Food line at the Children's Center
The aftermath of a global pandemic has left the village of Makindu, Kenya looking quite different. Amid the challenges of getting back to some sort of normalcy, the visible scars of an area that has been struck with famine and malnutrition is now evident throughout the region. Faces on the street that once reflected a strong resiliency among the people are now showing signs of worry and pain. Cases of severe malnutrition are a common occurrence, bringing with it a rise in deaths of the very young, elderly, and chronically ill. This insecurity is further complicated by a persistent drought and a huge cost increase in basic commodities.
When asked about the state of world hunger, Barron Segar of the World Food Program replied “We are in crisis mode. There is a sense of urgency and a sense of acting now or we’re going to see the world slip into famine and see millions of lives lost.”* The numbers in 2022 are staggering! The UN estimates 345 million people around the world are facing acute food insecurity. That number is nearly equivalent to the population of the United States.*
According to Marie Clarke, Chief of Programs from Women for Women International, those numbers are a 25% increase from January 2022, right before the start of the war in Ukraine. This current famine crisis is caused by the “4 C’s – Conflict, COVID, Climate and Cost. The last massive food price crisis and food crisis globally was between 2008 and 2010.” Deaths are on the rise in sub-Sahara Africa because of the most parched drought in four decades. The AP reports that there have been at least 448 deaths this year at malnutrition treatment centers in Somalia alone. Authorities in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia are now shifting to the grim task of trying prevent famine.*
Makindu Children’s Program continues to do our part by providing food to the families and all who come to the Center seeking a meal. Generally, the Center feeds only the children enrolled in our program. However, as the Children’s Center Director explains, “the famine, hunger and never-ending drought are causing widespread helplessness in the Makindu region and is evident on the faces of the children. Food has gotten too expensive for the families to purchase. Costs have almost doubled. As such, the children are bringing other children in their households to the Center for a meal. How can we turn them away?”
Your donations have helped! When schools closed for two weeks this last summer for the Kenyan presidential elections, the Children’s Center saw 280+ kids come daily to get a nutritious meal. This provided a great daily opportunity for staff to reach out to the kids and community, and to offer hope and positive emotion in the face of the overwhelming sense of helplessness. Most people see no end in sight for the drought and have no faith in the government. Simply having a place to gather with others helped lift spirits and offer hope for a better future.
The goats Makindu Children’s Program provided to the households over the last three years have greatly improved access to daily nutrition. However, weeds and vegetation that goats generally forage have dried up, so production and reproduction has slowed. The effort to provide chickens to the guardian households and the Center last year has also been a huge boost to the nutritional needs of the children. Each hen lays 2 eggs daily, enough to help keep the children free from malnutrition.
As a result of donations received for Makindu Children’s Center, emergency food relief of beans, rice, maize, salt, and cooking oil has been distributed to the families three times this year, with at least one more scheduled for the holidays. This helps supplement the diet of goat milk, eggs, and any produce they may have. Each of these nutrition programs will further protect the children and families from malnutrition and hunger.
Because of services Makindu Children’s Center provides, and the community it has created, the majority of the children and guardians we serve are doing well. Your support helps us save lives and foster hope for a brighter future.
Please help us continue to care for the kids!
Thanks to Makindu, these girls are not hungry.