Farming success story – Kitgum, Yepa May 2012
Affording basic needs was a dream and very impossible for Richard Akena who lost many relatives and friends because of poverty. Richard at first thought that riches only belong to some people in the community and God is unfair too.
Richard is a very hard worker, however despite his struggles for many years to carry out farming of sorghum and millet these efforts were in vain. Coming out of poverty was a total myth because of weeds resulting in poor harvests each year, hence wasted energy, continuous suffering and begging from relatives. In the mean time FH have become involved and helped him with his IGA.
Richard says the pigs he bought produced many piglets. The piglets grew and he sold them and bought a cow. With a smile of his face and joy in his heart, he said, “My cow is now expecting, I believe my children will not suffer because God has given me a break through”.Richard tells us, “Thanks be to God for letting FH operate in Yepa community, FH supported CDP parents and I was among one of the parents supported with an IGA project. FH provided peas to me in 2009, I cultivated peas besides the Sorghum and millet, and I had a good harvest, which I sold and bought two pigs, one male and one female”.
Limited access to safe water and sanitation facilities.
Limited access to safe water continues to be one of the critical issues in Kitgum district. In Lagot for example, children have to walk a minimum of two miles from school to access safe water and this greatly affects school attendance.
Staff members were able to mobilize and discuss water points in their communities and the way practical way forward. During these discussions communities disclosed that Yepa and Lagot communities had three broken boreholes and four broken water tanks at the school premises. FH in partnership with the community is planning to rehabilitate the water tanks in Pakuba and Lagot as the first step.
As time continues, we hope that the situation will improve in the communities and that access to water points will be easier and more reliable.
Church ministry for children in Kitgum, Uganda
In the past 6 months in Kitgum, which involves the parishes of Pakuba, Dagwach, Yepa nad Lagot, several critical issues have been identified. One of which is the matter of churches that are inactive in children’s ministry. In order to get more children from communities involved in the church there have been a number of fantastic ideas implemented; including, the Bible mail box, a Christmas party, fellowships with children and Christians and interchurch visits.
So far 300 children have registered for the Bible mail box and are attending the mail box club lessons. The mail box club has been able to provide an avenue through which bible lessons for the study of God’s Word have been shared. As a result the children are growing up in the knowledge of Christ.
The Christmas party went down with great success in the communities. All the things you can expect from a Christmas party took place; singing, dancing and eating. Mosquito nets were given as presents and it was explained to the children that they can be used as a preventative measure against malaria.
Both the fellowships and the interchurch visits have been extremely successful in strengthening the communities. These gatherings have united people together and allowed new friendships to blossom.
Community meeting in Mwumba, Burundi
There has been a focus since the beginning of 2012 to work with parents of the community especially those with vulnerable children to aid the child development goals and objectives. FH focused on four main areas physical, intellectual, social/emotional and spiritual development. A meeting was organized where by everybody could meet and support strategies were outlined, the meeting had a great turnout of 134 families! The meeting also provided an opportunity for community sub groups to be formed. In these groups the leader will meet with FH staff and have training on one subject area per week such as health, agriculture, education, food security or hygiene, and then pass on the knowledge to the group members.
Parents were also told about the medical support system that has been put in place at Buye hospital and Mwumba dispensary; it ensures that children from poor families can access medical treatment freely.
Urgent help and support needed
The new year has not been off to a brilliant start in Maisha Bora. The community has been greatly affected by ongoing tribal clashes in the larger Isiolo County. It has led to people being killed, the burning of houses, loss of property and displacement of scared families. Numbers in schools have drastically dropped as families seek refuge elsewhere. The conflict has been ongoing for the last 6 months and it cannot be predicted when it will end. FH Kenya and other organisations have responded with help in the form of food, tents and blankets for those displaced families. The conflict appears to be related to resources as on several occasions the violence began when people herding livestock were attacked and the livestock stolen.
In times when violence has intermittently lapsed other activities have been able to take place; the medical camp, home visits and life skills trainings.
Whatever the root causes of this violence, we pray for those people and families who are affected and that calm will soon be restored. We also invite anyone to help the Maisha Bora community and the support work by donating on the website. http://www.fh.org/give/donate
Nkunga - Educational development Jan-Mar 12
2012 is the election year for Kenya; there have been increased political rallies with leaders jockeying to raise and secure popularity. Now, local representatives are within the community, giving local people interaction and ability to put points across that they feel need addressing.
In Nkunga Primary School the construction of the administration block is now complete meaning the old admin building can be used for nursery school lessons. Children from all secondary school have been involved in extra-curricular activities such as football, netball and volleyball. Some have qualified to represent their school in the District competitions.
Additionally, there have been a number of home visits to support parents and children in several aspects of home life and education; parents were encouraged to plant drought resistant crops like millet, pumpkins and sorghum. In addition to this adult classes have been launched within the community and any age can participate. One man in his 60’s completed a KCPE last year has now enrolled in a secondary section class.
Overall, these months have been successful, but there have been challenges. Last season’s crop was affected by frost and insufficient rainfall hence a poor harvest and there are a lack of teachers to man the growing numbers of adult students.
As a journalist, I have reported from a war zone, inner city areas blighted by social deprivation and turmoil, and countries that have been greatly damaged by natural disasters. Each situation is different, but the faces of those affected -the shock, the bewilderment at their sudden, tragic change in fortunes- provide a uniform constant that remains in the memory after I leave.
Far better journalists than myself have gone on to use their experiences in these situations to improve the lives of those affected. Sometimes their words can yield actions and force governments to act.
In many cases, though, there is a profound feeling of being a witness to events that are too enormous to contain. The sense of powerlessness is overwhelming. I am reassured, therefore, to have witnessed at first hand how charities and voluntary organisations can play a significant role in rapidly and dramatically improving the lives of those on the ground.
This is why I am grateful to have the opportunity to run the 2012 London Marathon on behalf of Food for the Hungry. I was unaware of the charity’s work before I approached it, asking to be its silver bond holder, but I am now, on learning about the fantastic work it does in the field of disaster relief, delighted to be running on its behalf.
The fact that Food for the Hungry is also active in important fields like micro-finance and water and sanitation development has also been a further incentive for me to get out of bed on the cold January mornings, warm in the knowledge that the money I raise will help build a sustainable future for those in the most need.
If the knees hold out, I’m on course to raise more than £700 for Food for the Hungry and am encouraged to learn that 86% of this will go to field programs. In this historic year for London it is great to be able to play a small part in making a difference to other people’s li
Blankets for the most vulnerable
Food for the Hungry Ethiopia run a major program in the three towns in South Gondar region of Ethiopia for Orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC’s) The program now supports just over 1300 children, 315 being added quite recently. The children are enrolled on the program based on criteria agreed with the local community and local government officials. Most children are either single or double orphans resulting from their parents having died through AID’s (25% of the children will also have HIV/AID’s passed onto them) the families who look after the children are visited regularly by FH social workers, get a food parcel each month, the child gets a school uniform and the families are included in income generating schemes and training. One of the prized possessions of each of the children is a high quality blanket they receive from Food for the Hungry.The area is at a high altitude more than 3000 meters and at night time the temperature can drop to below zero. We are now looking for funds so that we can give the new 315 children who have entered the program in the past few months a blanket each.
Nodding Disease outbreak in northern Uganda
There has been an outbreak of Nodding Disease in the Kitgum district of northern Uganda. Sadly, so far over 3000 children have been inflicted by the disease and more than 200 children have died. Experts are baffled by the disease although it has been around for decades but isolated to mountainous communities in southern Tanzania. It has now sent shockwaves through communities in South Sudan and northern Uganda.
The disease is characterized by head nodding which is often bought on by eating or sometimes a cold. It also causes stunted growth, constant dripping of saliva and malnutrition due to seizures. It mainly affects children aged between 5 and 15.
Kindly pray for us as we plan on how best we can intervene and for Gods protection to the children in Northern Uganda.
For more detailed information on this topic please follow the link below.
February 2012 Update – La Paz Bolivia
In December the FH team organized an end of year weekend away. Around 90 children plus the team, 5 parents, cooks and helpers spent two days away in cabins. A great treat!
The main purpose of the time away was to repeat the message of Jesus in a relaxed and caring atmosphere. The Pastor from the Puerto Camacho Church came to explain why we need Jesus and how to receive Him in our lives. It was a very special moment as all the children received Jesus as their Saviour, or reconfirmed it. Many of the children were in tears. The time was also used to reinforce all the Biblical principles the children and families had been learning through the year, such as; law and order, governing creation, self governing, punctuality and obedience.
Please pray for the continual development of these children and families so that through discovering their God-given potentials and understanding His ways they may break the poverty cycle and know life to the full.