by Christine Lagat
Kenya’s Mary Njeri was in high spirits on Tuesday afternoon as she patiently waited for her turn to donate blood in a makeshift center set up by charity organizations at a busy street in the capital, Nairobi.
The 29-year-old sales executive told Xinhua she had stayed in the queue for one hour and the sweltering afternoon sun did not dampen her resolve to donate blood and save lives.
Njeri heard about the appeal for blood donation to save victims of Garissa University terrorist attack from the radio and managed to convince close friends and family to play their part.
“The nation is grieving the loss of innocent young souls in the hands of barbarians whose aim is to deny us our collective destiny. This tragedy has only strengthened our resolve to remain united and vigilant in the face of terrorism,” Njeri told Xinhua.
A multitude of Kenyans from all walks of life were engaged in hearty conversation as they lined up to donate blood for Garissa terrorism survivors.
Njeri and her friends joined the queue during lunch break, owing to their busy schedule in the morning. A regular blood donor, Njeri hailed Kenyan’ generous spirit in the face of adversity
“These tents have been teeming with people ready to donate blood and not even a foul weather discouraged them from this noble act. Kenyans have an amazing capacity to unite during tragedies,” said Njeri.
The macabre slaughter of young Kenyans by Al-Shabaab militants at the Garissa University College on April 2 shook the entire nation.
Leaders and ordinary citizens shared the pain of families who lost their loved ones during the worst terrorist attack since the 1998 bombing of U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.
Kenyans on social media posted messages exhorting unity, patriotism and empathy to overcome the deep wounds the country suffered after Garissa university terrorist attack.
A twitter handle calling on Kenyans to come out and help the terrorist victims has been trending since last week.
Njeri and hundreds of blood donors who braved the afternoon scorching heat to help their compatriots were the embodiment of a generous spirit that defied tragedy and fear.
“The recent terrorist attack has reawaken Kenyans magnanimous spirit and timeless devotion to national duty. The terrorists have not won despite inflicting deep wounds on the national fabric,” Njeri told Xinhua.
The volunteer medics at the makeshift blood donation camp in Nairobi had a hectic time controlling a swelling crowd.
A female volunteer who requested anonymity revealed they had collected blood that exceeded the initial projections.
“We could not fathom such a huge turn up of donors who remained calm as the queue stretched. Kenyans emerged heroes in the latest terrorist attack by extending a helping hand to compatriots in need,” said the female volunteer.
Kenyans promptly responded to an appeal for blood, food and water to help save the lives of students who survived Garissa terror attack.
The Kenyan Red Cross, St John’s Ambulance and other humanitarian agencies have since last Thursday mobilized Kenyans to aid the terror victims.
At the Chiromo Mortuary where relatives of students who died in the Garissa tragedy are camping, well wishers gave them food, drinks and warm clothing.
When terrorists attacked Garissa University College on April 2, Vincent Odiang’o was immersed in books at his college library.
As the news of the attack kept filtering, Odiang’o abandoned his class work and joined comrades who spoke about the tragedy in low tones.
The land administration student at a Nairobi technical college was deeply saddened by senseless death of comrades in a remote corner of the country.
Odiang’o was among blood donors who defied the afternoon heat to lend assistance that could save a live.
“As comrades, we have a duty to assist each other whenever tragedy occurs. The victims of Garissa terror attack are like my brothers and sisters. They deserve our help,” Odiang’o said.
He was elated when volunteers guided him to the makeshift tent to donate blood.
Based on the overwhelming turn up at the make shift blood donation site, it was abundantly clear that Kenyans’ renowned generous spirit was not diminished by a terrorist attack that shook the foundation of a promising and vibrant society. Enditem