Outpouring of support following mall attack in Nairobi

Publié: 1 octobre 2013 12:02 CET

By Susan Onyango and Sharon Reader, IFRC

As Kenya continues to come to grips with the armed attack that took place at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, the Kenya Red Cross Society has been inundated with offers of help and encouragement from the general public.

Like most Kenyans, Penny Musengi felt useless watching events unfold on her television Saturday afternoon, but as soon as she heard about the Red Cross blood drive she knew she could do something to help. As the coordinator of the social venture organization Raspberry Adams, Musengi is an expert in social media and knew she could put these skills to good use.

“From the early hours of Sunday morning, I started using the internet to mobilize volunteers to help out at the Kencom blood donation centre in downtown Nairobi. We received 40 responses in no time at all, and by morning we had another 200 people ready to help,” said Musengi. “We also provided logistical support to organize these volunteers into teams who managed the 3,000 people who turned up to donate blood on Sunday.”

Volunteers recruited by Musengi have also been receiving and coordinating the many donations of food and refreshments given to the Kenya Red Cross. These donations are being used at the blood drives, but also to support the National Society and emergency services teams operating at the Mall.  

People from all walks of life have been coming forward to volunteer their time and expertise to the Kenya Red Cross, including professional counsellors and doctors, students, and corporate employees. These volunteers have been engaged in a wide range of duties from registering blood donors, delivering hot meals, and managing crowds to providing first aid, helping families to find missing relatives and providing emotional support to those traumatized by the attack.