Jamarose lives in the Mount Kenya region of Kenya, in the Isiolo community. She has lived here her whole life. She is mother to ten children: the youngest is thirteen, the oldest is thirty-five. Now she is a grandmother too.
In the early morning light, the sky and the plain are both a vast, stretching expanse before us. We arrive at the place where we think she shall be, but someone tells us she is at her other home, on the mountain. She is part of the Turkana ethnic group and is nomadic. As someone runs off to find Jamrose, we find her cows as well as her husband and son. They graze the cattle wherever there is grass. We continue to wait as the sun climbs a little higher in the sky.
Then, in a heart stopping moment, we hear singing. A long way off, across the bush, we see a group of Turkana women walking towards us. They are led by Jamarose -- singing and dancing.
The sense of peace and joy on this day is pervasive, but it is conflict that originally brought World Renew here. Many years ago, the Turkana and the Barana people were involved in violent conflict. Two years ago, Jamarose’s family property was destroyed. She and her family were forced to flee, taking nothing with them. When it was safe to return, a horrific drought made things even more difficult.
World Renew, through the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB), responded. We distributed food, tents, and goats. We established cash-for-work programs to help community members receive payment in exchange for digging water pans which could mitigate the impact of future droughts.
Jamarose was one of the recipients of this assistance. She was given two goats to care for. Today, she has ten. She also farms to supplement her income.
But what she is perhaps the most grateful for now is peace between her tribe and other groups – it is in the context of peace that families are best nourished and sustained.
On February 15, World Renew will celebrate Canadian Foodgrains Bank Sunday (Canada only). If you attend a Christian Reformed Church, materials have already been sent to your congregation. If you attend another denomination, please view the materials online. Wherever you find yourself this Sunday, please give generously to support World Renew’s CFGB projects.