Mr. Mandela with a child on his lap, talking to her. Taken during meetings about HIV/AIDS in November 2004. © NMF Photo/Oryx Media, Benny Gool.
Today, July 18, we commend the United Nations for recognizing the life and legacy of South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela.
“Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life,” Mandela once so poignantly stated at the Live 8 concert in Johannesburg, South Africa, on July 2, 2005, after serving as the first President of South Africa.
At Bread and Water for Africa®, for more than 20 years, we have strived to work together with our partners in Sub-Saharan Africa including Kenya, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Zambia, Zimbabwe and elsewhere to do just that.
The purpose of Nelson Mandela International Day is to reflect upon the struggle apartheid and the campaign for Mandela’s release from prison in which the UN played an important role and initiated the first commemorative Mandela Day in 2010.
On this day today and every year, we invite you to join with the UN and us to mark Nelson Mandela International Day by making a difference not only in your own communities, but in those halfway around the world such as Eldoret, Kenya, Freetown, Sierra Leone, Mutare, Zimbabwe and so many others.
“Everyone has the ability and responsibility to change the world for the better! Mandela Day is an occasion for all to take action and inspire change,” states the UN.
The supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® who have so generously embodied that sentiment are taking action and inspiring change in the lives of the thousands of children who have they have given opportunity to go to school, grow up healthy in loving homes, and so much more.
And as Mandela stated at that Live 8 concert:
“While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.
Water is life. It can sometimes be easy for us to take this precious resource for granted thanks to its ready availability here in the United States, but access to water is a daily concern and threat in many regions of Africa.
In 2009, Kenya experienced its worst drought in over 40 years. The lack of rainfall that persisted for more than 11 months that year caused water shortages throughout the nation, creating even greater difficulties in the communities affected. Not only did people lack water essential for their own health, but there was also no water to sustain crops – leading to massive crop failures that sunk the region into famine and further poverty.
Without a stable supply of water, our partners the Lewa Children’s Home in Eldoret, Kenya could not provide for the 500-600 people who depend on the complex every day. As a result of the devastating drought of 2009, the Lewa Children’s Home complex, including nearby Baraka Farm and Kipkeino Primary School, realized the need for improved water management to prevent future disasters. We at Bread and Water for Africa® worked with the Lewa Children’s Home to combat the water shortage by supporting forward thinking projects and stability for the Home in the future.
Water-harvesting provides great benefits and a unique stability to areas where rainfall is sporadic. This type of water management allows for water to be stored through extended periods of drought to be used for irrigation, as well as drinking water for animals and – after filtration- for people.
After extensive research into the technology and system that would be most successful and sustainable for the Lewa Children’s Home Complex, Jos Creemers and Phyllis Keino determined that a two reservoir system to harvest and store the water was the best approach. Thanks to the rallying and support of all of our loyal and compassionate donors, we were able to support Lewa’s installation of this water-harvesting system just in time for the next drought.
Thanks to the new ability for the reservoirs to capture rainfall during the rainy season (however short it may be in a given year), and the capacity of the equipment to actually prevent any evaporation of the stored water – the home is able to withstand droughts by planning and rationing the stored water. Upon implementation, the first water reservoir was completely filled in just six weeks! Needless to say, the water-harvesting project has been a great success! This water management project provides the Lewa Children’s Home with improved water and food security, which allows the complex to focus on increased care of its beneficiaries rather than on the basic day-to-day survival of the complex.
Although this project has been a huge success, the devastating effects that Lewa Children’s Home faced during the tragic drought of summer 2011 showed us that there is still more that can be done – training, better equipment, and larger storage capacity to name a few. Future investment in the water infrastructure and sustainable water and soil management is still necessary.
Local Partner: Haramaya Health Center/Hiwot Fana Specialized University Hospital
Local Partner Director: Professor Augustin Sesay
Area Served: Eastern Ethiopia
Program Goal: To provide an exceptional education and educational opportunities to Kenyan children.
Program Services Provided: Haramaya Health Center provides primary medical treatment both inpatient care and outpatient care, and has obstetrics services.
Current Needs: While the clinic is small, it is organized to handle a large number of patients and emphasis is placed on prevention. However, there is a constant shortage of supplies and equipment and serious cases must be referred to other facilities. Needed items include ultrasound equipment, surgical operating room lights and a surgical table. At the hospital, the needs are described as enormous and urgent. The need at the hospital is primarily a lack of supplies and modern equipment, combined with a shortage of doctors.
Program Summary: The focus of the hospital is general medicine. The hospital’s strength is that it is a regional hospital for the eastern part of the country which became a teaching hospital in 2011. It also offers specialties that small clinics cannot offer.
Join Our Monthly Giving Program
With over 900 children in the children’s homes and schools that we support, the needs are constant and you can help us plan for the many needs of these children year-round with your faithful monthly support.
With over 900 children in the children’s homes and schools that we support, the needs are constant and you can help us plan for the many needs of these children year-round with your faithful monthly support. And right now for all new monthly supporters, we’ll send you a special thank you follow up that includes a photo and story of a child who is receiving a better tomorrow thanks to you.
Knowing we can rely on your regular gifts will help us focus on the needs of the children and together we will all be partners in providing a brighter future for Africa’s children.
Choose from one of the following monthly giving levels or choose your own!
Our partners in Zambia at the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre (KOTC) have provided holistic care including nutrition, education, and healthcare for hundreds of children over the years. But what sets them apart is the work captured by the second part of their name – “Transit Centre”. Whether it’s an emergency rescue case from the police, an ailing child from the nearby University Teaching Hospital, or a family of five children fleeing the conflict in the Congo – our supporters make sure that KOTC never has to turn a child away.