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  • 1. KENYA COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION INAGURAL STATEMENT MARKING START OF KANINI KASEO SOCIAL INTEGRATION CENTRE 9TH FEBRUARY 2012.Hon. Peter Kiilu, MP. Makueni Consttituency,Mr. J. Otieno DC Kathonzweni DistrictMr. Athanas K. Nganda, Area Concilor,Area Chief,Assistant Chief,Distinguished guests,Ladies and Gentlemen;I feel highly honoured to represent the Kenya Community Association in the County of Merseyside, United Kingdom in this functioninaugurating its first intervention of empowering marginalized and needy communities in their Motherland Kenya.I further convey the goodwill, greeting and best wishes of all communities within the County of Merseyside whose outpouringgenerosity resulted in the £3,200 (Kes 400,000) being used for the first phase of the food for work project being initiated here in KaniniKaseo today. The project is estimated to cost £6,000 (Kes 750,000) for land preparation and £24,000 (Kes 3 mln.) for water.The Kenya Community Association is composed of Kenyan migrants within the last 25 years settled in Merseyside and those whosubscribe to their vision and values which means we do not live as a closed community but in communion with other people ofdifferent ethnicity. Our capacity to embrace, live, associate, appreciate and value others is pivotal in our engagement with differentcommunities and peoples.This project is anchored on the human response to need. It further recognizes the capacity of human enterprise to overcome thefactors that lead to their marginalization, under performance or needs. Our initiative is therefore part of the global and nationalresponse to the extensive drought conditions last year that engulfed most of East Africa including Kenya whose effects are still present. 1
  • 2. The global and national response has been overwhelming and still continues to be. Kenyan migrants all over the world through theirvarious associations sent their contributions which included those offered by the communities around them. The money funding thisinitiative is part of such efforts.The money sent by us today is from a fund raising event presided by Mr. Jeremy Laibutah, First Counselor, Kenya High Commission,London marking the annual October commemoration of Africa History Month in Merseyside sponsored by the Plus Dane Group inpartnership with various corporate bodies and community organization. Among them were Liverpool Mutual Homes, RiversideHousing, Workers Education Association, Frontline Church, Mast Group, Yemeni Association, Bangladesh Association and severalothers. We are most thankful to the Chief Executive Officer of Plus Dane Group Mr. Ken Perry and Chairman Mr. Richard Kemp whotook personal interest and organized the money presentation ceremony in their Board room. This illustrates the level of commitmentand compassion held by the outside world on the afflicted in East Africa. It Merits here to mention the devotion of Maureen Chendo,Engagement Officer, Plus Dane Group who was instrumental in coordinating and managing the fundraising efforts.We hope that the giving spirit demonstrated by these corporate bodies, charities and individuals in Merseyside, United Kingdom will bereplicated by others here in Kenya financially. Any material or financial support through the Trustees will be appreciated with thanksand encourage our partners in Europe.This initiative is driven by two factors. First is the plea originating from here, Kanini Kaseo to us through Scholar who pleaded on yourbehalf for food assistance to those that were starving. We responded with remittance of Kes 40,000. At that point we were madeaware of the women group resolve to improve the land in order to increase food production and thereby cushion the community fromthe cyclic food scarcity occasioned by poor crop yields. The second driving force is our vision of empowerment to ourselves and thosewe interact with. We are therefore through this engagement meeting two needs, first providing food to alleviate effects of currentscarcity and secondly putting in place land and facility improvements that will guarantee food sustainability. In other words thisempowers the community towards self sufficiency.Empowering communities is recognized by governments of Africa individually, collectively and by their development partners. This iscaptured in various instruments such as Kenya Government’s vision 2030, AU/EU strategy plan 2010-2013, AU/NEPAD Africa ActionPlan 2010-2015 and Nairobi Strategy of September 2011 among others. We are pleased to note that this initiative in Kanini Kaseomeets and is within this vision.The Kenya Community Association vision statement is “Empowering Kenyans to achieve and maximize their potential” which isanchored on the foundation of “You are a seed of possibilities”. We thus view, perceive or act as a medium, platform or agent to 2
  • 3. unlock the potential and capacity of those we associate with to make use, attain or fully exploit the potential that surrounds them. Ourinvolvement and undertaking here in Kanini Kaseo is driven by the above objectives and values.We are encouraged by the overwhelming support our initiative received by all concerned namely the community, governmentrepresentatives as well as those holding elective offices which is affirmed by the dignitaries assembled before you and by your MPbeing one of the trustees of the funds. We look forward to this support translate into facilitating actions. In order to realize the fullpotential of this project, a number of facilities will be required. To this end we call for urgent revision of your development plansubmitted to us last year to capture current expectations and vision. We do hope the various agencies and government departmentswill assist in their provision where applicable and appropriate.We would like to thank the three trustees Sister Scholar Nganda, lecturer Kenyatta University, Hon. Peter Kiilu, MP, MakueniConstituency and Mr. Cleophas Kiio, Director, Kenya Bureau of Statistics and lecturer in two of our leading Universities who haveaccepted our invitation to be custodians of the funds remitted and any other funds that will be received for this project or expansion ofthis project to other parts of our Nation.We must recognize that there are several initiatives here in Kenya and elsewhere committed to empowerment of rural communities.We pledge to work alongside them and network with them to make our and their impact in whatever all of us do meaningful. It isfurther our intent to network with our national universities where applicable in applying their competencies and knowhow in upliftingthe capacity of rural communities.In the journey of evolvement of our Charity to this historic moment of engaging in this program in our motherland it would behonourable for us to acknowledge those who helped define with clarity our vision and understanding. Mr. Godwin Bateren CEO ofChara Trust has been our mainstay and pillar of strength throughout our 15 years existence. The enormity of human resourcefulnesswas gained from the Barka Foundation activities and its founder Mr. Thomas Kadowski whom we accessed through Chara Trust.Ms. Helen Connor and her mother Sylvia Connor co-founders of Inspiring Leaders Kenya NGO were invaluable and through them hadaccess to Prof Elena P. Antonacopoulou of University of Liverpool Management School and Dr Kristian Mjoen, Norwegian University ofScience and Technology who helped in clarifying our identity, vision, self worth and potential. There are many more but this illustratesthe power of networking and interaction to create linkages and impact.We end with the faith that Kanini Kaseo shall be partners carrying our vision and hope that will influence and transform the lives ofmany others in our country and other parts of our continent. For in Kanini Kaseo resides our letter of recommendation and living 3
  • 4. example of what can be done and achieved in Africa and other marginalized communities elsewhere. Your success will be the successof others like you waiting to be helped and touched just as it is being done to you today.In closing we acknowledge with thanks the generosity of Mrs Benedicta Muthoki Chalse Nganda for transporting our representativesfrom and back to Nairobi another demonstration of self giving towards the success of the project.May God be our help and guide in this partnership of solidarity.Amen. 4