KITENGALA, KENYA (May 10, 2011) – Kenyans walked as far as nine miles to receive food and clothing distributed by the Evangelical Covenant Church of Kenya (ECCK) that purchased the goods with funds from Covenant World Relief.
Kenyans are suffering through a severe drought that has forced the roughly 340,000 people living in the northwest region of the country to slaughter much of their livestock. Now the loss of cattle, goats, and camels is threatening their economic stability and increasing their vulnerability to future disasters.
“We were able to reduce the drought suffering by helping with food supplies,” Simon Njoroge, moderator (president) of ECCK, wrote in an email this morning. “We also clothed some community members which included children who desperately needed the support.”
Funds also paid for community development experts to provide training for residents to develop skills for generating alternative income. The church will monitor their progress and provide additional assistance as needed.
The church also committed to helping educate children. “School teachers who were present got assured that the most vulnerable children who had dropped out of school would rejoin school,” Njoroge wrote.
Njoroge added that more funds will be needed to provide water because the only source is a rainwater catchment dam. Animals, as well as the villagers, drink from it.
When the relief team arrived, they assumed people who were sitting under the shade of a tree had come to meet them. Instead, they discovered it was a church, consisting of benches and thorn branches that marked the outline of the meeting space.
The number of people coming to church swelled. Gospel music and the message were presented in the local language.