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.”

‘Wata for Salone!’ Bread and Water for Africa® 5K to Raise Funds for Well in Sierra Leone

‘Wata for Salone!’ Bread and Water for Africa® 5K to Raise Funds for Well in Sierra Leone

At the Logos Academy School in the small village of Nafami in Sierra Leone there are 300 students who don’t have convenient access to safe drinking water – but thanks to our supporters this dire situation will change by the end of the year, and the students’ lives will be transformed.

Additionally, the well will serve a population of 1,000 in the surrounding village, ensuring that they will no longer be forced to walk long distances carrying 5-gallon containers of water weighing 40 pounds on their heads from unsafe sources.

“Access to safe drinking water in the village is a challenge,” stated Rev. Frances Mambu, director of Faith Healing Development Organization, a longtime partner of ours, which is constructing the school. “The need for water in the community cannot be over-emphasized.”

We are doing all we can to expedite the digging of this much-needed well by sponsoring our “Wata for Salone!” (Water for Sierra Leone) 5K Run/Walk to be held on Sunday, June 3, in Arlington, Virginia. And even if you can’t take part in the event itself, you can still help us reach our goal of $7,500 by sponsoring a participant. For more information, please visit https://www.generosityseries.com/charities/bread-and-water-for-africa/d.c.–district-of-columbia/.

Sierra Leone Maternal Care:  Meet Mamie Baindu

Sierra Leone Maternal Care: Meet Mamie Baindu

We don’t always realize how fortunate we are that our mothers had access to prenatal services and a hospital to deliver us in. In Sierra Leone, most women give birth alone in their homes with no midwife or medical aid, putting them at serious risk for complications. Many women die during childbirth due to these complications. Sierra Leone boasts one of the lowest life expectancies in the world.

Our partner Faith Healing Development Organization’s (FHDO) clinics in Kenema,Bo, and Rokel and Bunumbu, Sierra Leone are managed by a remarkable woman, Mamie Baindu. She works to provide pregnant and lactating women with services to ensure a safe delivery for mother and child, as well as post-delivery healthcare.

Many years ago, a woman named Ballu came to Mamie after hearing of the high-quality care provided by the clinics. Ballu was facing severe pregnancy complications that could have proved fatal. Thanks to Mamie and her nurses Ballu delivered a healthy baby girl. Ballu’s daughter, Hawa, who is now a grown woman living in the city of Freetown chooses to return to the clinic that saved her mother’s life for her health care.

Today Mamie and her colleagues deliver up to 15 babies per month at their clinics. They also provide 24-hour emergency care to their surrounding communities. The ongoing support by our friends makes the life-saving, and life-giving, operation of these clinics possible.

 

The power of Solar Power

The power of Solar Power

Africa is “going green” and we are doing our part to take advantage of the tremendous amount of solar power potential available throughout the continent.

As reported recently by Africa.com, Africa has an immense energy crisis. With a population of close to 1 billion, there are 625 million people living without power – nearly 70 percent of the population.
“Africa has much greater solar resources available than any other continent because it is the… sunniest continent on earth,” notes Africa.com.
Kenya is taking the lead in promoting solar power. More of the country’s residents are getting power for the first time, installing solar panels, and reducing or eliminating their dependence on the grid.

In 2017, we installed solar panels on the roof of a clinic in the town of Kericho enabling doctors and staff to have hot water for washing, as well as keeping the facility itself more sanitary.

Three years ago, working with our partner, the Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone, we shipped solar panels. The panels were placed on the roofs of clinics and hospitals in regions of the country where running a power line would be impossible.

This year, we are hoping to install solar panels on the roof of our long-time partner, the Lewa Children’s Home in Kenya. Although the home for orphans is connected to the country’s electric grid, having the solar panels will reduce their reliance on power from the grid. This reduction will cut their utility costs and free up those funds to benefit the children.

Renewable energy technology has the potential to reduce problems faced throughout the continent. We applaud the fact many small-scale are companies and start-ups, such as M-KOPA Solar in Kenya which sells solar home systems to low-income earners, are making large inroads in making green energy available for all.

Read more at https://www.africa.com/10-renewable-energy-start-ups-africa/

Stories from Sierra Leone – Some of those you’ve helped

Stories from Sierra Leone – Some of those you’ve helped

Over the past few weeks, communities across the globe have been faced with challenge after challenge! Weather emergencies here in the United States and Sierra Leone have hurt so many that live in the path of these destructive storms.

Once again, from all of us at Bread and Water for Africa®, our hearts go out to the people of Sierra Leone.

As many of you know, on August 14, after days of unrelenting rain, a sea of mud and rock came sliding down a hillside into the suburbs of the nation’s capital of Freetown.

Nearly 1,000 are now confirmed dead, and hundreds remain missing. Additionally, 20,000, including 5,000 children, have been displaced.

But your help has made a difference in the lives of those affected. Here are some of the images that just arrived from our local partner, Faith Healing Development Organization, of our efforts to provide medicine and food to thousands.

 

The immediate support our donors provided allowed us to quickly purchase tons of food to distribute to hundreds of families.

Later this week, we will also ship a 20-foot container of medicine and medical supplies, as we know that the suffering will continue for months.