Proud farmers in Kasarani

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Proud farmers in Kasarani a couple of weeks ago. Linus who is one of the about 40 farmers seems to get a good harvest this season.  We pray and hope that no Massai nor any criminas will destroy for families this time


The farmers in Kasarani

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The farmers in Kasarani

Some of you may have read parts of the story about land grabbing of parts of the area around Kasarani Stadium. Here comes an updated version of the whole story.

 

What happened?

We don’t know for sure who has been behind the attempt to grab the area where the farmers has been given the legal rights to cultivate. About 40 families have started a CBO where part of the goal is to cultivate the area with one piece of land given to every farmer family with the right to grow and harvest. Last year someone tried to illegally move them away from the area which is located in the most upper part of Mathare Valley, by Masai herds with cows and by criminal youth gangs. Suddenly  last year more than 30 small structures were build all over the cultivated area. Some made of light structures with tin sheets and others by stones transported to the area by big trucks. Twice the Masai herds sent their cattle out on the fields and the cattle ate everything of the crop. They were notified to the Police who came and moved them away, but they managed to bribe the Police and run away from the area and without paying the compensation they owed to the farmers. So the Police did not give any real protection and gave no help to claim compensation for the farmers.  The farmers have been threatened and physically harassed in their work and have been chased away and have been persecuted several times.

 

Meeting with representatives of authorities.

The farmers were called for a meeting with representatives from the President’s office, The Minister of Sports, Local Authorities, the Leader of Kasarani Sports center and the Leader group of the Farmers. It was accepted that Kasarani Sports center should continue to  issue identity cards to the farmer members of the CBO; giving only the farmers right of admission to the area. After this meeting neither the criminal straw men, nor the Masai herds should have any access to the area. The Police were required to arrest people without any valid right of admission to the area. It has also happened.

 

Who could have been behind?

There are two factors that make Noracta wondering who may stay behind the attempt of the land grabbing.

At the meeting the representative from Sports Ministry claimed that the only way to prevent a continuing conflict of interest would be to deny all; farmers, Maasais and the criminal youth gangs to get into the areas. However the farmers meant that it would then only serve “the Land grabbers”. Then the leader of Sports reacted strongly. He stated that farmers already at that time were equipped with identification- and access cards to the area and that it was absolutely no question of going back on the agreement. It became clear that farmers, local authorities and Kasarani stadium have the same interest: to protect the soil and the environment in the hillside down to the river from erosion and depletion. Therefore, the farmers vowed to plant trees to create an ecological balance and harmony between the trees and garden plants in the area.

 

The other thing that makes us wonder is that straw men already at that time had begun to sell parts of plots to outside buyers. Those who falsely were tricked into buying land now demanded that farmers had two give away parcels the farmers had the legal right two cultivate. Several farmers were attacked by criminals, threatened and chased away. During this period it was dangerous and unsecure to cultivate the land.

 

Facebook page “Stop grabbing Kasarani Stadium»

Kasarani Sports Centre is an icon in Kenya. It was established by former President Daniel Arap Moi. We wonder if our face book page may have had some influence by simply telling of the injustice that was being perpetrated against a group of 40 peasant families in Mathare slum who kept losing their livelihoods. But not only the farmers; the area around Kasarani Stadium were in danger of being taken by land grabbers. Many have been visiting the page. Maybe also people high up in the bureaucracy? We hope it continues.

 

Police action in Kasarani

Shortly after the meeting with authorities last fall in Kasarani, the area was one morning swamped by over 200 police, lorries and bulldozers. Police action led to all structures that were illegally set up on the site was razed. All building materials were next night stolen by the same youth gangs that had set them up. Piles of building blocks are remaining. Police is now arresting intruders to the area who do not have authorized access sign. The farmers can now again cultivate the land in peace and last autumn they got the best crop of corn in living memory. Noracta by the support of the Plant a Tree built an irrigation pump and contributed with seedlings so that farmers got started. Now the plan is to have a solid hedge with strong spikes planted around the area to keep animals out.

 

The leaders are paying a high price.

The head of the group of farmers have repeatedly barely escaped pursuers. For some period one family had to escape their own apartment because of security risks. Those who have been responsible for the sales of plots and construction of structures have lost their illegal income and are of course affected, while the leaders of the project for a long time lost their freedom and have been exposed to serious threats. We hope the police will continue to closely monitor the Kasarani so that those who illegally persecuting others can be taken and stopped. Face book page Stop grabbing Kasarani Stadium, will continue to monitor and report on what happens.

One question remains: Have we seen the end of land grabbing around Kasarani Stadium?


Crossroads conference 2013

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July 16 to 21 Noracta was present with a stand at the Crossroads conference (Korsvei Festival) in Seljord. This was a great experience with lots of good and meaningful encounters with people of all ages. We managed to present our work in many ways through our stand. To get in direct contact with so many great people gives great joy and inspiration in the work. It was particularly inspiring to meet such great interest in our work with Hans Nilsen Hauge values ​​in today’s Kenya. We thank Crossroad who gave us this opportunity and everyone who took the time to visit our stand in Seljord. We look back on the days at Crossroad with great gratitude and blessing in many ways.


Flowing water in the taps

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Finally came flowing water in the taps in Kaputei. After nearly 16 months with funding,
engineering, drilling and fitting, it was party time. Sunday 10th February was a great feast for the Maasai living around Kaputei. The day, as for many signifies the end of long water rides and hard toil for their daily water to 700 people and 3000 animals. For us it was the end of a water project, which was the beginning of a new era in their life. No wonder it was a thanksgiving service lasting for many hours. The service was ended with the official opening and commissioning of the well. Some small adjustments remain until completion of the work. But February 10, 2013 was a historic day for many. The water flowing in taps and some tears of joy also flowed this day. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this project. The Maasai were dancing for you.
You can see a short video from the project by clicking here.

Video from the project. Click hear


Teachers training

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Saturday, February 16th, 12 teachers and 5 school owners attended pedagogical training. The main topic of the day was simple teaching methods at low cost. This was a “how to do” course where everyone had to participate and test the methods. There was a lot of fun and laughter. The enthusiasm was great and motivation to win came fast forward when we played various math games. As one appropriately said, “In Norway, they are rich, but they make things so simple and understandable. We are poor and make things so complicated.” So perhaps this day brought a little more practical teaching into our schools. The focus that day was that the children learn with their whole body, both in reading, writing and arithmetic. Some of this we already saw during the school visits a week afterwards.


New regional groups

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It grows well in Nairobi’s slums. The legacy of Hauge spreads so that more people are sharing in the work and the vision. The last two years we have grown from 7 to 12 regional training groups at 12 different locations in the slums. These regional groups are the core of our work. They meet monthly to study the Bible and other relevant topics. This is where the daily work runs with all its joys and challenges. We therefore see this growth as a major and important growth in the work.


Merry Christmas

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We wish all our supporters a Merry Christmas and a blessed year in 2013.


Hans Nilsen Hauge an Example of Empowerment

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Hans Nielsen Hauge (1771-1824) was a farmers son from Norway. He is by many known as a travelling preacher who spent ten years in jail due to a law which prohibited ordinary people from preaching in public. Less known is his tremendous impact on his contemporary society. In Hauges footsteps  the Haugian society of friends developed both spiritually and economically, thus they gradually influenced whatever environment they were part of.

During his career, Hauge laid a foundation for many in Norway to begin thinking and acting independently. In this way, he brought down official authoritarianism, and laid the foundation for Norwegian democracy and parliamentarianism. In a time charactarized by inequity and economic pverty, he became an influential leader who bravely pointed out the unfairness in his society, even though it meant a clash with those in authority. This was something he could only do because he was also certain that he was called to a God-given task.

 

In the book Sigbjørn Ravnåsen is providing an overview of Hans Nielsen Hauges life and ethical thinking that will shed light upon the question of how an ordinary farmers son became one of the most influtential leaders of his time. He is convinced that this example can provide valuable insight also for the challenges of our times.


School video

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.Would you like to have a small view of our schools and what the surrounding neighborhoods may look like? You can take a look at this little video clip. It was originally designed for a different forum, so the end is somewhat unconventional. If you will have a look. Click here


Info video Noracta

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Do you wonder what Noracta is doing, or just want to look at some of our work, please click here to see a small info video.


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