Three weeks after Cyclone Idai struck, these orphans are desperate

Three weeks after Cyclone Idai struck, these orphans are desperate

Bread and Water for Africa’s® long-time partner in Zimbabwe, Shinga Development Trust, helps provide loving homes and provides educations for orphans and deserted children. To say that the country is besieged by drastic weather conditions is an understatement. 

In the capital city of Harare, poor rains have caused significant drops in the capacity of its main source of water, Lake Chivero. Some 200 miles to east in Mutare, where Shinga is located, tens of thousands are still struggling with the aftermath of floods that killed nearly 270 people and destroyed countless homes and roads, reported Voice of America on April 7.

Three weeks after Cyclone Idai struck, Shinga executive director Margaret Makambira is struggling to meet the needs of the orphans under her care – a big enough job in normal circumstances.

But these times there are anything but.

With your help, Bread and Water for Africa® will be sending a grant to Margaret soon to enable her to purchase the water, food and other supplies necessary to continue to provide the children with the basic necessities of life.

“The people of Zimbabwe have been suffering a lot,” noted Bread and Water for Africa® Executive Director Bethelhem Tessema, “and we need to provide them with support.”

The United Nations has determined that $60 million is needed to help Zimbabwe recover from the cyclone disaster noting that in addition to the flooding and water shortage, Zimbabweans are also facing an economic crisis with prices of staples such as rice, cooking oil and sugar having risen by as much as 60 percent since February.

Margaret and the children she is responsible for are desperate. Please help us help them today.

World Water Day : Leaving no one behind

World Water Day : Leaving no one behind

A year ago on the United Nations’ World Water Day, we at Bread and Water for Africa® were making plans on bringing safe, clean water to the residents of the small village of Nafami in Sierra Leone where 300 students attending the primary school and 1,000 more residents in the surrounding community had none.

Today March22, thanks to our supporters, these students and the residents of the village have access to all the water they need from a well dug on the school grounds providing them with a reliable source of uncontaminated water so that they are no longer risking illness, or even death, every time they take a sip.

This year’s World Water Day theme is “Leaving no one behind” and at Bread and Water for Africa® that’s exactly what we are doing for the residents of the small impoverished rural communities in Sierra Leone such as Nafami, in Ethiopia and elsewhere.

This year, our goal is to do the same for thousands in Kenema. Although it is not a small rural village, it is the second-largest city in Sierra Leone with a population of more than 200,000 people the residents there have the same critical need.

It is hard for Americans to comprehend the fact that in an urban area of that size there is a large percentage of people who do not have running water – but the sad fact is that it is true, we have seen it firsthand on our visits there in the past few years.

Today, on World Water Day, we are asking for you help to “leave no one behind” when it comes to having access to safe drinking water.

Everyone, whether they live in the most rural regions of the impoverished country, or in the slums of its second-largest city, clean water should not be a “luxury” that many cannot afford, but a readily-available basic necessity of life.

Next year on World Water Day, as we are doing today, with your help we will be once again be able to be pleased to report that thousands more Sierra Leoneans now have the water they need not just to stay healthy, but even simply survive.

The Faith Healing Agricultural Project in Sierra Leone

The Faith Healing Agricultural Project in Sierra Leone

The Faith Healing Agricultural Project (FHAP) is an offshoot of the longtime partner of Bread and Water for Africa®, Faith Healing Development Organization (FHDO) in Sierra Leone and operates with mission of helping small farmers achieve food security.

FHAP does this in several ways including providing these farmers, the vast majority of whom are women, with materials to help them getting off to a good growing season with quality seeds and planting materials.

In addition, FHAP provides the farmers with hands-on training at its demonstration farm, an established support network and even helps them to prepare their land for planting.

FHAP is making a huge difference in the lives of these women farmers, notes FHDO executive director Rev. Francis Mambu.

During the last planting season, over 78 bushels of rice was planted, he reported. The yield was 806 bushels – a return of more than 10 times!

“From the yield during the last planting season, we were able to support about 330 women farmers in different villages,” said Rev. Mambu, adding, “It is also worth noting that the project distributed rice to vulnerable women in the communities to feed themselves and their families.”

Rev. Mambu and FHAP have also been recognized from the highest levels of the government of Sierra Leone for their efforts.

“The Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, Professor Monty Jones thanked FHAP and its partners for the laudable strides they are making in the country, noting that the FHAP rice project is the largest in the entire country,” said Rev. Mambu.

Rev. Mambu noted in the 2018 FHAP Annual Report that about 75 percent of all Sierra Leoneans are engaged in agriculture in one way or another, accounting for approximately 40 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

“Agriculture is the daily life occupation of most of the people in Sierra Leone, especially for those residing in the rural areas,” he said.

Thanks to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®, 315 women were provided with micro finance loans to start their own farming businesses for seed loans and also received technical assistance for their farms.

The women farmers reside in the Yankansa village area in the Bombali District in the northern region of the country which suffered greatly during the decade-long civil war in the 1990s when farms and farming equipment was destroyed.

The land is fertile for farming, and the weather is favorable for crops to thrive, but Rev. Mambu and the women he helps continue to face great challenges.

“The people living in Yankansa and other surrounding villages are poor – they don’t have the money to invest in agricultural activities,” he told us. “Even though almost all of these people are engaged in farming, their output is small because of the lack of funds for expansion.”

For the future, Rev. Mambu and FHAP will continue to empower women in villages throughout the Yankansa community.

“These women groups are doing well and their farms are expanding,” he told us. “Hopefully in the next planting season more women groups will be able to register for support.

“Our deep appreciation goes out to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® for their support of FHAP for touching the lives of Sierra Leoneans striving to make better lives for themselves and their families.”

Bridging the Digital Divide

Bridging the Digital Divide

At the Legos Christian Academy in Rutile, Sierra Leone, there are hundreds of students who today have stepped into the digital age thanks to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® and through our partnership with Computer Ministry in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

It all began last fall while our longtime partner in Sierra Leone, Rev. Francis Mambu, executive director of Faith Healing Development Organization (FHDO) which operates the school, visited the United States to meet with Bread and Water for Africa® Executive Director Bethelhem.

While in the U.S., Beth took Rev. Mambu to meet with representatives of Computer Ministry to tell them about the need for computers in schools in Sierra Leone.

When asked how many computers the school needed, Beth told them that school has 300 students.

With that, they informed her they could provide 297 desktop computers which had been refurbished by their ministry and the partnership was formed.

Thanks to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®, we were able to pay a nominal service fee to Computer Ministry which enables them to keep their electronics recycling operation going, as well as the cost of shipping the computers to Sierra Leone.

It’s difficult to describe the feeling we got when we received this short video from Pastor Rogers the school administrator showing the Legos students using their “new” computers.

While students in the United States could not imagine attempting to do their schoolwork without a computer, for many years these secondary school students in Sierra Leone could only dream of being able to search the internet for research for their studies.

The supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® made this all possible, as part of a joint mission together with Computer Ministry and Rev. Mambu and FHDO to bridge the digital divide literally across the ocean and we could not wait to share this success with you.

As Pastor Rogers says in the video, “We are very much grateful to Bread and Water for Africa® for helping us. This is the first type of school here with such a system ever in the history of this place.”

And vowing: “We promise to make the best use of it.”