LSFA Kenya

Mtwapa Report by David Cooke 2009

The place

Mtwapa is a town adjoining Kenya's 2nd city Mombasa. It is vibrant, bustling, messy, growing & an area housing more wazungu (white people) than any other area of kenya. It is a melting pot for the various Kenyan tribes & only suffered lightly during the post-election violence of 2007. Mtwapa lies on the edge of the popular tourist beaches & hotels of Kenya's coastline.

The problem

The wazungu are held mainly to blame for the proliferation of substance abuse; drugs are accessible; often imported from visiting yachts. Alcohol-related problems are on the rise.

Sex trafficking & sexploitation is also on the increase. Even in global recession, the relative wealth of foreigners means that flesh-peddling frequently occurs. White men & women buy local youth, & in the absence of education & realistic work opportunities, for some locals such an arrangement is akin to western youngsters dreams of winning the X Factor.
Few realise the almost inevitable outcome is that once used they are cast off, often diseased, reputation sullied & without prospects. Some poor famileis welcome these arrangements as a supposed escape from the poverty trap; one less mouth to feed; the unrealistic hope that a mzungu might make a lifelong commitment. So "beach boys" offer "comfort" to white women for a holiday romance & children & young women are offered to paedophiles.

In addition there are the usual endemic African problems; indigent widows without support, youths without prospects, Aids related diseases, poor infrastructure & governmental corruption. The failure of expected rains has seen the threat of starvation loom for many of the rural poor. Further, there is a sectarian divide threatening to destroy Kenya by fanned by the ruling elite.

The Vision

The interdenominational Lifespring network in Kenya is currently composed of 9 local churches, containing largely untapped human resources which, unlike other NGO's, can provide unpaid, yet motivated volunteers.

The very existence of Lifespring helps counter tribalism, as its pastors & members include Kikuyi, Luo, Luhya & the local Mijikenda & their co-operation is a powerful sign & restraining presence against extremism.

Social projects help provide hope & a future for local residents.

The Projects

Lifespring has provided emergency food relief for the starving of adjacent rural & drought stricken areas but can do no more without further funds.

Lifespring funding has supplied office premsies & computers for administration, communication & training. A part-time teacher delivers free IT training. The premises includes bedrooms so that visiting sponsors can stay & avoid hotel bills intead donating funds to the charity.

A recent local initiative has establised 9 group-cells of 7 women in each supplying them with micro-loans as start-up capital for empowerment projects. This operates as a revolving loan system, with the original loan plus 5% being paid back into the scheme by each successful womens group to enable further empowerment of the marginalised promoting self-sufficiency for the vulnerable.

The shoe-string budget

Our aim with everything that we do as Lifespring is to enable & encourage people to become self-sufficent. We are a grass-roots charity with a shoe-string budget. For this project to succeed we need just £200 per month to achieve modest goals. The scheme's positive impact will be wholly disproportionate to its capital outlay.

Can you help?

If you have a heart for Kenya please join with us to support this innovative project in Mtwapa.

You can donate now by clicking onto our link button or contact us and we will be pleased to discuss how you can partner with LSFA Kenya.

Please join us in prayer for the work of LSFA in Kenya.