The small brick house with no running water, a tin roof and roving chickens, goats and cows is owned by Sarah Obama, Barack's 86-year-old step-grandmother. Inside, the walls are decorated with a 2008 Obama election sticker, an old "Barack Obama for Senate" poster on which he has written "Mama Sarah Habai [how are you?]", a 2005 calendar that says "The Kenyan Wonder Boy in the US", and more than a dozen family photos.
But this bucolic scene in his father's village of Kogelo near the Equator in western Kenya conceals a troubling reality that, until now, has never been spoken about. Barack Obama, the Evening Standard can reveal, after we went to the village earlier this month, has failed to honour the pledges of assistance that he made to a school named in his honour when he visited here amid great fanfare two years ago.
Obama folks will no doubt quickly deny that Obama ever offered any financial assistance to the school when he promised help. But even Obama's grandmother thought that was what he meant. "When he comes down here, he will change the face of the school and, believe me, our poverty in Kogelo will be a thing of the past," Cohen quotes 86-year-old Sarah Obama as saying to the community. "Senator Obama has not honoured the promises he gave me when we met in 2006 and in his earlier letter to the school," the school's principal now says. "He has not given us even one shilling. But we still have hope."
Isn't it amazing that Sen. Obama can raise record sums of money to fund his own political campaign, but he can't raise a few paltry bucks to help out the community of his own family in Kenya? How difficult would it have been for him to call up a few of his Hollywood friends and raise a few million bucks at a private fundraiser? His visit two years ago was all about another photo op for his presidential campaign.