When I made my way to talk to her, she gave me a letter requesting help for her children — all 1500 of them.
“The mentioned children are more than 1500 from affected families because of the armed conflict, the SLDF, and army operations which led to the deaths and disappearances of some parents. During these operations women were sexually abused leading to infections of HIV/AIDS. Most of the children are either total orphans or half orphans.” – excerpt from Sister Mondo’s letter.
It sounded like one of those Joseph Kony and Invisible Children stories—only this one may have been even more violent. It is the story of a few years ago on Mt. Elgon. A land and power dispute among the Sabaot tribe on Mt. Elgon led to an internal conflict and war. The rebellion that Sister Mondo told me about was led by the SLDF (Sabaot Land Defense Force) under the tyrannical force of Wycliffe Kirui Matakwei.
The methods used by the SLDF were very violent including killing family members who opposed them, blackmailing people for taxes, forced recruitment into their army as well as torture, rape and murder. When the government retaliated, they used strong force and were also guilty of torture and rape.
During this time CRF lost one of its schools on Mt. Elgon. Another was closed. Some of our leaders had to leave. Another was killed. The children couldn’t go to school for years. They grew older without getting an education.
We have now reacquired our high school, Kapkirwok Christian School, but don’t yet have the resources to educate all the children. And it is hard to sponsor children who are older and have had their education delayed for so many years.
Emmanuel is also starting a new primary school, feeding program, and orphanage for the younger children who were victimized. Emmanuel’s farm is called ERULI. This new work will be ERULI 2.
Although the need is great, we are going to do all that we can to help. We have already seen over 100 baptisms on Mt. Elgon in the last few weeks!
- Milton Jones, CRF President