Its either #weareNOTone or Wajir is not in Kenya10:42:00 AM
Last Saturday, Kenya 'stopped', one of Nairobi's malls, Westgate Mall was under siege. Social media, news stations and many other bodies went full force offering platforms and other services to assist those held hostage, their families and provide news for the rest of Kenya and the world at large. A lot has been said about the attack and this post is not to saturate y'all with more details but i would like to deal with the area close to my heart, a service that I am really proud came to the forefront; psychological support. Allow me to blow my horn by saying #hugSitawa helped mobilize trained counsellors to assist with the service which was spearheaded by Kenya Psychological Association and Kenya Red Cross. I am not a counsellor but I feel the calling,pray for me to hear it loud and clear given the many voices I have in my head. Prof Ndetei from African mental health foundation did an amazing post listing occurrences in this country that needed psychological intervention; from Mau Mau to inter clan wars (read full report here ) and it is about time this service came to the fore front.
When such occurrences take place, we always rush for physical and medical support and forget psychological. Another thing I am proud of, is that Kenyans were able to recognize the traumatic cover page, The Daily Nation put up and condemn it, well my photographer pals were not on my page though, they called it powerful, your thoughts. Well the Nation put done the online version and the CEO or Chairman, what post does Linus Gitahi hold, did a brush apology on NTV. (It is little compared to what they should have done. ASDA 'suffered' after they had an online sale of mental patient Halloween costumes, they apologized and gave proceeds to UK's mental health advocacy group Mind Charity, read storify here ) So all the Kenyan vibe has been happening under the We are one banner, I have seen amazing photos, millions raised, blood donated, candles lit, name it and we did it as one. A day later, Kenya 'continued' a distant town called Wajir was bombed or something on that line. I think there were casualties, not sure of the numbers but I can name almost all the Westgate casualties and even match faces and names.Someone school me, is Wajir in Kenya? If yes, why isn't what I saw happening for Westgate not happening there? Why is there normal programming on all stations? I missed Churchill on Sunday...ooh the country had stopped, am sorry, so why was i able to watch Churchill raw last night yet there was another bombing? Why hasn't Safcom and Airtel set out pay bill numbers? Its either we are not one or Wajir is not in Kenya. I have gone to twitter as I did on Sunday to mobilise trained counsellors, I still haven't gotten results. My only hope is for Red Cross to set up systems with the millions raised during the Westgate Attack to offer psychological support there. It should also be noted that psychological support is not a one off, there is need for follow up, systems need to be set.