Kenya’s venerable Vice President, Kalonzo Musyoka today donated over Kshs. 7M worth of foodstuff to IDPs in Nakuru and Mai Mahiu as a christmas gift. While flagging off the trucks bearing the gifts in Nairobi’s Uhuru Park, the VP was filmed happily saying that there is more of such gifts yet to come from his foundation.
This sort of gift is good. The internally displaced families (who have lived as refugees in their own country for three years!) will have food to eat and drink during the festive season and that counts for something.
The Minister for Home Affairs, as Hon. Kalonzo happens to be, would have made so much more of an impact if he had joined Habitat for Humanity in building permanent houses for the internally displaced families (at a cost of about 280,000 per family) – meaning that he would have housed at least 35 families permanently.
The point isn’t the VP. The point is that all of us must begin to find sustainable ways to make a lasting impact on people’s lives. Instead of giving food stuff to IDPs, give them homes and they will take care of themselves. Because that is what they need more than anything else in the world.
Instead of giving girls one-time handouts of sanitary towels, which they surely need, lets give their caregivers the means to buy them for years to come.