Are diaspora Kenyans only worth the dollar they remit? – Death in the Diaspora!

In a space of two months, two Kenyans living in Berlin Germany, both reported missing have been found dead in unexplainable circumstances. According to newspaper reports from Germany and the Kenya, in October, a 15 year old young Kenyan girl referred to as Britney was found dead in late October by River Havel in Potsdam, again very scanty information on her cause of death with only detail from the Police investigating being that they had ruled out foul play.  Barely a month the Kenya Community was hit by another death in their community of a  Kenyan only known as Martin who according to reports also went missing  couple of days ago. Martin who is well known in the community is a DJ who performed in community events. Like Britney’s death, the police are ruling out foul play in Martin’s death.

These deaths and many more that hit diaspora communities in Europe, the US and many other cities away from home must not be taken lightly. What causes our young, promising diasporians to end their lives, what hope is there for many suffering from loneliness, anxiety, depression and many other mental health problems? Is there a helpline or an organisation that offers help. Are Kenyans only worth their remittance?. Kenyans in the diaspora have to grapple with many challenges which include fulfilling expectations from their families back home, some financial, many Kenyans dread a phone call or a what’s app message from home, because 9 out 10 times, the message would be to support a relative either in health care, education or business. In a time of heightened politics of nationalism in Europe and America, immigrants are constantly exposed to subtle or outright abuse, and really because they there are just that, immigrants, nobody cares.

The home country is too busy counting their remittance to maintain the foreign currency reserve and their host country are too busy to been seen to cosy up with immigrants, because clearly their citizens won’t vote for them. According to national statistics in most European and American cities, hate crime targeting minorities is on the rise.

The much hyped diaspora desk under the ministry of foreign affairs or is state house is of no use to the people it is meant to serve, we attempted to reach out to the diaspora desk currently headed by Mr Itumbi but we received no response. Our reporter tried to speak to foreign affairs but had no resolve too.

Are there community organisations that can help Kenyans?

In London where this paper reports from, there is really no formal organisation; communities depending on which city one lives are brought together by churches. Another church based organisation in the UK is the Kenya community rebuild,  it was impossible to find information on what services they offer to their members. There is a community information platform ; Misterseed which publishes all community events.

However back in 2000, organisations like Kenya Society;  ( a student body led by Tim Kamuzu Banda, Aaron Agola and Agnes Gitau) and Kenya Club led by Sam Manjau existed. The Kenya society an informal organisation and offered a lifeline to many students with support  which included ; cv writing to access employment, social gathering, advise on exams and resits and sports. The group used to organise annual sporting activities where students from different cities would meet to compete in Rugby, Basketball and chess. The organisation which was largely student led sadly no longer exists. Many people graduated and returned home or moved to other cities.

The Kenya Diaspora Alliance led by Shem Ochuodho is another umbrella body that brings together many diaspora organisations, this has focused mostly on investments and policies.

Whilst it is clear that organisations in the diaspora must do more to organise themselves, be each other’s keepers, Diaspora desk under the ministry of foreign affairs owe Kenyans in the diaspora a duty of care! The relationship must be much more than just diaspora remittance.

 

 

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Are diaspora Kenyans only worth the dollar they remit? – Death in the Diaspora!
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