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the Friend INDEPENDENT QUAKER JOURNALISM SINCE 1843
CONTENTS – VOL 168 NO 2 3 Kaimosi hospital recovery continues 4 Kenyan Friend urges support for gay
Quakers in East Africa 5 Ashburton Quakers get first new Meeting house of twenty-first century 6 New Horizons: a shared vision for mental health Chris Holman 7 Comment
Joe Mugford and Tom Jackson 8-9 Letters 10-11 Spinoza and the early Friends
Helen Gould 12 Earth at the Royal Academy
Rowena Loverance 13 … And the greatest of these is hope?
Sibyl Ruth 14-15 Countryside blues
Helen Gould 16 Q-eye on the Christmas media 17 Friends & Meetings
Cover image: Need help? Depression is set to become one of the world’s biggest health problems. See pages 6 and 14-15. The relief people feel when they realise that it is not just them,that there is someone they can talk to, shows that doors can be opened and that connections can be made. The ripple effect takes in not just their families but others around them who may be suffering in silence. Photo: RABI. Images on this page: Top: Cake for Alice’s birthday. Photo: Phillip Morris. See page 4. Below: Antti Laitinen, ‘It’s My Island I’. Image courtesy of Nettie Horn. Photo: Antti Laitinen. ©GSK Contemporary 2009 – Earth. See page 12.
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the Friend, 8 January 2010 News
Kaimosi hospital recovery continues
Friends United Meeting is marking the fourth anniversary this month of reaching an agreement with East Africa Yearly Meeting for management of the hospital at Kaimosi in Kenya. Since taking over management of the hospital in 2006 FUM has concentrated on stabilising finance and management of the hospital, improving buildings and equipment and level of services. In particular, FUM has worked to ensure that staff are paid regularly and on time, thus improving morale at the institution that had been in long-term decline.
A 2005 Kenyan government survey found that infant mortality in the Kaimosi hospital catchment area was three times that of the neighbouring district. ‘Restoring the hospital is a commitment to those families, those children and that community whose healthcare needs Kaimosi hospital has failed in the past’, said FUM field officer Eden Grace.
Recent developments have included opening an HIV and AIDS clinic, replacing leaky roofs and purchase of an ambulance. ‘Buying an ambulance allows us to engage in community outreach and respond to emergencies’, explained Eden Grace, who serves on the management team of the hospital, which meets weekly.
Quakers have placed healthcare at the heart of their mission in Kenya since the early 1900s. Missionaries first arrived in Kenya in 1902 and quickly realised that they needed to provide health care. A doctor joined them within the first couple of years. First services were offered out of a hut and then grew into a hospital. The current buildings were opened in the mid-1960s when the hospital was dedicated by the president of Kenya, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. Then it was renowned as the leading hospital across east and central Africa with patients coming for treatment from across Kenya and the whole region. It also had a school of nursing.
In the 1970s the trend among American mission boards was for less direct involvement and handing over to local leadership, but without support and training or recognition of the capacity required to run a modern hospital. In the 1980s the hospital was taken over by the government but was stripped of resources, equipment and finances.
In the 1990s the hospital was handed back to East Africa Yearly Meeting, which had the desire but not the funds to rebuild the hospital and its services. Negotiations with FUM began. See www.fum.org for more information.
Young Friends prepare for leadership
‘These young people can start from this point and ask “how can I make change?” George Fox had a vision, Jeremiah had it too’, explained Bainito Khayongo at the Africa triennial of the Young Quaker Christian Association in Western Province in Kenya last month.
The event was run on the theme ‘The way man sees is not the way that God sees’ (1 Samuel 16:7) and involved Quakers from Burundi, Kenya, Lesotho, the Netherlands, Rwanda, Uganda, the UK and the US.
‘Join us so that we can move forward to build up the church in Africa and across the world so that we are one church’, added Bainito, addressing the gathering. The conference drew almost eighty delegates, though many other were prevented from various Kenyan Yearly Meetings and Tanzania due to the difficult financial climate.
Keynote speakers included Deborah Saunders of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Friends World Committee for Consultation African executive secretary Moses Musonga, Oliver Kisaka of East Africa Yearly Meeting North and Barasa Nyukuri of Torch Africa.
‘I was really pleased that I came’, said Phori of Lesotho Allowed Meeting. ‘I got to renew my relationship with God and my understanding of Christianity through divine perception.’
Lillian Maleya, treasurer of YQCA, told the assembled delegates that: ‘the youth are the leaders of tomorrow but the youth are also the leaders of today’. The association discerned to hold a leadership workshop in Tanzania in 2011.
Jez Smith the Friend, 8 January 2010