Food Baskets for Households in Kenya!

by Makindu Children's Program
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Food Baskets for Households in Kenya!
Food Baskets for Households in Kenya!
Food Baskets for Households in Kenya!
Food Baskets for Households in Kenya!
Food Baskets for Households in Kenya!
Food Baskets for Households in Kenya!
Food Baskets for Households in Kenya!
Food Baskets for Households in Kenya!
Food Baskets for Households in Kenya!
Food Baskets for Households in Kenya!
Food Baskets for Households in Kenya!
Thanks to Makindu, these girls are not hungry.
Thanks to Makindu, these girls are not hungry.

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!


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Cooking food
Cooking food

In spite of monthly food relief to all children in our care during the pandemic, many continue to be hungry.

The drought continues and the news reports warn of coming famine. Last year, in a remote area 20 kilometers from Makindu town, they saw only one day of rain. This was not enough to germinate seeds, let alone have plants grow. Adding to this disaster, the Russian war in Ukraine has disrupted food supply and delivery of many goods, most notably grains (maize and rice), leaving many of our children hungry and not adequately fed. Even if the grain was available to purchase, inflation has doubled the price of grain (tripled in some areas), making it impossible for our households to afford. The government is NOT supplying school lunches and so many of the children go all day without a meal. Some who live far away from their schools have begun missing school, being too weak to walk the long distances.

While we are no longer able to afford monthly food baskets, we are providing food relief on a regular basis - twice so far this year, with hopefully two more distrubutions before yearend. We have partnered with Kibwezi South Store to get rice, beans, maize and cooking oil delivered to all households, even those in the remotest regions. For the holiday basket in December, we plan to add salt and flour to the food distribution so that the families can make holiday chapatis.

As a result of the food shortage and inability to get food delivered to the households on a monthly basis, the number of children who come to the Center for a meal on Saturdays has climbed to well over 200. In further response to the food and nutrition shortage, we now serve meat on Saturdays, sometimes the only meat protein a child might have in any given week. To also aid in nutrition offerings, we have completed our project of getting 2-3 goats to each household for the highly nutritious milk they can provide and tasty protein rich cheese made from the milk. We are comforted that even though there is extreme food shortage, the kids in our care are getting at least one glass of goat milk a day. Third, we are currently running another project to get each household at least 2-3 chickens. The chickens will provide protein-rich eggs on a daily basis, adding another food benefit to the kids. The guardians of the households are being trained on animal (goat and chicken) husbandry and have so far been quite successfull in raising the animals and feeding the children.

So while many obstacles out of our control continue to hamper our efforts, we are getting some food to those who hunger. The food baskets though, are what the families need and want most, to round out the food variety available for consumption. The need is so great though, that we always seek more help and support. Please consider helping us feed the kids.

Guardians receiving food delivery
Guardians receiving food delivery
Help us feed this child!
Help us feed this child!
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2021 marked itself in the record books as one of the most difficult ever. With uncertainties regarding the COVID-19 virus, relentless drought, and other issues seen around the world, simply finding enough food to sustain oneself continued to be an overwhelming challenge for the desperately poor, especially those in remote rural regions. The donors and supporters of Makindu Children's Program faced this challenge head-on in 2020 to help those in Makindu that needed nutritional aid and continued that aid all through 2021. In doing so, over 2,000 people, children, and guardians, living in 320 households received monthly food relief and a Holiday Food Basket from March 2020 - December 2021. When the food relief was delivered, Makindu Children's Center staff seized on the opportunity to educate and demonstrate proper sanitation and hygiene. The social workers checked in with the families. Makindu Hospital staff and the Children's Advocate often accompanied MCC staff and would hold workshops and presentations on COVID health and positive behavior and relationship building. Too many kids had too much time on their hands, and some were prone to disobedient or destructive behavior. These presentations were timely and well-received.  Because the solar powered water system provides the huge garden plenty of water making it abundant with fruit and vegetables, 85 of our most medically vulnerable children were able to receive fresh produce monthly, adding excellent vitamins and minerals to their diet. Moreover, this nutritional aid was the key component in keeping all our children free of COVID infection throughout the pandemic and the year 2021. These efforts showcase the love and community that Makindu Children's Program represents worldwide, and we cannot thank our supporters enough! Asante sana!

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Making chapati is one of the most beloved holiday traditions in rural eastern Kenya. Kids and aunties gather in kitchens or around cookfires and share stories and laughter, while kneading and rolling the flatbread and frying it on the fire. Kids learn their culture, their tribal traditions, and relish the family and community bonding that happens over meals shared. 

With the loss of jobs from the pandemic, the relentless drought, and COVID related delivery problems, getting food to the families for the holidays will be difficult but is so very important, this year especially. We have 317 families to support and hope to provide them all with a holiday food basket of maize, beans, flour, sugar and cooking oil. It is so humbling and heartening that a basket of such simple food can be so precious and bring such joy to an impoverished family in need. Everyone deserves to experience the joy of holidays. 

Each of these kids pictured is desperately poor, and will be so very grateful for your support. Thank you for bringing joy to their holidays, and their favorite treat to their tummies.

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We can't thank our donors and supporters enough for the help on this project! All of the children and guardians received relief food support in the past quarter, feeding 320 households! 

The nutritious food of maize, beans, rice and cooking oil that is provided in the food baskets help maintain balanced diets, which in turn helps maintain mental and physical health. Additionally, eggplant, kale, peppers, avocado, and tomatoes are planted in the Center's farm giving fresh produce options for the children and guardians. A few fruit trees have also been planted adding more variety and fresh produce for the kids. Seeds are one of the highest priorities for the Center, and the farmers and guardians are hopeful for a successful planting season this October and bountiful harvest in a few months. 

The monthly food relief has been especially beneficial to this family. The elderly grandmother cares for 9 children in her 3 room home, 4 of the children live with HIV. She tries to eke out a living selling vegetables at the market, but it is never enough to feed all the children. Without the help of Makindu Children's Program and food supplied by Makindu Children's Center, these 9 children and their grandmother would be hungry, sick and malnourished. The ones with HIV might not even be alive. 

Your donations are saving lives. Please continue to help us help these kids. Just 50 cents a day feeds a child! 

Asante sana!

Thank you!

Grandma with 4 of her 9 grandchildren
Grandma with 4 of her 9 grandchildren
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Organization Information

Makindu Children's Program

Location: Eugene, OR - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @MCPkenya
Project Leader:
Diana Richardson
Eugene, OR United States
$27,056 raised of $30,000 goal
276 donations
$2,944 to go
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Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG25471

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