Kenya Visit

This morning we visit Mandera hospital which is running a feeding programme for mothers and children who have been severely affected by the drought and are now suffering malnutrition. The women are strong and proud in colourful scarves and dresses. The children, with their huge eyes, are desperately hungry. One two year old boy I met weighs only 620grams. Another little girl who is HIV+ is 8 years old but looks no bigger than a 4 year old. Her parents died of AIDS several years ago. She has malnutrition and is now living in the hospital. These people are starving. I cry, and feel so guilty. The sheer need of this situation only confirms my belief that Practical Action’s long term development work which is reaching out to these vulnerable communities to increase their resilience to climate change and drought is needed now more than ever.

3 responses to “Kenya Visit”

  1. Sam Says:

    Sounds like a really moving experience in Mandera. Does it feel culturally different, having moved so close to the Ethiopian and Somalian borders?

  2. Ella Jolly Says:

    hi sam, thanks for your comment.
    it has been very harrowing to be in mandera – everywhere you turn there is evidence of drought – a completely barren landscape, animal carcasses, malnourished children, desperate mothers. throughout it all though the people remain positive and hopeful – “we are an optimistic people’ one man told me.
    in terms of cultural differences – no, not really. one of my biggest lessons during my time in africa has been that country borders are just imaginary lines drawn on maps. the people identify themselves according to their clans which may cross the official borders of several countries. and though i’m kenya at the moment lots of people i have met speak somali rather than swahili and are muslim. (i can hear the call to prayer from the local mosque at the moment in fact). X

  3. Robert Bwage Says:

    I know this is a good experience for you,Ella. In the horn of Africa,its so dry,with lots of diseases(opportunistic) which makes live hard but Practical Action is doing a good work. Thanks.

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