As a catastrophic drought continues to worsen and spread in Kenya, the Nairobi government has declared a national disaster. With livestock and agricultural crops wiped out, millions of men, women and children literally teeter on the brink of starvation. With the generous support of our donors, Salesian missionaries at Don Bosco Korr continue to do what they can to assist.
Don Bosco Korr is situated in the northern county of Marsabit, where it has not rained for more than a year. Recently, with money raised during a targeted appeal and wired to Korr by the Salesian Missions office, Father Luke Mulayinkal purchased rice, beans, corn and cooking oil, and personally delivered them to some of the most affected families in two rural communities. After traveling more than 125 miles to do so, he observed an alarming and critical need for additional assistance.
According to local news reports, food prices have skyrocketed in recent months, shooting up more than 20 percent. Having relied heavily on subsistence farming before the drought, and with few other employment opportunities available, there is literally no way for people to even purchase food. According to Fr. Luke, shopkeepers refuse to extend credit to impoverished families whom they suspect will be unable to pay.
“The poorest of the poor are suffering the most,” he says. “They have no food and very little water.”
Undeterred by these challenges, Fr. Luke, Fr. Giovanni Rolandi (Salesian Provincial in Korr) and Fr. Eric Mairura (Provincial Economer) have developed a plan to improve the nutritional intake of Korr’s most vulnerable -- the children -- and bring clean water to the entire community. They propose to do this by drilling a new borehole equipped with a solar-powered pump in a central location, and installing four new water tanks to hold the water. They also plan to install water tanks and water harvesting systems at four community schools. They will distribute fortified meals to 500 severely malnourished children daily through the Salesian-run dispensary, and will provide an additional 2,815 girls and boys attending eight Salesian primary schools with lunch every day.
Their budget is not small; the priests estimate the total costs at nearly $125,000. Yet they have faith -- in God, in the international community, and in our loyal and generous donors -- that they will succeed in raising the funds they need to alleviate the suffering of their beloved community. Can you help them feed the hungry?
We bring food and water to children and families in impoverished communities around the world. What’s your mission?