On December 26th of this year, my husband, sister-in-law and I will be traveling to Kenya. During our stay here, we will be visiting a family in need for three days. It is our goal between now and then to raise money to help this family in any way possible. Please read their story and consider helping us to provide them with The Gift of Hope.
There is a small, remote village in the central part of Kenya called Mwenje. From the western eye, it is the complete opposite of the American way of life. Here people survive off of farming using their bare hands, live without electricity, and use traditional means to cook and accomplish other daily tasks. Even though every family looks to be living under desperate means there are pillars within the community. These people provide work to others, and give money and food with an open heart, even though they do not know themselves what tomorrow will bring. They are the perfect examples of generosity and humility.
There is a family in this village, that consists of two parents and their four children, who has relied on these pillars since they moved to Mwenje. But even with the help they have received they are unable to sustain a respectable quality of life. This family has been greatly affected by poverty. They live in a two-room mud house, where one of the rooms is used as a kitchen, and the other as a bedroom. The family spends their nights sleeping on the dirt floor. They also don’t have a latrine or bathing area.
The parents set out each day looking for small jobs to do for other families, such as farming. This may bring home 30 to 50 Kenyan shillings which is the equivalent of 25 to 45 US cents. This provides them a meal for dinner that consists of spinach and ugali, a starch made of corn flour. For the other meals, the three older girls, Sarah, Shiro and Muthoni are left to beg for food from the neighbors. Their health has been greatly impacted by their lack of food and poor hygiene. The children are severely malnourished to the point that they each look years below their actual age. Muthoni, who was said to be age 5, looks more like a 2 year old. She is not trained to use the toilet and soils herself. The baby, who the mother says is between 1 and 2 years old, does not walk and rarely smiles.
The whole family has been plagued by jiggers which are parasitic fleas, brought on by unsanitary living conditions. These fleas unless treated eat away at the skin which can cause physical impairment, cognitive impairment, and death. Because of the severity of these jiggers the children are unable to attend school and have become physically deformed. Sarah, has even become mentally challenged. The neighbors do as much as they can, but without outside support their status will never change.
It is our hope that while we are visiting, we can give them the supplies needed to have the children’s basic needs met, help to treat the jiggers, and meet with community leaders to hold them more accountable for this family's well-being. If additional funds allow, providing the family with chickens or a goat may mean that they would have a way to further sustain themselves.
Any donation, no matter how small, will help. Thank you for your support!
The family’s needs:
father: Shoes size 8 , pants 32/32, shirts M/L
mother: Dress/skirts (need to be below knee) size 4 or 6/medium
Sarah- age 15 (very petite for age): Shoes size 4, rainboots, socks, underwear, clothes (for cold and warm weather) size 12-14 childrens
Shiro- age 9 (small for age):Shoes size 3,rainboots, socks, underwear, clothes (for cold and warm weather) size 7-12 childrens
Muthoni- age 5 (size of a two year old): Shoes, socks, underwear, clothes (for cold and warm weather) size 3T
Baby Boy- age 1-2: Shoes and boots, socks, underwear, clothes (for cold and warm weather) size 2T
Household supplies: pots, plates, utensils, cups, sheets, blankets, two mattresses, one bed, wash basins, soap (dish and body), sponges, towels, charcoal cooker
Food: Gurney bags of beans, corn, and porridge