Many of you have asked me how you can show your love and support for the students of Garissa, Kenya. I have an answer.
All of the approximately 650 surviving students from the Garissa University campus are being moved to the Moi University main campus, just outside of Eldoret, Kenya where I work. Apparently, many of the traumatized students expressed the desire to stay together (at least in the short term) rather than being dispersed to campuses across the country. The faculty and staff from Garissa will also be moving to Eldoret and will be working out of a building on our medical school campus in Eldoret. So, we are taking them in.
Many of these students, who were already among the poorest in Kenya, were forced to abandon everything they owned when they fled Garissa. They woke up to this crazy shooting in their dormitories and they fled with only their lives. For my friends in Kenya, the University is looking for donations of clothes, basic necessities, and funds to support these students and staff in their difficult transition. The IU House is happy to coordinate donations in person. The staff in the psychiatry department will be trying to address the mental health needs of the students and staff who are suffering from their recent trauma. I am so glad that they are in this place. We want to show them welcome and love and support.
If you want to provide a donation to support these students – many of whom are impoverished, traumatized, and now facing a major transition in their lives – we have now set up an account for donations through the IU Center for Global Health office in Indiana. These donations will go directly to the support the students needs, managed through our team at the university on the ground.
The easiest way to make a donation is to go to www.ampathkenya.org, click on the “donate” page at the top, this will take you to a donation page where there are two options.
- The first option is Indiana Institute for Global Health, Inc (IIGH, Inc). If one clicks on the IIGH, Inc link, it will bring one to a donation page. That donation page has a comments section at the bottom, and one must write “Garissa students” there in order to ensure the donation gets directed appropriately.
- The second option is the IU Foundation. If one clicks on the IUF link on our web page, it will bring you to the IUF page with IU-Kenya operating fund as the only option in the drop down menu. One would then have to put “Garissa students” in the section labeled “in honor of”, and that way we will know the donation is specifically for them.
This may seem like a far-away tragedy, but these are students just like mine — and just like yours. They are eager to learn, smart, talented, and ready to grow into Kenya’s future. For students who evacuated with very, very little in the midst of trauma they had never imagined, even a small gift will mean a lot. We will make sure it gets there directly.
Show the youth of Kenya that 147 is not just a number.