14 year old head of household & one of her sibling
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Last week the president of Kenya announced that all primary and secondary schools will remain closed until January 2021. Fortunately, we have been allowed to keep our students living with us in a safe environment. Our only focus in this period of COVID 19 has been to donate food and face masks to as many vulnerable and needy people in the county as possible. Most of the residents in the outer lying area are casual laborers who are paid after working. With the current pandemic, the residents are unable to get employment and feed their families. Some of the families have been going to the area chief to beg for food and a lot have been foregoing meals. Springs of Hope Foundation's sole purpose since the arrival of Covid 19 last March has been donating food and face-masks to vulnerable families. Our target families are the elderly, terminally ill patients, persons with disabilities, and child-headed households, all of these cases are identified with the assistance of the area chief together with house cluster leaders. So that we can maintain order and be assured our donations go to the neediest, we will continue to do the food distributions at the chief's camp. Some of the cases that we have recently come across that touched our hearts included;
Child headed families- There were several families in these categories but the most vulnerable of all was a family of six. The firstborn being a form two student at a nearby secondary school. Their mother went to Saudi Arabia to work as a maid in January 2020, but she has never sent a penny home to meet her family’s needs. This therefore left, Irene, a fourteen-year-old girl, to step into her mother's shoes. Irene together with her five siblings lives in a tiny one-roomed, mud-walled house. They pay Kshs. 300 (US $3.00) rent which they can barely afford. Irene juggles between school and menial work to support her siblings. It's long since they talked with their mother thus they don't know how she is fairing in the Gulf and this clearly is distressing to them.
Vulnerable families- The area chief also identified a case of a woman who is approximately 80 years, a widow who is ailing from asthma, and high blood pressure. The case is vulnerable in that, the elderly woman is the sole breadwinner to her six grandchildren. With her advanced age and sickness, she has been left at the mercy of neighbors and well-wishers to stay alive. The family lives in a rented mud-walled house in Mang’u area paying rent of Kshs. 500 ( US $5.00) per month. The elderly grandmother could not manage to come to the pick-up location to collect her food hamper. This prompted the team to visit her home. She could not hold back tears when her grandchildren brought the food hamper to her.
Kenya has continued to experience enhanced rainfall resulting in massive flooding. The government of Kenya recently announced that 203 Kenyans have died in floods and 100,000 households have been destroyed. In Nakuru County, families have been displaced following floods caused by heavy downpours since the 3rd week of April. The flooding in these communities has been blamed on poor drainage and sanitation with most drainage systems being clogged. Communities close to Lake Nakuru have been forced to relocate after overflow from the lake sparked fears of a humanitarian crisis.
My friend and fellow Rotarian Joab Okello recently wrote.
"Today, I made random rounds to check the extent of destruction caused by overflowing Lake Nakuru, the situation isn't so good. People have started breaking into abandoned flooded homes and stealing iron sheets, doors, and windows. Others have simply broken their houses to be able to build some structures at an IDP campsite. Wells and toilets have been filled and a tragedy is building up for waterborne diseases. People are no longer just worried about Covid-19 but this real enemy at their doorstep. Food insecurity and disease. We are indeed facing a triple tragedy."
We urgently need your support to keep life-saving food flowing to the most vulnerable in our community.
Borders have closed and supply chains are affected in areas most at risk. Please help us ensure that hungry children, the elderly, and vulnerable do not suffer the brunt of this pandemic.
If you’re able, please make a donation to our community outreach efforts. If you’re unable to donate at this time, there are many other ways you can support us! You can advocate for us by sharing our mission with a family member or friend. Even a quick mention on your social media would mean the world to us.
In times like this, we’re reminded of how interconnected we all are. Thank you for being part of our community. Without you, none of it is possible.
Stay safe and well,
Springs of Hope Foundation
One of our students helping an elderly lady w/food
Elderly couple who had not eaten in several days
Elderly lady displaced to IDP camp due to floods.
nutritious food for a week. Beans, maize & cabbage