Posts Tagged ‘Poverty Requiem’

Hundreds Took to the Streets in Molo to Stand Up Against Poverty

“So what! Who cares! So what! I care!…Have no rights, I don’t know why!” These are refrains from the song “Born to Suffer” that some audience members of the Molo District Poverty Requiem were singing days after the October 17 event held in Molo Stadium.

Hundreds of people in Molo District stood up and spoke out against poverty last week as part of a worldwide effort to put the Millennium Development Goals on everyone’s agenda.

A throng of students, teachers, NGO workers and residents marched to the Molo District Commissioner’s office where NECOFA’s Samuel Muhunyu gave a petition to acting DC Solomon Abwaka, urging the government to take action on the MDGs. A Salvation Army brass band played along with the crowd as they left the Molo district headquarters and headed through the city to the Molo Stadium—some carrying signs reading “Promote Our Local Knowledge,” “Stop the EPAs,” and “We Want Good Governance.”

The Molo Stadium is where the procession ended and the festivities began. Students sang and a women’s group performed traditional Maasi dances. NGOs, private firms, and intervention groups including SMART, SLIDE, the Karunga Women’s Group, Baraka College, and Equity Bank exhibited their products and services. The Karunga Women’s group—which spins Molo lamb’s wool to make handcrafted animals, bags, and rugs—brought their trainer to demonstrate traditional spinning techniques. During the “Stand Up and Speak Out” session, these groups and others (including poets and rap artists) took to the stage to speak their minds about issues affecting Kenya.

At 2 p.m., Community Development officer Moses Gachiri conducted a 400-member choir, which appeared in a circle around him and his two soloists. This feat would have been difficult for all but the most ambidextrous conductors but Gachiri pulled it off. The choir performed two songs, “Born to Suffer” and “Hope.”

Awards were presented to district schools who sang in the choir as well as the winners of a bicycle race, which kicked off the day-long event. The grand prize was a new bicycle.

According to the October 20 Daily Nation, more than 1 million Kenyans participated in this year’s Poverty Requiem. They were among the more than 38 million people in 110 countries who broke the Guinness World Record set last year for the largest number of people who stood up against poverty. The campaign is an initiative of the United Nations Millennium Campaign in partnership with the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP).

The last lines in the song “Hope” say it all: “Can you change it, Will you change it, You must change it!”

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Poverty Requiem Event in Molo, October 17

Stand up and speak out about the world’s slow response to end extreme hunger and poverty at a Poverty Requiem event in Molo Stadium from 8:30 a.m. to dusk on October 17.

According to the Poverty Requiem Web site, a smashing 42 performances will be staged in at least 23 countries.

The Molo event includes a 400-member choir, speeches, exhibits, food, cultural entertainment and a bicycle race.

Community Development and Public Relations Officer Moses N. Gachiri and other NGO members spent a week in the Netherlands last month for training on how to localize the worldwide event, designed to create awareness around the world that the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are not reaching its ultimate goal: to eradicate extreme hunger and poverty by 2015. October 17 marks the halfway point for those goals to be reached. Click here for more information on the Poverty Requiem.

Gachiri is working with 12 choirs from district schools and community groups, a Salvation Army brass band and percussionists. Massive choirs from around the world will be singing the same moving and inspirational songs with titles such as “Hope” and “Fair Share.”

Speakers for the “Stand Up and Speak Out” event will include leaders from local and international NGOs and universities who are working on poverty and hunger issues, including members of the Kenya Small Scale Farmers Forum, PELUM, Moi Univeristy and others. Exhibitors include various NGOs and intervention groups in the region. The event is free to the public and traditional foods will be available for a donation. NECOFA is also collecting food donations for refugees of tribal conflicts living on Kokwa Island off Lake Baringo.

The bicycle race will begin 8:30, and the top prize is a new bicycle. Other prizes will be announced at the event.

The schedule is as follows:

  • 8:30 a.m.: Bicycle Race
  • 9 a.m.: Assembly
  • 9:30 a.m.: Present petition to the District Commission, urging the government to speed up the implementation of the MDGs.
  • 10:30 a.m. – Noon: Exhibition in the Molo Stadium. Showcases various NGOs and intervention groups.
  • Noon – 1 p.m.: Speak Out
  • 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.: Traditional and Cultural troop performances.
  • 2 p.m.: 400-member Poverty Requiem Choir performs in Molo Stadium.

Why stand up and speak out? Every day, 50,000 people die as a result of extreme poverty and the gap between rich and poor is getting wider. For the first time in history, we have the resources to change this. In 2000, leaders of 189 countries signed up to the Millennium Development Goals, a global plan to halve extreme poverty by 2015. We need you to STAND UP and SPEAK OUT to make governments honour their commitments – it will not happen without all of us taking a stand.