Dec 15, 2020

One in six children live in extreme poverty

COVID-19 and Africa

 

 

  • Africa carries 23 percent of the global disease burden but only accounts for 1 percent of global health expenditure.
  • Even with hundreds of thousands of deaths each year from Malaria, HIV/Aids, and TB, the continent has never experienced a crisis on the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When Covid 19 was first detected in Kenya, all schools, including vocational training schools and universities were immediately ordered closed. For many sponsored primary aged students, who relied on a nutritious breakfast and lunch at school, this meant that there would be entire days when they would go without food. At Springs of Hope Foundation, we immediately pivoted into our weekly food distribution program. Targeting elderly grandmothers who were caring for several young grandchildren, the sick and disabled in our community, and child headed households.

With the Christmas season well and truly upon us, we would like to ask you to keep the women and children that the Springs of Hope Foundation supports in Kenya in your thoughts.
For all of us, 2020 has been a year like no other — but for children and families in Africa, it has brought an added layer of worry to their struggle.

But with your support, there continues to be light at the end of the tunnel for our communities.

This Christmas we're asking you, our incredible Springs of Hope Foundation family, to give a gift of life-sustaining food through our weekly food hamper distribution program ever since Covid 19 arrived in Kenya in March. This week we will be delivering 150 hampers to assure those vulnerable families in our community can survive.

Together we can keep vulnerable children healthy and nourished. And together we can continue to teach and empower young women to break the poverty cycle and generate income to support their families.
Please visit our web page to learn more about our program.
www.springsofhopefoundation.org
Stay safe and well.
Asante Sana,
Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom 

Food hamers given to child headed households
Food hamers given to child headed households
Elderly recipients of our weekly food program
Elderly recipients of our weekly food program
Our student giving food to an elderly granny
Our student giving food to an elderly granny
Families receiving food hampers
Families receiving food hampers
14 year old head of household
14 year old head of household

Links:

Oct 26, 2020

Oh boy, have we've been busy this past month!

No children were seen playing during our 2hr visit
No children were seen playing during our 2hr visit

Kenya experienced post-election tribal clashes after the 2007 disputed elections that left many families homeless, lost properties, and means to a livelihood. May also lost land since they could not remain in the hostile regions they had lived in all their lives. Those families that had an ancestral home elsewhere relocated back and those with some savings bought small plots mostly measuring 50ft by 100ft and settled there but with no arable land, it meant that many became destitute all of a sudden. However, the majority of the displaced families had nowhere to go and solely depended on the government effort to resettle them.

In one of these resettlement projects- Kirathimo IDP Camp a group of 144 elderly persons who had nowhere to go was moved to the border of Nakuru East and Mirangine area located  1.5 hours’  drive on torturous roads in a scenic hill with biting winds overlooking Lake Elementaita. SOHF was invited to visit the area by a representative of persons with disabilities who explained the plight of the villagers who resided in two camps ½ kilometer apart that is Kirathimo 1 and Kirathimo 2. The team planned two trips back to back one on 18/09/2020 and 25/09/2020. On these two trips, a friend donated his 4x4 tour van to be used for the distribution due to the rugged terrain.

Located on a hilly outcrop, Kirathimo IDP camp is a bad place to be for an elderly person and persons with disabilities. All shelters in these camps are makeshift some made of UN shelter box tents and others made of blue iron sheets that had been provided by the government to put up mud-walled shelters. The residents here were brought by the government in the year 2013 with a promise to be allocated a plot in a piece of land that had been acquired for resettlement purposes. However, politically connected persons had an interest in the land and demarcation never took place, and as such the IDPs cannot proceed to construct relatively permanent dwellings from the year 2013 to date.

In these two camps over 80% percent of the population is over 70 years old, sickly with old age complications made worse by hostile living conditions. Many of the elderly persons have lost a spouse and depend on well-wishers for survival while some of them have been joined by their relatives and are sharing makeshift homes. The nearest health center is 10 kilometers away and without a public transport system, it is almost impossible for the elderly to get to the hospital.

Children in this area travel 14 kilometers – 7 kilometers either way, to the nearest public secondary school, while the young ones trek 8 kilometers -4kms each way to go to school while many of the children that should be in kindergarten do not go to school. What caught our attention most was that in the two hours we were in the camps on each occasion no children were seen playing, instead, they sat in small groups looking subdued, a clear sign that the children were not having enough to eat. Sanitation is also a challenge with raw water being the source of drinking water and toilets are makeshift as well.

On these two days, we distributed 150 food hampers to the elderly, persons with disabilities most of whom are bedridden and vulnerable persons as well. These beneficiaries are very needy and can do with more support both in-kind and psychosocial support.

Our food hamper program was an unbudgeted, unexpected additional expense. However, the more that we realize how great the need is among the elderly and people living with disabilities, the more committed we are to keeping the program growing. We thank you for your kind and generous continued support.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom

A sign that they were not getting enough to eat
A sign that they were not getting enough to eat
Kirathimo Internally Displaced Persons camp.
Kirathimo Internally Displaced Persons camp.
Some of our elderly recipients waiting patiently
Some of our elderly recipients waiting patiently
A makeshift UN shelter tent. Still home13 years on
A makeshift UN shelter tent. Still home13 years on

Links:

Oct 26, 2020

Oh boy, have we've been busy this past month!

We noticed the children were not active & playing
We noticed the children were not active & playing

Kenya experienced post-election tribal clashes after the 2007 disputed elections that left many families homeless, lost properties, and means to a livelihood. May also lost land since they could not remain in the hostile regions they had lived in all their lives. Those families that had an ancestral home elsewhere relocated back and those with some savings bought small plots mostly measuring 50ft by 100ft and settled there but with no arable land, it meant that many became destitute all of a sudden. However, the majority of the displaced families had nowhere to go and solely depended on the government effort to resettle them.

In one of these resettlement projects- Kirathimo IDP Camp a group of 144 elderly persons who had nowhere to go was moved to the border of Nakuru East and Mirangine area located  1.5 hours’  drive on torturous roads in a scenic hill with biting winds overlooking Lake Elementaita. SOHF was invited to visit the area by a representative of persons with disabilities who explained the plight of the villagers who resided in two camps ½ kilometer apart that is Kirathimo 1 and Kirathimo 2. The team planned two trips back to back one on 18/09/2020 and 25/09/2020. On these two trips, a friend donated his 4x4 tour van to be used for the distribution due to the rugged terrain.

Located on a hilly outcrop, Kirathimo IDP camp is a bad place to be for an elderly person and persons with disabilities. All shelters in these camps are makeshift some made of UN shelter box tents and others made of blue iron sheets that had been provided by the government to put up mud-walled shelters. The residents here were brought by the government in the year 2013 with a promise to be allocated a plot in a piece of land that had been acquired for resettlement purposes. However, politically connected persons had an interest in the land and demarcation never took place, and as such the IDPs cannot proceed to construct relatively permanent dwellings from the year 2013 to date.

In these two camps over 80% percent of the population is over 70 years old, sickly with old age complications made worse by hostile living conditions. Many of the elderly persons have lost a spouse and depend on well-wishers for survival while some of them have been joined by their relatives and are sharing makeshift homes. The nearest health center is 10 kilometers away and without a public transport system, it is almost impossible for the elderly to get to the hospital.

Children in this area travel 14 kilometers – 7 kilometers either way, to the nearest public secondary school, while the young ones trek 8 kilometers -4kms each way to go to school while many of the children that should be in kindergarten do not go to school. What caught our attention most was that in the two hours we were in the camps on each occasion no children were seen playing, instead, they sat in small groups looking subdued, a clear sign that the children were not having enough to eat. Sanitation is also a challenge with raw water being the source of drinking water and toilets are makeshift as well.

On these two days, we distributed 150 food hampers to the elderly, persons with disabilities most of whom are bedridden and vulnerable persons as well. These beneficiaries are very needy and can do with more support both in-kind and psychosocial support.

Our food hamper program was an unbudgeted, unexpected additional expense. However, the more that we realize how great the need is among the elderly and people living with disabilities, the more committed we are to keeping the program growing. We thank you for your kind and generous continued support.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom

A sign that they were not getting enough to eat
A sign that they were not getting enough to eat
Kirathimo Internally Displaced Persons camp.
Kirathimo Internally Displaced Persons camp.
Some of our elderly recipients waiting patiently
Some of our elderly recipients waiting patiently
A makeshift UN shelter tent. Still home13 years on
A makeshift UN shelter tent. Still home13 years on
Makeshift tin & plastic tarp home
Makeshift tin & plastic tarp home
Some of our elderly recipients waiting patiently
Some of our elderly recipients waiting patiently

Links:

 
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