod  (Feb 2008) the Archbishop of Canterbury and I launched an appeal to all Christians in this country to give generously to the humanitarian relief of all displaced persons in Kenya.

I returned from Kenya last week having seen for myself the challenges the country faces following the post-election crisis.

More than 1,000 people have been killed and 300,000 forced from their homes. I was able to visit many of what the Kenyans call 'internal displaced people (IDPs) being cared for in homes – where families were taking in as many as 25 – 60 people. In the scattered refugees camps between 300 to 2000 IDPs were housed in row upon row of tents.  The Church is at the forefront of setting up such camps and providing for those within them.

In the many camps I visited I saw people with broken limbs and other physical injuries and many who had been terribly traumatized. One woman who had lost her mind because she saw her husband hacked to death. In the Nairobi slums 60,000 children in 70 schools have been traumatized by the recent events.

In my conversation with leaders of the Anglican Church, the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya and the National Council of Churches of Kenya it was clear that humanitarian relief is for them a top priority.

We must provide funds to help the church cope with this crisis – to provide food, non-food items such as bedding, sanitary equipment for women, and for psychological trauma counselling.

Both President Kibaki and the leader of the Opposition, the Honourable Raila Odinga, saw the role of the church as vital in humanitarian relief, peace-building and reconciliation.

The church in Kenya is already providing vital help, support and care. With your help it can continue its work in being the hands of Christ."

To contribute to the Archbishops' Appeal for Kenya, please send a cheque made payable to 'Church Mission Society' to:

Church Mission Society

Watlington Road

Oxford

OX4 6BZ

United Kingdom