Since I arrived the Obamania has been ongoing and accelerating until this weekend when the “grand return” took place in Nairobi. Very many have been talking of how great this visit is for the country and how much it will affect Kenya. Every newspaper seems to know of nothing else, still. This weekend I was trying to pay with my debit card in a shop in Nanyuki (which got a quite big number of tourists), when the connection failed I did joke about that Obamas visit is the reason it failed (it has been a lot of speculations of how big area and for how long they would shout down the network while he arrived at the airport). The woman replied something like: “Oh yes, but it’s gonna be so good for us now. So very very good. The tourism is finally gonna increase”.
Let’s hope it will. A CNN-reporter said the other day “..his trip to one of the most dangerous countries in the world”. This has caused a lot of discussions in the social medias in Kenya, of course. And to be honest, I’ve not seen a single sign that shows how Kenya can classifies as one of the most dangerous countries in the world.
But I’ve however seen too much poverty and injustice and explored a lot of inefficiency. And too much corruption as well, these are factors that the country really need to prioritize. Almost every day we pass police-controls along the roads, many of the matatu-drivers greet the police and hand over a note or two before they continue in their wrack’s. Corruption must certainly be one of a democracy’s biggest enemies. What happens with the loyalty when leaders on the top, and on the “bottom” take bribes? When certain friends of a leader is benefiting and not their neighbors? How can you trust the legal system if the policemen only is trying to fill their own pockets?
I’m really glad to take part in all the work that Dandelion do. The organization is giving out tools to make it possible for individuals and families to improve their lives by their own. And that’s truly how communities develop sustainably. Dandelion is giving their women groups trainings in everything from baking and HIV to business and family planning. Dandelion is within their project “Girls for leaders” giving out sanitary pads, talking about the importance of education and giving these girls the opportunity to get a mentor. And among many other projects and work fields Dandelion is working with different companies that want to give their employees trainings in different subjects. In two week we are going back to Gone fishing for a training in finance and today Wendo told me that she thinks that I should do a part of that very training. We’ll see about that, but what I do know is that if a country is to be developed the leaders on the top and the grass roots-organization have to work towards the same goals. Because even if Dandelion is doing a great work, the organization can not itself change the counties it works within. The public sector, all the NGO’s and the population have to work together. Hopefully Obamas visit did gave the country a boost in its struggle towards a more justice country.
I do think that everyone who reads this will agree with me that going abroad for a couple of weeks or more, is benefiting you regardless your occupation back home. I can not find words to describe how important I think it is to be aware of the different environments, fundamental condition, life styles and cultures that all take part in this world. Today I visited the women group that works on the equator (literally) for a table banking. These women have curios shops by the equator so I thought that supporting them was a very good reason to do some shopping. Among other things I bought a globe in soft-stone that says “different colors, one people”.
Agnes Von Essen