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Kenyans in US furious at “Recommender’s ID requirement” in e-passport issuance

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Several Kenyans in the United States are frowning at the requirement for a copy of recommender’s Id card in the e-passport registration exercise which is now underway at the Embassy in Washington DC and the two consulates in New York and Los Angeles.

After Kenya Satellite News Network (KSN) posted the requirements as published by the Immigration department, many readers took issue with them, with others even terming some of those requirements as “insane.” Sample the following:

JMurangi wrote on Facebook: Why are we always being subjected to unrealistic conditions as if we are school children? What kind of government does this to its people? This is insane!

Maggie Marikah Kwabena wrote: Why do I need a recommender if I already have a Kenyan passport? Number two, how much will this cost me? I presume instead of the Embassy going to where Kenyans are, they want Kenyans to incur the expense? Makes no sense. Rahisisha hii maneno.

Sadique Aress No 6. Copy of the recommender’s kenyan ID? Kweli this country is confused.

John Kariuki tweeted: Who advises Uhuru Kenyatta? No, really.

Adiamboj wondered on Instagram: Who asks for recommender’s IDs in this day and age. In any case, shouldn’t they have my information from the previous Passport Application? No wonder we still lag behind in spite of boasting that we are the leader in East Africa. Cr*p.

However, Joseph Mwaura, who said he is based in Nairobi had a different perspective. He wrote: “Just as we expected, Kenyans in the Diaspora are cry-babies who always want the rules to be bent to suit their circumstances. Please give us a break…we have better things to do.”

KSN sought a comment from the embassy but our phone calls went unanswered.

Here are the requirements for replacement of passport( Current holders of passports being phased out)

  1. A duly filled application form
  2. Copy of Birth Certificate
  3. Copy Certificate of Registration if Kenyan by Registration
  4. Original Kenyan ID and a copy for Adults
  5. 3 (Three) passport size photos
  6. Copy of the recommender’s Kenyan ID
  7. Duly filled Consent form for Minors
  8. Old passport and a copy
  9. 2(two) payment invoices for the prescribed fee

Others had issues with Huduma Namba registration as well:

Nicholas says: with all due respect, the embassy performance in delivery of services is pathetic. I have travelled there on numerous occasions and they are MIA in that dungeon they call the embassy of Kenya in Washington DC.
Walk to 1232 22nd st. at the Tanzanian embassy and you would understand why am calling it a dungeon where zero services are offered. I don’t think the Kenya embassy is ready for Epassport and Huduma Number. If you have doubt, just inquire how many officers are assigned to complete this noble national exercises.

He adds: Can someone explain to them that these people in US are parents who have to meet their children education tuition and accommodation within this time frame they have set. kenyans would prefer to educate their children who will come to invest in Kenya where they will be comfortable to invest as compared to the children of those who have no roots in Kenya.
Let them lead in a smart way. Why do they create a policy they can’t deliver on it? This Huduma Number has got a limited widow when it should be obtained so does the Epassport. The issuance place is Washington DC for the passport and we are yet to know where that of Huduma Number. They have assigned limited officers to carry on this task.

Does he realise the distance between Seattle Washington and Washington DC? Does he realise that there are three different time zones involved? When they limit the time to get the Huduma Number up to end of June, do they take into account the travelling involved and the cost? Matiangi said they are paying an officer Ksh 1,000.00 a day. If we go by their set standards any Kenyan who travels to Washington DC should be paid $1,000.00 a day, adds Nicholas.

 

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Diaspora

Help Atlanta-based Kenyan woman in immigration custody fight for her freedom

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Well wishers and friends are appealing for your help in an attempt to secure the freedom of their compatriot who was taken into custody in Atlanta and could be facing deportation. Here is her story:

On the night of April 7th Veronica was on her way home from work when she was pulled over for a minor traffic infraction. Unfortunately In the process of completing her paperwork, her immigration status came up. This led to Veronica being taken in to custody.

We as her friends have come together to help Veronica and retained an attorney to  represent Veronica on the immigration case. We need your help to enable Veronica afford the opportunity to appeal her immigration case, gain her freedom and continue living in the US.

We are reaching out to you appealing for your compassion, goodwill and financial support to assist in raising funds towards Veronica’s attorney fees and immigration fees. The total needed for both the attorney and immigration fees is $8,000. This will help Veronica get the representation she so desperately needs and get her out of custody.

Please help bring Veronica home to her loved ones. Help us make a difference in Veronica’s life. Help her gain her freedom. Let us show that humanity and compassion still exist and thrive.

Any size donation is greatly appreciated as we come together to bring Veronica home and help her overcome this hardship.

Your support and kindness is very much appreciated and will never be forgotten.

Donations can be sent to:
1. Cashapp: +16782056692 ($dnkatha)

2. Gofundme

For more information contact:
Dianah: 6782056692
Lucy Karuri: 6784787804

May God bless you abundantly

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Africa

Meet Kenyan Beauties and Brains in the US: Vote now for Miss Kenya USA [PHOTOS]

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

Voting is now open for Miss Kenya USA pageant as the clock ticks towards the much awaited colorful gala event set to take place on July 6th 2019 in Renton, Washington.

The Miss Kenya USA Organization’s objective is to empower young Kenyan women here in the United States through engaging them in events and programs that will enhance their educational background as well as growth within the Diaspora through philanthropic work.

VISION

The pageant’s ultimate vision is to allow each young lady that is participating in the pageant to have an avenue where they can express themselves freely while exercising their goals towards development. It also hopes to mold these young women to be leaders of tomorrow, by helping them adapt to roles and programs that will utilize their skills to their maximum potential.

Remember you can vote for your contestants daily: YOU CAN VOTE HERE ANY TIME

The Pageant was the brainchild of Mr. Michael a.k.a “Frakaz” Bisonga, under the Frakaz Entertainment Group based in Houston, TX. The Pageant was always hosted in Houston over the Memorial Weekend in 2006 saw the first actual pageant take place.

“Our ultimate goal is to impact one girl child at a time that will in turn produce a ripple effect within our community of development and self sufficiency,” says the founder.

We hope to link each one of the contestants with an organization that is already working at social and/or developmental issues in Kenya as well as here in the USA; to further the purpose of their platforms. Lastly we shall encourage these young women to market and be the best goodwill ambassadors for Kenya in the Diaspora. These women shall execute but not limited to the following expectations:

  • Organization Ambassadors
  • Community Development and leadership
  • Good stewardship
  • Pageant Platform Driven
  • Accomplish set Goals
  • Share their success stories to motivate others

She adds.

YOU CAN VOTE HERE ANY TIME

Here are the beauties and their bios:

CAROLYNE NGANGA

My names are Carolyne Nganga. Currently, I am located in Washington DC and I am pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Nursing was and still is a career path I knew I wanted to pursue since I was 13 years old back in Kenya, because of financial constraints, I did not get a chance to pursue the career on completion of my high school education. Just to back up, I dropped out of high school due to lack of school fees and was out of school for 2 years. During this time, I got an opportunity to work as a waitress (at the age of 15) in a family owned restaurant in Nairobi. Right before
my 18th Birthday, I had enough savings to go back to high school and I proceeded. Working as a young teen exposed me to real struggles a lower class Kenyan face every day, struggles faced by young people due to lack of an Opportunity to pursue education and challenges of working teens. The experience built my character and thrust me towards desiring more not only to better my life but that of our community.

My platform, something I have yearned for a long period now is 1st education (every child matters, is my theme) 2nd is working towards curbing child-maternal mortality and lastly preventive care (teaching the community about all modifiable risk factors in an effort to reduce or better, prevent certain illness that have plagued our Community today for instance Hypertension, diabetes and stroke) I plan to use my skills in combination with high healthcare technology am exposed to here in the US to
instigate change in healthcare system in Kenya especially in rural areas.

My voluntary experiences include free clinics within the DC, Virginia and Maryland area, feeding the homeless in DC, support of several causes for instance runway for cure cancer awareness. I am excited to be part of this pageant because I believe the experience I will get will guide me into my Platforms.

CYNDEE MULINGE

YOU CAN VOTE HERE ANY TIME

My name is Cyndee Mulinge, and I was born in Kajiado and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. I am a graduate of Central Washington University with a Bachelor’s in Social Service and Psychology. Zealous in expressing my love for Kenyan culture while here in America, I work as an assistant for the African Print Takeover, a movement which brings African culture to the Northwest through fashion. Also, passionate to give back to the community, I regularly volunteer for various non-profit organizations such as Cry Out (an after-school program using music, dance, and creativity to empower youth to lead, pursue justice for themselves and others oppressed in their communities) and Mary’s Place, an organization which helps Seattle’s homeless by providing shelter.

I love giving back to my community! In continually doing so, I noticed a lack of follow through after organizations donate to children’s homes. How often does one check in after giving to see what else is needed? Thus, my Miss Kenya USA 2019 platform is charitable giving through Reach A Life Foundation. For the past year, I have partnered with the Nairobi-based “Reach A Life Foundation” to emphasize follow through by providing food, clothing, and tuition for orphans in various children’s homes. There is a sense of belonging when you know you have people who are looking out for you, who cares and supports you.  It is essential for us to show these orphanages that we are here, and willing to provide them with life’s basic needs and assist them with their major needs.

R.A.L.F has successfully provided support to 11 children’s homes, amongst them: A home specifically for children with disabilities, and another with children who are HIV+. My goal is to use my title as Miss Kenya USA 2019 to inspire my community, to further my education, and to aid R.A.L.F in expanding their reach to even more children homes in need. It would be an honor to be your Miss. Kenya USA 2019!

Do as well as you can, with what you have.

HELLEN KAMAU

Hellen Kamau is a Kenyan native who currently resides in Birmingham, AL. She is a graduate from Auburn University in Auburn, AL and an incoming student at Samford University’s, McWorter School of Pharmacy in Birmingham, AL. In addition to these studies, she is also getting her master’s degree in Public Health. Her heart is for her community and that is where she desires to begin touching lives.
The journey to achieve a doctorate degree will expand what she’s been longing for in improving her community and the future healthcare systems in Kenya. Giving back in the area of healthcare is the mountain she stands on.
She is also associated with other organizations such as the National African Student Association(NAFSA), BLAQK EMPIRE, and Off the Block Kids Athletics, which is based in Kenya. NAFSA educates and guides students by helping them make a smooth ransition to getting jobs, lowering student loans, and to tackling obstacles faced while progressing into the work field.
BLAQK EMPIRE’s core values are grounded on empathy, gratitude and ambition. It’s main goal is to empower each of us to be better, to love ourselves and others while changing each community at a time. And lastly, Off the Block Kids Athletics is an organization based in Kenya that she has had an opportunity to be an ambassador of for the past 3 years. This organization works to get children involved, active and healthy through athletics. She has helped raise funds that have allowed the children to enjoy activities such as track and field, and providing the proper equipment. Through this organization they have been able to educate young children about their health, eating habits, and how to take care of there bodies at an early age. This organization aides in keeping children out of the streets, while helping them achieve their dreams and allowing a safe and fun place for children to simply be children.
All of these organizations stand for pride, unity and love. This candidate defines her future and the future of her beloved country by simply being our best versions. Miss Kenya USA gives a push to magnify what’s been simplified.

WENDY ODUOR

Mahatma Gandhi once said “Be the change that you wish to see in the World”, a statement Wendy Oduor desires to embody in her generation.

As a fashionista, host and speaker, the recent graduate from Parsons School of Design in New York City believes that it is time to rise and champion the cause and solutions for mental health awareness.

Mental health remains a silent epidemic affecting millions of Kenyans. The lax mentality and approach as a nation towards mental health has instead oppressed those living with (knowing or unknowingly) and affected by various psychological diagnosis rather than leading them to a road of freedom and recovery.

After tragically losing her brother to suicide in 2014, Wendy, like many others, retrieved to silence. Wendy eventually understood that pain can birth purpose when allowed. This helped Wendy to begin sharing about her experience as a guest speaker at social events and utilizing social media to create awareness and a safe space where people break their silence and are encouraged to seek professional help. Wendy reaches over 100 people when hosting her weekly Mental Health Monday live on Instagram. In addition to creating awareness in the diaspora, Wendy also made it her mission to visit a mental health institution in Kenya to begin building relationships, understanding the logistics of the Kenyan health care system and gain first hand insight from Kenyan health professionals to see how to successfully combat Mental Health in Kenya, as a long term goal.

Wendy Oduor is embarking on the Miss Kenya USA pageant with a mission to promote mental health awareness across the diaspora and Kenya through education and action. This mission will entail dismantling countless generational errors in how Kenyans have dealt with matters affecting the mind, through constant conversations and teachings about mental health using but not limited to online platforms, schools, churches, and public events. The latter step which is about action, include result geared action plans put together by societal members alongside mental health care professionals to successfully guide individuals to their breakthroughs in the hopes to end the silent epidemic of mental health.

NEEMA NYAMBURA KIMARU

Age: 23 (soon to be 24)

Education: In 2017 I received my Bachelors Degree in Communication Studies and Marketing at Meredith College. Meredith is an all women’s liberal arts college in Raleigh, NC. After receiving my degree I traveled to work abroad in Asia for a year and a half as an English teacher! I have recently relocated back to the USA permanently and am currently working as a Communication Specialist in the Triangle Area.

Platform: Inclusion and Education for First Generation Kenyan American Youth

This cause is so near and dear to me because in so many ways it stems from how I have come to define myself and my own identity as a Kenyan American. I see a very great need in our diaspora community to include and educate our youth about where they come from. Especially as more and more Kenyans settle here in the States and have families, it’s apparent that their children are sometimes clueless about what it means to be Kenyan or even worse, they don’t care. Many don’t even know how to speak Kiswahili and definitely not their tribal language. I know this is an issue that has been prevalent in our communities for quite some time because I and my fellow Kenyan American peers were (and still are) this way!

Here is a little bit of background about me. I have always been proud to be a Kenyan and always maintained that I grew up in a true Kenyan home for the most part. Everything from the food we ate, the church we attended, and the family oriented priorities we held contributed to that. I was also very fortunate to grow up in an active Kenyan Community and to have traveled to Kenya often growing up. Through all of this I did learn a lot about Kenya historically, culturally, and also about my own families personal history. However, English is my first language and we always spoke English at home. My parents and extended family always struggled to try to teach me Kiswahili and Kikuyu. As I have gotten older I have taken it upon myself to learn. I still struggle to speak and overcome shyness of speaking, but I can understand about 50% while listening to a conversation so I have improved quite a bit! My goal this year is to become conversational by years end.

Many first generation children and young adults are in the same situation as me and it does make me very sad. Even though there is still a lot for me to learn, I am a big advocate for this cause and I feel that if we come together as a community we can find a way, many ways actually, to better include and educate our youth. Other nationalities have done wonders in this department so I am currently studying their methods. My dream is to operate a non profit dedicated to this cause! Should I win or place at all in the Miss Kenya USA pageant this year my winnings will go towards this endeavor.

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Business

VIDEOS: Amb Githae lauds Kenya USA Diaspora Sacco for “contributing over Sh 300M to Kenyan economy”

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

Outgoing Kenyan Ambassador to the United States Robinson Githae has commended the Kenya USA Diaspora Sacco for its role in supporting the economy back home.

Speaking at the 6th Annual General Meeting of the  Sacco  in Boston, Massachusetts, Githae challenged other  Kenyans living and working abroad to join societies and pull resources together in order to realise bigger goals.

“I am happy to announce that the outfit has pumped over Shs300m into the Kenyan economy,” said the envoy.

The SACCO Chairman, Mr Simon Kariuki Nyaga, said that the members are, “without a doubt, glad they invested their money in the organization.”

“We have different ways through which members are benefiting. Many of them are already owning homes – especially through our signature project, Fadhili Homes – after borrowing their own money from the Sacco and repaying the same at very affordable rates,” said Mr Nyaga, a Nairobi based businessman and a Diaspora returnee.

Embu Governor Martin Wambora, who represented the Council of Governors (COG) at the event challenged Kenyans abroad to partner with county governments and invest in programs geared towards achieving the Central government’s Big Four Agenda.

“The Sacco has already signed Memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with six counties and is ready to invest  in housing, manufacturing, agriculture and tourism, among other sectors,” he said, adding: “In Embu we have set aside 16 acres of prime land  for development right in the heart of Embu town.”

Many of the founder members present expressed optimism that the Sacco would be an example of unprecedented success stories coming from the Diaspora.

“We want to be a conduit. We want the Kenyan government to recognize our efforts,” said  Raphael Kilondu, the Honorary Secretary to the Sacco.

“We plan to venture into projects which will make real sense. We will get involved in infrastructural development and even create employment for the youth,” he added.

This comes at at a time when some Kenyans in the Diaspora have lost their money after investing through unscrupulous individuals or organizations which have ended up swindling them. Read: FBI now invited to probe Kenyan firm that promised investors the moon but delivered false hopes.

According to information posted on its website, the Kenya USA Diaspora Sacco seeks to promote investment opportunities and savings among Kenyans residing in the United States of America “so that they can have a reliable and organized way to invest, access to affordable credit, carry out projects, build businesses, or meet personal and family needs in Kenya.”

According top data posted on the Kenya’s Central Bank website, Kenyans in the diaspora send home more than $2 billion annually but most of it goes to charities and family support obligations such as school fees, medical bills and general philanthropy. Watch:

 

 

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