The Suffering of Families and Young Girls in Famine Stricken Kenya
We see skeletons of cattle or the emaciated bodies of those about to die lying on grassless soils of Kenya. We see famine relief workers holding bowls of liquid food for young children whose bodies have shrunken as hopeless parents watch. The pain seen on a mother’s lifeless face that is placed in between her bony hands tells of how a famine punishes the living before death claims them.
Your heart breaks when you know what happens to families, women and young girls. Famine breaks families. As I continue to monitor the current famine in Kenya, I recall a woman who was remotely related to my mother coming with her two children to live with us in 1966 (we were not better off but we had one meal a day). She had left her unemployed husband when he couldn’t provide for them.
I have just been informed that some famine stricken families are breaking up. I had called to ask why, in the reports I got, there were different members in 3-5 of the families we have been helping with food. What shocked me is pastor Kiseve’s reply. “Mr. Kituku, I was just counseling one of those men. His wife took their children away to go search for food.”
Some of these families may re-unite, out of necessity, once the famine is over. There is, however, no guarantee they will ever be the same again.
That brought to my mind another huge problem. Young girls, sometimes even when they are still of elementary school age, are given to marriage for “practical reasons.” That means there is one less mouth to feed in her family. There is, also a chance of getting a dowry, no matter how meager that is. In the face of death the unthinkable happens.
When a young girl is pulled from school and given to marriage (most likely to uneducated husband), that is perpetuation of the circle of poverty. Her daughter(s) will likely be subjected to the same short sighted perceived hunger survival escape.
We can help save a young girl from being forced to marriage, a family from breaking up and/or being claim by death. A 180 lbs sack of corn costs about $35-40 and 90 lbs of a ½ sack of beans costs about $64-85.That can feed a family of 5-6 people for about 30 days. Rain is finally back and by March/April, the agony of famine maybe a thing of the past.
Again, 100% of your support is used for food. 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. To learn more about the situation, just Google Kenya famine or call (208) 376-8734.