The message from Diana Dunningham Chapotin that you are about to read concerns the TOS’s action in the face of the catastrophic famine prevailing in the horn of Africa. In a world with more than enough to feed itself, all hunger is an unnecessary tragedy. The current famine in southern Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya is an open wound on the world’s conscience.
We want to hold your hand
TOS EMERGENCY AID FOR STARVING FAMILIES IN EAST AFRICA
Inquiries continue to come in about whether the TOS is doing anything to help with the current acute food shortage in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.
An open wound on the world’s conscience
The answer is yes. The TOS in Kenya has undertaken a project on behalf of us all. The town of Kitui, 130 km east of Nairobi, has been selected and a church identified as local partner. At the end of August, fifty families were given enough staple foods to keep them alive for a month as part of a programme that will last six months. The food was personally delivered to the recipients, principally the mothers, by Mrs Usha Shah, TOS convenor in Kenya.
The TOS in Kenya is itself supporting five of these families at a cost of 2,000 Kenyan shillings per month per family. This covers supplies of 22 kgs of maize meal, cooking oil, and salt. That’s for a family of two parents and three children per month. (The total sum for the full period of six months including all five families comes to US$700. One wonders how long a family of five from an affluent country would last on what would seem to be a mono-diet of maize meal…)
TOS groups in the following countries have matched the five families taken on by the TOS in Kenya: Australia, England, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and the USA. In addition, an individual English member and an individual Australian member are supporting five families each on their own. (That’s 10 X 5 = 50 families covered so far out of our 55.)
We must, help, help, help, help...
Usha Shah assures us of complete accountability in this project. None of our donations will go on administrative costs such as is the case with the big charitable organisations on the spot. Every penny will go to the beneficiaries, except for the bank fees associated with the sending of the money.
Some people have been asking about the possibility of developing a project that will allow ‘our’ families to feed themselves rather than depending on emergency aid. Excellent question! Usha is looking at the modalities of putting down a bore hole on the church property at which our food distributions will take place over the next six months so that the villagers can have not only drinking water but water for the planting of high quality seeds….