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Book Recomendation: Dispossessed by Mark Kramer

April 29th, 2010 | Posted by | Home Page | Kenya | Kenya Blog | Kenya | Kenya Blog | Kibera | Home Page | Learn | Kenya | Kenya Blog | Mathare Valley

There are very few books that I re-read, recommend to others, and even quote from, but Dispossessed: Life in Our World’s Urban Slums by Mark Kramer is such a book and I would strongly encourage you to pick up your very own copy today.

Mark Kramer is an author, free-lance writer, and professor who specializes in the art of ‘creative non-fiction’ writing. In Dispossessed, Mark tackles the reality of slums all over our world (Manila, Mexico City, Nairobi, Bangkok, and Cairo) in a thoughtful, transparent, and dignifying way.

You may not have realized it, but rural to urban migration is happening at a staggering rate. More than half of the world’s population lives in an urban context, and just fewer than half of these ‘urbanites’ live in slums. In fact, I write to you from Nairobi, Kenya where 75% of the population lives in slum context.

As often happens with statistics, however, we tend to lose the humanity and reality of the daily struggle that faces those living in the slum environment. In Dispossessed, Mr. Kramer is intentional about ‘re-humanizing’ the slum context in a way that both inspires hope and breaks your heart. He does so using a first-hand person narrative that makes you feel as though you are walking the streets of the slums with him.

With our second documentary film project at hand, I’ve been trying to glean as much information about the history and context of the Nairobi slums as I could get my hands on. Chapter Three of Dispossessed (Nairobi – Colonial City, Then and Now) has been particularly helpful in bringing to light the historical elements that established and have served as the foundation for the slums as we know them today. After reading this book, and spending a fair amount of time listening to the life stories of those who live in the slums, one will quickly realize that the ‘challenge of the slums’ is much more complex than what meets the eye. But, the author doesn’t leave the reader hopeless or guilt-ridden by the prose. He continually points to local churches/leaders who are bright rays of light in these extremely dark places.

In the spirit of full-disclosure, Mark is a friend of LIA and donates the royalties from Dispossessed to the ministry of LIA. With that said, I hope that you’ll take the next step, pick up Dispossessed, and better understand the reality facing those living in our world’s slums. Perhaps, by better understanding the slum reality, we may better carry the burden of those living in such places.

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2 NIV)

Real and Raw

April 28th, 2010 | Posted by | Home Page | General | Home Page | Kenya | Kenya Blog | Kenya | Kenya Blog | Kibera | Home Page | Learn | Kenya | Kenya Blog | Mathare Valley

Today marks the start of filming for our second documentary.  Over the past few months we have shared about our vision for the film, while asking you to partner with us through the production process.

We have told you that we want to use this film to tell the story of survival in the Nairobi slums, raise awareness for her people, and raise the money to facilitate transformation in these slums.  We have told you that our first documentary helped us raise over $300,000 allowing us to fund not only the featured street children project in Merkato, Ethiopia, but also add a second community partnership.  We have shared with you our excitement for this opportunity and the financial need to make it happen.


Celebrating Culture: See Ethiopia

April 21st, 2010 | Posted by | Home Page | Children | Ethiopia | Ethiopia Blog | Home Page | Events | Home Page | HIV/AIDS | Home Page

Last Saturday marked the 8th Birthday of LIA as a registered organization in the states.

And how did we celebrate this birthday?

We chose to represent LIA at the 6th annual Gilbert Global Village Festival in Gilbert, AZ.

The day focused on bringing the Gilbert community together to expose the diversity and rich culture that is present in this small city.  The day included events such as  a parade of children dressed up in the attire of their native countries, a bazaar of exotic goods, specialty international foods, as well as a stage in which people performed various dances inspired from cultures around the world.


Think About It

April 19th, 2010 | Posted by | Home Page | Kenya | Kenya Blog

Fact: Thousands of farm workers in Kenya have been temporarily laid off because of the volcanic ash over Europe that has grounded flights.

With horticulture more recently becoming Kenya’s greatest export, earning and accounting for roughly 20% of the economy, over 3,000 tons of goods have been discarded thus far, unable to reach their European destination.

To learn more about the effect of the flight ban to Kenya’s economy from the article; “Volcanic Flight Ban Hits Kenya Farm Workers” from BBC.com.

Happy Birthday LIA Family

April 17th, 2010 | Posted by | Home Page | Children | Egypt | Egypt Blog | Ethiopia | Ethiopia Blog | Home Page | Events | Home Page | Health | Home Page | HIV/AIDS | Home Page | Horn of Africa | Kenya | Kenya Blog | Home Page | Leadership | Home Page | Micro-Enterprise | Sudan | Sudan Blog

It is with heart felt joy that we celebrate the goodness of God to LIA, as we mark our 8th birthday since our registration in the USA on April 17.

It’s been 8 great years marked with growth way beyond our wildest expectations. The easiest indicator of this growth could be noted by a look at how our yearly income has grown, or seeing how our staff team has emerged. These indicators speak for themselves. But, we know the real growth is measured by the impact facilitated in the countries God has given us; that has been huge.