Kenya latest from Suffolk charity abroad

SUFFOLK charity organisers who set up a children's home in Kenya are today monitoring the current crisis in the country amid fears the trouble could escalate.

SUFFOLK charity organisers who set up a children's home in Kenya are today monitoring the current crisis in the country amid fears the trouble could escalate.

Kajiado Children's Home, around 70km south of the capital Nairobi, was set up in 1997 by Mike Chester, of Great Finborough, along with other trustees from the Ipswich area.

The charity, which looks after more than 80 children who would otherwise be living on the streets, is now keeping a close eye on civil unrest in the African country following disputed election results.

Some 300 people - including children - have been killed in a wave of violence since the disputed poll last week which saw Mwai Kibaki re-elected as president.


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Mr Chester, who was last in Kenya in November, said: “As far as I know there is no trouble where we are at the children's home. I don't think there are any issues in the south of the country.

“It is a very arid and rural area away from the major conurbations but having said that we are monitoring the situation, have spoken about it and are closely following events with staff and colleagues over there.”

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Kenya has been a country in turmoil for the past week with supporters of opposition leader Mr Odinga and president Kibaki accusing each other of genocide and ethnic cleansing, while there are also claims that rape is being used as a weapon.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown this week threw his weight behind an African Union diplomatic mission led by Ghana president John Kufuor and on Wednesday the Foreign Office upgraded its travel advice, warning against all non-essential trips to Kenya.

The estimated 7,000 Britons currently in the country are also being urged to exercise "extreme caution' and avoid all political rallies and large public meetings for fear of violence breaking out.

Previously the warning had been against all but essential travel to areas of Mombasa and the capital, Nairobi.

Myrtle White, of Ipswich International Church in Barrack Corner, Ipswich, said the church is holding a week of prayer from Monday.

She said: “Because we do have people who have been to the church or are linked in some way with Kenya we will specifically make that a point of prayer.

“If there are people from Kenya or other areas around we would invite them in and help them wherever we can.”

Do you have relatives or family affected by the troubles in Kenya? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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