News and Views

News and Views

By: Stephan Archer and Tim Glenn   |   Posted: January 20, 2012

Food Security for Drought Victims in the Horn of Africa

Droughts in the Horn of Africa — the worst in 60 years — are causing food security issues that have put millions at risk for starvation.

In Tanzania, school attendance is down 60 percent because children are staying home to help their families work for food instead. In Kenya, inflation has more than quintupled (from 3.3 percent in August 2010, to 16.7 percent one year later*.) The price of raw grains in Ethiopia is up 16 percent, and breads and prepared foods are up 25 percent.

Despite the hardships, many of Compassion’s church partners are using Compassion’s Complementary Interventions funds to combat food insecurity.

For example, a 20-acre farm at Kamwaa Child Development Center northeast of Nairobi is providing vegetables, fruit and honey to sponsored children and their families. In Ethiopia, 748 mothers and caregivers with Compassion help run a profitable dairy and vegetable farm.

In Uganda, a food security program put in place by Compassion in 2009 is now providing enough reserves to help families survive two to three years of poor harvest. For example, in the community of Tubur, the mother of a sponsored child received orange seedlings from the program in 2009 that are now blooming and will soon be ready for harvest.

Two LDP Graduates Are Reshaping the Future of Their Countries

In 2011, Margaret Makhoha, a former Compassion-sponsored child and a Leadership Development Program graduate, was elected to a six-year term as senator for Uganda’s parliament. Makhoha represents her home district of Namayingo.

Margaret’s vision is to bring much-needed services, such as improved roads, education, and health care to the people of her rural district. In her community, most live as subsistence farmers or fishermen.

After some in Margaret’s community told her and her father that it was pointless to educate a girl, she was determined to silence the critics and bring hope to other girls and women in her village. Makhoha’s campaign theme of “It is possible!” was realized after the final votes came in, leaving her with 49.9 percent of the votes in a four-candidate race.

Margaret graduated from Makerere University in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in education and later pursued a master’s degree from the same university. Makoha is married to a pastor and is a mother of three. Her strong Christian faith exemplifies the Leadership Development Program’s purpose of developing servant leaders who walk the path of Christ.

And in Haiti, Sony Fleurancier, a former Leadership Development Program student who received a civil engineering degree, is using his skills to help Compassion rebuild schools.

The devastating earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010, wiped out much of the nation’s infrastructure, including its schools. Without the church-based schools, most of Compassion’s children would not be able to receive an education at all. Today, Compassion is wrapping up work on three new school buildings, with plans to start three more this year.

In all, Compassion plans to construct 30 schools. Buildings will be constructed to international seismic standards, providing safe facilities for children while meeting the needs of Compassion’s church partners.  In the meantime, children are going to school in transitional shelters Compassion has provided.

Thailand Besieged by Water

Monsoon rains and typhoons bore down on Thailand during the second half of 2011, leaving a majority of the nation, home to more than 66.7 million people, under water.

Typhoon Nock-Ten struck Thailand at the end of July and affected more than 120 children in Compassion’s programs. Many staff members were also affected by the flooding.

Following the typhoon, strong monsoons hit, contributing to the worst flooding in Thailand in half a century. The rains flooded more than two-thirds of the country, submerged rice fields, and shut down hundreds of factories.

Compassion is helping affected families with medical treatment and food. Compassion staff also donated food, clothes and mosquito nets to the flood victims.

*Source: Kenya National Bureau of Statistics