As a young boy growing up in Kangundo, Kenya, Chapati (flied tasty wheat bread) was Christmas. My family, like many others could only afford it on Christmas. This Christmas, many Kenyan children and their parents will not have anything to eat.
Children and their parents in Kenya are starving to death as a result of a famine brought about by three consecutive years of drought.
My earliest recollection of the hurtful experience of hunger was in the mid 1960s. We ate one meal a day at night. It was Ngima ya muvya, dough made of millet flour. It tasted like soil. But we had “food.” In 1972, there was another famine that again relegated my family to one solid meal at night and porridge for lunch.
Both famines were short lived and families were able to return to reasonably diverse dietary portions. The current famine catastrophe has brought bad memories of students fainting in class because of hunger. I recall a woman who had to go to a neighbor’s garden at night to steal bananas after her son had starved to near death.
This 2007-2009 famine has reached a new, albeit devastating height. It’s killing my neighbors. I was born and raised is an area with average to above average rainfall, I have never heard of anyone dying of hunger like in drier parts of the country. My father just informed me a neighbor I know died. I went to school with his children. By developing nation’s standards, his family was a middle class.
In some parts of the country, schools have had to close to allow pupils to scavenge for food. Johnston Kiseve, a pastor I have known for twenty five years talked of how hunger has forced women, even churchgoers to unthinkable acts of prostitution to save their children. It is heartbreaking to think of the repercussions of these low acts in areas where deaths from aids are more common than births.
What, however, is humbling is to know how possible it is to save lives. The congregation of the Boise based Faith Evangelical Church has donated about $4,000 this year. People have given $5, $10 or whatever their heart feels moved to give. That has fed over 1,000 people. Mothers are spared the agony of watching their children die or becoming prostitutes.
Not a single penny is send to the corrupt officials or used for administrative costs. All, 100% of the contributions is used to help mothers feed their children. We require and get the names of all recipients, the number of the members in their families and the quantity of corn and beans they receive.
To help, mail a check to Caring Hearts and Hands of Hope, Idaho United Credit Union, P.O Box 2268, Boise, ID 83701 or to any group that is already helping with the situation. To learn more about the situation, just Google Kenya famine or call (208) 376-8734.
Posted by David Maria at December 5, 2013 10:22 pm | No Comments »