Kenya projects receive added support in drought
July 25, 2011
Wilkister, a CFCA sponsored child in Kenya, and her family sit down
to tea. CFCA has sent additional support to its projects in Kenya
to provide food staples in response to the drought in East Africa.
CFCA has sent extra financial support to its projects in Kenya as sponsored friends and their families cope with the drought in East Africa.
"In times of extreme crises, our projects are able to offer families some additional support, such as during times of food insecurity," said Janet Tinsley, CFCA project director for Kenya.
For several years sponsored children and elderly in Kenya, along with their families and CFCA staff members, have faced ongoing drought, which can lead to food and water shortages.
The staffs at CFCA projects can request additional support from the CFCA Food Assistance Fund to provide targeted, critical support for families in the CFCA program needing immediate assistance. The projects will use the fund to provide maize flour (used for ugali), rice, cooking oil, sugar and other staples.
The UN has called the recent drought the worst in 60 years, with more than 10 million people affected in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, the BBC reported.
The cost of living in Kenya has skyrocketed in the past few months, said Regina Mburu, CFCA's communications liaison in Nairobi. This affects all families served by CFCA's three projects, located in Nairobi, Meru and Kisumu. The price of maize flour, a staple in the Kenyan diet, has doubled.
Although many relief aid organizations work in the most severely affected areas, families served by CFCA often live in areas where they cannot access this type of assistance.
"Our projects help support families to be economically self-sufficient, enabling them to sustain themselves through difficulties such as drought and food shortage," Tinsley said. "CFCA, however, is not equipped to provide large-scale relief aid to families or communities, and that is not our mission."
One way CFCA provides for families to become economically self-sufficient is through small self-help groups organized by and for mothers of sponsored children.
Through this support network, mothers create personal savings accounts and have access to credit from the group. They also use group loans to develop income-generating activities.
Monica, a member of one mothers group in Kenya, started farming with her loan from her mothers group. She now raises kale, spinach and other vegetables.
"With support from the group, I have been able to plant more crops, and my farm is doing well," she said.
Not all crops are faring as well as Monica's in this drought. In the Meru project, the largest numbers of families served by CFCA live in the Tharaka district, which is naturally dry and not very fertile. The continuing drought makes it even more difficult for these families to grow their own food.
There is also urgent need in the urban communities served by CFCA, where families must buy everything at the market. Unlike families in the rural communities where CFCA serves, they cannot grow their own crops.