By Daki Barako
Hi guys, I hope you have been keeping well. I wrote an article ‘Not Kenyan Enough?’ on May 24th 2016 on Marsabit Times. This article sought to highlight the tedious process that young people from Marsabit are subjected to in the quest to get identification cards.
It was a personal story for me because my brother was being held back from enjoying his rights as a Kenyan adult because of a bureaucratic and unfair system.
I followed up with different stakeholders and I am happy to report that our advocacy efforts have paid off! We (Child of a Nomad) received a great response from the young people and their parents and we forwarded their grievances to the department of immigration. The National Identification Cards are now ready for collection at the Marsabit Immigrations Office.
My Dad called me to tell me that the National Identification Cards were FINALLY in the Marsabit office and I remember feeling an incredible sense of pride and anger all at once. I was proud because I had worked tirelessly to ensure that our grievances were heard and addressed. I was angry because it dawned on me how marginalized Northern Kenya still is more than fifty years after gaining independence. We should not celebrate when things that are our entitlement happen. Receiving basic services should be the norm and not an unfamiliar occurrence.
I am happy that we got a quick response but I know that our efforts should not end at that. We have won the battle but not the war. Copious reforms need to be made. There is need to get to the root of the problem and ensure that long term solutions are sought. Citizenship is an area of law that I am passionate about and young people have a special place in my heart so we owe it to the younger generation in Marsabit to ensure that they have an easier time than we did. During his visit to Kenya, President Barack Obama stated that ‘we plant trees sometimes not so that we enjoy the shade but for our children to enjoy the shade’
Thank you so much for your support so far and let us all take the initiative in making our country and our region great.
Love and Love
‘Not every issue addressed will be solved but nothing will be solved unless it is addressed’
‘There’s nothing more important in a democracy than a well informed electorate’, Aaron Sorkin