For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ~ Jeremiah 29:11
Teraza Akai is struggling to find a shred of hope.
Uprooted by post-election violence in Uganda and forced to return to Kenya, her homeland, Teraza and her husband and seven children are now deeply affected by the famine. For some time they managed on one meal a day; now, as beneficiaries of CRWRC’s food distributions, they have two meals a day--peas and maize, plus any vegetables they can afford to purchase. Depending entirely on aid is something that has been difficult for her and her husband to accept. In Katale, Uganda, they herded for a wealthy family and were self-sufficient. Here in Kenya circumstances have rendered them beggars; the food aid they receive now helps them to survive, but Teraza is frustrated that they have nothing to do, and no way to earn the school fees needed for their children. When asked what keeps her going, Teraza was quick to answer, “God keeps me going. My faith carries me through this difficult time.”
In the face of recurring droughts due to changing rainfall patterns, and in regards to this particular crisis—the worst in many years—CRWRC and its partners are working together on the challenging task of bringing short-term stability and improving long-term sustainability in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia. A $9.6 million dollar program is now meeting the immediate needs of 21,000 families— about 150,000 people.
In his October Director’s Letter, Wayne de Jong, CRWRC Director of Disaster Response and Rehabilitation, wrote:
In two months most of our current food aid projects will come to an end. In some places the rains have been good and there will be a harvest in January. In other areas the rains were early, late or insufficient. It is quite likely that food aid will have to continue in a few locations. We have been working hard at livestock feeding and care, water supply and conservation and disaster risk reduction in order to facilitate community recovery and rehabilitation. In the New Year we will be involved in livestock restocking to rebuild decimated herds. We will continue to walk and work with as many communities as possible to ensure that they have a brighter future to anticipate.
Jackie Koster, CRWRC’s Disaster Response Manager in East Africa, reports that community recovery and rehabilitation includes a cash for work on community assets program which is already underway. Vulnerable households, like that of Teraza’s, can work to be more self-sufficient, and earn the money that they need for food and for their children’s school fees. Besides the tangible outcomes of this work, the intangible but equally important sense of hope and independence may also grow, paving the way towards a more secure future. Please continue to pray for struggling families such as Teraza’s!