Wednesday, June 18, 2008

NAIROBI, KENYA - Introduction

The Workshop on 'Get Organised with Human Rights'
JUNE 7 - 14, 2008

I supposed to leave for Nairobi, Kenya on the evening of 6th June but due to my commitment at the Pacemakers Annual Run on 7th June, my flight was delayed till o400hr on 8th June. Due to gloomy weather at KLIA, the flight was delayed for 30 minutes and finally took off at 0445hrs. It took about 7 hours to land in Doha and another connecting flight to Nairobi (another 5 hours). Arrived there approximately 1300hr local time (1800hr Malaysian time).
Mr. Humphrey, the Chairman of the Nairobi People's Settlements Network was at the airport to received me. I was one of the last two participants that arrived for the workshop which start early that morning. So, I missed the introductory session. Nevertheless, I sort of made a 'grant' entry just after lunch to a group of curious participants (I think so????).

Shalom House is an initiative of Koinonia, a lay Christian community based in Nairobi. There are 14 comfortable self contained double/single rooms, 7 comfortable self contained rooms for 4 persons, a common TV room, an IT Centre, a Cafe Restaurant, gift shop, laundry services and spacious playground for children.

Shalom House is located just off Ngong' Road behind St. Palloti Catholic Church just after Daggoretti Corner, only about 7km from city centre.

Twenty Five Community Organisers/Leaders of different communities and social movements from Africa, Asia, United States and Europe gathered for a workshop to sharpen their knowledge and skills on organising community on human rights. The programme also devote to planning together for the joint bottom-up mobilisation towards the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

'Get Organised for Human Rights' is a programme organised by Dignity International in collaboration with Nairobi People's Settlements Network and Hakijamii Trust and supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland & Oxfam, NOVIB.

Group photo taken at the front garden

Monday, June 2, 2008


While some runners went down south for the Sundown Marathon, Alice, her twin teenage daughters & friend and myself decided to do something different. My 2nd Relay4Life, Alice and myself decided to do more than just contributing rm10. We went round to talk to our friends that for every rm10 donated by them, we will dedicate one loop on their behalf to all cancer survivors.

In less than a week, we managed to collect rm600! Thats the challenge! 60 loops on MSN track, Bukit Jalil ...... gosh ..... the real challenge is we cannot stop or leave unless and until we completed the 60 loops.

This year, more people participated. When Alice signed in at 6pm, there wasn't any more t-shirts left. Just coincidently, Alice and her daughters was in yellow, the color they adopted this year. So, they brought out a bundle of T-shirts (for volunteers) and handed them to Alice while apologised for not being able to give us the actual quantity. Well, we are there to support and not the T-shirts so we just took whatever available.

So, at 9pm we join the full crowd on the track! Fuyoh .......

Saturday wasn't really an easy day. I am dedicated to a program in Taman Tun Dr Ismail known as OPTIONS - a basic living skills program for teenagers with learning disabilities from 17 years and above. After taking the youths out for a short walk around the few blocks of houses in Persiaran Burhannudin Helmi, we took a short break and by 6pm I excused myself from the program. Managed to feel up my stomach with a bowl of fried rice bought by one of the parents. Took 10 minutes walk to the nearest bus stop heading towards KL Sentral.

7.30pm reached KL Sentral, then jumped onto a cab to be home by 8pm. Dumped my bag and took a quick bath and rushed to the LRT station which is 3 minutes walking distance. I arrived at Stadium MSN at 8.40pm. Alice met me at the entrance to passed the wrist tag to me. All the speeches and presentation just finished. The emcee requested that family members of cancer survivors, friends and supporters to join all cancer survivors on the track. So, was just on time for the WALK!

I wouldn't want to write long report cos' thats just not me. Let the pictures below speak ....

banners carried by various groups

line of lighted bags and other symbol of love

Alice and myself with one of the cancer survivors (in
yellow t-shirt) and another supporter. We presented
her with a Teddy Bear as a show of support

Below are some of the Bags of Life & Love by survivors & supporters. (I was told its called Luminaria Lantern ..... eeemmm just learnt something new eh!)

These lighted bags represented all the inner voices of their loved ones. As I slowed down towards the end of the last round, I just kept walking ..... passing one after another around the track. It's so touching, one can almost felt the warmth and love all around.
Cancer - your existence may have separated our loved ones from our side BUT you can never take that memory away for THEY will always remain in each and every of our heart .....
This is also another side project by -