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
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