A week full of humanitarian stories

Text: Ida Kannisto, Elina Kirvesniemi, Taru Rokka
Photographs: Senni Luttinen, Taru Rokka

Our first week in Kenya has now come to an end. Two groups have already started their journey to next locations: one to Marsabit county and one to Uganda.

Our group is going to Turkana county, where we will be flying tomorrow morning.

This week included long days in Kibera. We saw a lot of positive and hopeful people, but also hopeless.

Kibera is the most well-known slum in Nairobi. It is said to be the biggest slum in Africa.

Outside Kibera our group did interviews for example in SOS Children’s village and David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s elephant nursery.

Taru Rokka went to visit the elephant nursery at Nairobi National Park. There are currently 29 baby elephants there, all of them either orphaned or abandoned by their mothers. The main reasons for that are poaching and falling into wells. The elephants are gradually reintroduced back to the wildlife in Tsavo National Park.

Baby elephants coming for their midday lunch and mud bath.

Senni Luttinen photographed this week Mission Aviation Fellowship’s (MAF) work and ISHTAR organisation’s workers. ISHTAR fights for the rights of sexual minorities and promotes sexual health.

We had also very interesting persons who to interview: Elina Kirvesniemi got an opportunity to meet Sitawa Wafula, an awarded blogger and an activist, who tries to change the way how Africans think about mental health problems. According to Wafula still the majority of Kenyans believe that mental disorders are witchcraft.

Ida Kannisto interviewed Terhi Heinäsmäki on Sunday. She’s a doctor specialized in infection and internal medicine. She has worked around the world for example in many conflict areas.

Terhi Heinäsmäki moved to Nairobi with her family last September.

Heinäsmäki talked a lot about the situation how to combain being a mother and an international work. Heinäsmäki got motivation to work abroad when she realized that there is a huge hiv problem in Africa and people are doing nothing. She got angry because there was already a medicine for hiv but it was only used in Western countries.

Her last work project was in Malaysia where she was for five years. Now she works in Kenya as a ‎regional representative for East Africa at Finnish Red Cross.





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