Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Halala On the Move

In August 2007, we at HALALA formed a committee once again to meet routinely to plan yet another conference that would bring together as many Luhyas as we may contact. The purpose was to create a framework upon which we would build a coalition of willing soldiers of goodwill who would transcend sub tribal buriers and resist conventional pessimism to give help to the helpless and hope to the hopeless. The agenda was set to include forming a resource network for Luhyas worldwide. Provide a forum to discuss issues that affect the Luhya Diaspora and harness the opportunities offered by the American society to better the lives of those in Kenya.
The Luhya story, of which we are co-authors, had a very good beginning but somewhere along the course of time it become sad, and now it’s beginning to turn tragic. But the good news is that we still have the power to re-write this story and give it the happy ending it was always meant to have. We can re-write it by giving hope to the hopeless and help to the helpless.
Today people in Western Kenya are still dying from preventable disease and Halala has committed to do something about it by raising funds to provide a mobile clinic in the region.
A four-year project with a vision to raise $50,000 by 2009 will mark the begining of a long awaited medical facility to serve residents of Western Kenya. Residents will have access to, TB testing, Malaria, HIV 1 AND 2, Hep B &C, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, pregnancies, and also provide medication to those who cannot afford it.
Fundraising efforts to realize the above objective will be carried out by all Halala Chapters in the US.
Halala USA plans to conduct three fundraisers in the month of April in New Jersey, August in Maryland and November in Washington DC.
Members of Halala USA have committed to contribute $20.00 every month for 14 months and will be reaching out to friend and well-wishers to assist in these efforts. All contributions by checks should be made in the name of
Halala USA and can be mailed to 390 Park Avenue East Orange New Jersey 07017

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Halala Thanks Giving Party 28 Nov 2008

Halala Tristate did it again they hosted a wonderful thanks giving party.

The event was held 28 November 2008.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Death & Funeral Announcement of Sheila Vigedi Shidero

Death has occurred of Sheila Vigedi Shidero of Shinyalu, Kakamega, Kenya.
This is a death of an immediate family member of Halala NJ chapter member in Halala USA; she was the sister of Sylvia Mugala and sister in-law to Lawrence Mugala Mugasiali who’s the uncle to Charles Lukoba in Bloomfield NJ.
She was the daughter of Mr & Mrs Ronald Adriano Madegwa Shidero.
the sister to Jemimah, Josephine, Caroline, Florence, Paul, Catherine and Cornelius Shidero. All in various parts of Kenya.
Sheila battled shortly with pneumonia before her passing 9 October 2008.
Burial and funeral service are set to be on Saturday, October 11, 2008 at her father's farm in Shinyalu, Kakamega, Kenya.
For more information you can reach
Charles Lukoba
May the Lord rest her soul in Eternal Peace.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Electronic Diversity Visa Lottery has began.

DV-2010 Lottery online entry has began, it's running from Noon EDT on October 2, 2008, and ends at Noon EST on December 1, 2008.
Success is further enhanced by following instructions particularly in editing the photos. The official website is and applications can be submitted there.
Lottery winners are usually notified by mail between May and July of the proceeding year, in this case it'll be in 2009 and they will be provided further instructions, including information on fees connected with immigration to the U.S. Those selected in the random drawing are NOT notified by email. Those individuals NOT selected will NOT receive any notification. Review the DV-2009 Lottery Instructions Selection of Applicants section for more information about the DV timeframe and process.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cries & Dirges for Barnabas Brian Ochunyi Wake

Halala USA was truly tested this year. With the unexpected death by drowning of Barnabas “Brian” Ochunyi, (Virginia Chapter Secretary) on 14 September 2008. He was born in 1987 to Rose Apeli Ballard [Treasure Halala USA] based in Richmond, Virginia, USA originally from Bukura, Kakamega, Kenya.

Brian was also was loved and nurtured by his grand parents Florence Osengo Mungo and the late Nelson Alfayo Mungo. He attended his primary education at Kilimo primary and attended secondary school and Shikunga High in Kenya. Then he attended ALPHAX College in Eldoret, Kenya where he attained diploma in I.T.

He moved to the USA year 2006 with his younger sister Flora Amy Achiko to follow his mother & attend college. He attended Jay Sargeant Reynolds Community College where he majored in engineering and also worked as tutor. According to his mother Rose he was doing extra Science & Mathematics classes in order to transfer to Virginia Tech, following advice of his professors, He planned to major in Mathematics and Engineering.

The death as reported in the media.

Halala members got to see Barnabas in Halala AGM in Virginia 2006 & he lead the Virginia delegation in Halala AGM both in 2007 in New Jersey & 2008 in Massachusetts. Halala USA members joined hands together with friends of Barnabas to raise funds to give him an honourable burial back home in Kenya.

All roads led to Virginia for Barnabas wake on 21 September 2008, it was truly a Kenya style funeral, Swahili & Luhya dirges were in the air, and maybe this can be part of Halala project to document & archive these uplifting songs. Other issues that Halala could consider tackling was reducing the bureaucracy in the Kenyan Embassy for funeral preparation and Customs in Kenya.

Funeral service was perfect thanks to superb service provided by Joseph W. Bliley Funeral home 8510 Staple Mill RD, Richmond, VA 23228. It’s very difficult to find funeral business that understands the demands of international burial. Thank God the fire marshal didn’t show up for the large turnout of Halala members, Halala USA president Pius Mwemba, didn’t forget his being Commissioner of Scout days by perching a tent in the compound. I don’t think Richmond, Virginia really got to see this many Kenyans coming together to say good bye to their son Barnabas. Thanks to commendable hospitality efforts of Halala Virginia Chapter Chair Lady Sharon Otwoma & her treasurer Joyce Amakabane things went on smoothly.

The fundraiser reached its target, thanks to the extra efforts of ‘Chini ya mti’ members and all the friends of Halala. The body left for Kenya on 24 September 2008 this is only 10 days after the death on 14 September 2008.

I would like to take this opportunity & urge all Kenyans in Diaspora to take advantage & join Halala, which strives to empower & support its members to form a single forum.