The current drought and famine crisis in the Horn of Africa (Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti) directly impacts The 1010 Project’s friends and partners in Kenya. My heart aches when I think about the challenges that this brings to community leaders as they seek to serve and provide for the hundreds of kids at their schools and orphanages. My heart aches when I think about the hundreds of thousands of hungry stomachs, health issues, loss of hope – and even the loss of lives – resulting from the worst drought in the region in 60 years.
All of The 1010 Project’s US and Kenyan-based staff, interns, and board members are working collectively to better understand the situation and to think creatively and strategically about how we can best support our partners during this severe food shortage.
Many of our partner schools have been forced to close their doors for an extended period of time because they simply cannot afford to feed all of the children. The cost of food has more than quadrupled. Imagine if your family’s dinner cost went from $15 to $60 every single night for weeks and months on end. Now imagine you are responsible for feeding up to 300 children at these escalated prices! Keep in mind, these non-complaining kiddos eat only beans and ugali (a very plain tasting, pasty-textured, ground-up corn dish) day in and day out.
When I asked my Kenyan colleague Josephine to prepare a report of current needs, she estimated that $5000 would enable twelve of our partner organizations to feed 1000 children for a month!
Historically, due to our size and scope, The 1010 Project has not been in a position to provide emergency aid or food relief. Rather, as you may know, we focus on working alongside our partners to support them in their goals of becoming more self-sustainable. We provide access to loans or grants so our partners can start or expand long-term, sustainable, income-generating activities that enable their schools, orphanages, churches, HIV/AIDS support, and women’s empowerment organizations to be more financially secure so they can stand strong during difficult times such as this.
While many of our partner organizations have been extremely successful with their income-generating projects, most of them are not yet in a position to survive this food crisis without emergency aid. They have a concrete and monumental need, and we need to hear and respond to that need. Our current strategy is to connect our partners with larger emergency relief organizations. We are all working hard toward this end. In the meantime, one of our Kenyan advisory board members has organized a vegetable drive to provide food for at least one of our partner schools and we pray for other miraculous provision for other partners who remain in need.
Please join us in praying for and providing any assistance in the following:
- Connections to larger relief organizations that can assist our partners with emergency funding to provide food for the children in their schools and orphanages.
- Wisdom, encouragement and perseverance for the incredible, dedicated leaders of our partner community-based organizations.
- Fortitude for the families of all the kids represented at these schools and churches and for the orphanages and safe houses.
- The right amount of rain so that food will be grown and distributed in abundance.
May we have grateful hearts and generous pockets to share our abundance of food and blessings.