Published: 12:00 GMT Daylight Time - Thursday 01 September 2011
Barnabas helping 75,000 Christians in drought-stricken East Africa
“I cannot believe that we have been remembered. Some people outside there heard that we are in need and send help to us. God truly sees our plight!”Kenyan Christian helped by Barnabas Aid
Barnabas Aid partners in Kenya distribute maize to needy Christian families
Barnabas Aid is providing emergency food aid to around 75,000 Christians affected by the drought that has devastated the Horn of Africa and other parts of East Africa.
Thanks to the overwhelming response of our supporters we have been able to forward funds to trusted partners on the ground, many of whom we have worked with for years, in parts of Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan and Tanzania. They have been able to get food supplies rapidly to those in the greatest need.
Francis Omondi, international director of one of our partner ministries in Kenya, said:
We thank God for Barnabas Aid who has a particular burden for Christian families who are often overlooked in relief efforts and would not have been helped throughout this crisis. Their gift empowered us to make concrete intervention to a very dire situation.
In the Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya, we are helping around 600 Christian families of Ethiopian, Congolese, Sudanese and Burundian backgrounds, who were receiving insufficient rations. Christians are a minority in the camps, so they tend to be neglected in the distribution of resources, and while many Muslim refugees gained additional support from Muslim NGOs, these Christian families “felt truly forgotten in their plight”, says Omondi, whose team found them there. Barnabas Aid is sending £64,255 (AUS$96,733; NZ$122,084; US$103,776; €72,878), which is being used for additional food, nutritional supplements for children, clothes and utensils in the camps.
Food supplied by Barnabas Aid reached Christian families in Yumbe, Uganda, just in time. One woman had completely run out of food and had been feeding her family nothing but leaves for four days when a parcel of beans, flour and salt – enough for a month – arrived. Our partner, Isaac Anguyo, executive director of a ministry team that is distributing food packages to 2,844 Christians in the area, said:
Some people responded with tears of joy as they received their share of food. [They] said, "The Good Lord has seen us. The food has come from God himself."
A Christian woman in Kenya receives beans from Barnabas Aid
In East Pokot, Kenya, people were resorting to eating poisonous wild fruits, which are boiled for ten to twelve hours with the water drained several times to reduce the toxins. But now 2,200 Christian families are receiving supplies of maize, beans, cooking oil, milk powder and salt for five months, funded by £97,693 (AUS$146,986; NZ$185,526; US$157,809; €110,775) from Barnabas Aid.
The Most Rev. Dr Eliud Wabukala, Archbishop of Kenya, said:
We are very pleased for the continued support from Barnabas Aid especially in those areas that are worst hit by famine.
Elsewhere in Kenya, we are providing around £300,000 (AUS$450,000; NZ$570,000; US$480,000; €340,000) to buy maize, beans and cooking oil for around 4,400 Christian families in Isiolo, Marsabit and Moyale for three months. Our partner there, the Rt Rev. Robert Martin, Bishop of Marsabit, said, “How can we thank you and your supporters enough?”
In Sudan, we are helping over 500 families in displaced person camps in South Kordofan, while in Ethiopia, food baskets are being distributed for 1,000 children. We are providing grain to 520 church leaders in Tanzania so that they can continue serving their churches without having to leave in search of food, as well as 700 individual Christians in the worst-affected areas.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations said that the food crisis was “escalating”, with 12 million people now requiring emergency assistance. The forecasts for the rest of 2011 in the worst affected areas were described as “worrisome” by the World Food Programme (WFP).
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, said:
My heartfelt thanks go out to all of our supporters who have given so generously to help Christians in East Africa in their time of need. It is making a tremendous difference to their lives, but sadly they are far from out of danger and will require our support for many months to come. Please continue to give whatever you can to help. Please keep them in your prayers.
The price of food varies from place to place but on average it costs around 25 pence a day (38 AUS cents; 47 NZ cents; 40 US cents; 28 EUR cents) to feed a hungry East African Christian through Barnabas Aid.
If you would like to help Christians affected by the drought in the Horn of Africa, please send your donation to project 25-359 (Drought victims in the Horn of Africa). Please click to donate online using our secure server.
If you prefer to telephone, dial: 0800 587 4006 from within the UK or +44 1672 565031 from outside the UK. Please quote project reference 25-359 (Drought victims in the Horn of Africa).
If you prefer to send a cheque by post: Click this link for the address of our regional office. Please quote project reference 25-359 (Drought victims in the Horn of Africa).
For a quick donation of £3.00 by SMS (see terms and conditions here) text Barnabas/359 to70007 (Please note: This facility is presently only available to UK supporters).
- Give thanks to God for the generosity of His people who have donated money to help East African Christians, and for the dedicated work of Barnabas Aid partners on the ground who are using those funds to get food to those in need. Pray for strength for the partners as they work extremely hard to distribute the aid.
- Pray for all the refugees in the Dadaab camps in Kenya, that all their needs will be met and that resources will be distributed fairly. Pray for the Christian minority within the camps, that they will be kept safe and that they will be strong in their faith.