Monday, January 17, 2011

Kenya and Kibera Current Issues Series: A New Year Begins

Happy 2011, everyone! I’m looking forward to another year of blogging, and, more importantly, of supporting Uweza.

When in Kenya, I always admire the traditional emphasis on family and treating elders with respect. In this brief radio clip from the BBC, two children and their grandparents are interviewed about who cares for the elderly in Kenya. The avowed devotion of the children is heartwarming, but their grandfather’s remark about the contemporary “disintegration” of the traditional family structure is worth noting.

Drug-resistant tuberculosis poses a major challenge to public health in Kenya. The recent arrest and detention of two tuberculosis-stricken men, for the crime of not taking their medication, has sparked a debate about the intersection of public health and human rights. Does the greater national imperative of eliminating TB in Kenya take precedence over the individual rights of certain citizens? Read more here.

In a previous blog, I wrote about the announcement by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of the six main suspects in the post-election violence of 2007. One Kenyan activist has written an impassioned plea that following the ICC announcements, Kenya “needs a mirror,” in order to move forward and avoid future violence. His is a perspective worth reading more about here.

In the aftermath of the post-election violence, some Kenyans are turning to a seemingly unlikely activity—yoga—to recover from the trauma they have experienced. This video clip shows how yoga can be a powerful tool for peace-building among the tribes of Kenya.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga recently called for the arrest of those engaging in homosexuality in Kenya. In this video, the director of the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya discusses the impact of this statement on the gay and lesbian community.

And, finally, on a more uplifting note: Kenya’s own Daddy Owen was the Winner of MTV Africa Award 2010 for Best Anglophone Artist. Enjoy the video for his song “Tobina” here:



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