We are all reading about the severe drought and food shortages in Sub-Sahara Africa, but our team personally witnessed this horrible struggle the local people are dealing with on a daily basis.
It is about 1pm in the afternoon and hundreds of children are making their way from the many distant hills, traveling up to 10km, moving toward the school grounds. It is school break and no classes are being taught, but that is irrelevant. Every child was carrying some type of cup, bowl or container to hold a bit of food and many children were carrying another baby or smaller child on their backs.
The “Kenyans Help Kenya” program was providing food for all
the school age children during this time. An old classroom had been converted into a makeshift kitchen and the food that was being served consisted of a combination of maize, beans, and a bit of soy product. This will be the only meal for these children of the day. There was order amongst the chaos with all the children excitedly lined up in front of the makeshift kitchen for one of
the local mamas to spoon food into their containers.
As each child received their bowl full of food, they quickly
began to group together to find a place to sit – the older girls together, the smaller toddlers, the mid primary aged boys. They eagerly searched for stones to sit on, trees that might have a bit of
shade, or in one case even sitting under a tarp (in a makeshift “fort” who only allowed certain friends into).
We- Asante Africa Foundation – happen to be at the school on this particular day to celebrate with the parents ( mamas and babas and community leaders) as we signed a Memorandum of Understanding to begin building 4 new teachers houses in this tough, harsh teaching environment. (currently 4 men live in one small hut sharing the space- no families allowed because no private quarters).
As we mingled with the children before the meeting began, we realized how critical this “Kenyans help Kenya” program really is. Several of these children were so emaciated and on the edge of survival. Without food in the stomachs, education cannot be realized.In spite of their hunger and their hardships, they behaved as all children do. They wanted to be photographed with their friends, they wanted to sing for us, and they teased each other playfully. Children are children worldwide with the same hearts, with the same desires and same dreams, but these children just have the additional hardships of survival day to day.
As you read this, pause and be grateful for all that you have in your life, and know that as long as each of us does the small bit that we can, we are “THE POWER OF WE” – because everyone is working together and having a big impact together.