Kenya (MNN) — It's called "Kenyans for Kenya" — a nationwide effort to help the plight of Kenya's famine victims in the north. According to the United Nations, more than 12 million people are affected by the drought that plagues Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti, Somalia and Ethiopia. Two weeks, ago the UN officially declared "famine" conditions in parts of Somalia, as victims pour across the borders from that nation.
Kids Alive International works in the region. Sponsorship coordinator Jane Mugure says Kenyans are facing tragedy. "Currently we have 3.5 million Kenyans affected by the drought, facing starvation. The UN describes the current famine as the worst to hit Kenya and the Horn of Africa in 60 years."
As part of the "Kenyans for Kenya" initiative, Mugure says children in their Kids Alive homes participated. "We just prayed for the situation, and we gave the money we would have paid for lunch toward this initiative."
Mugure says they were able to give 3,000 Kenyan shillings ($32 U.S.) by skipping one meal. The goal of "Kenyans for Kenya" is to raise $5.4 million.
According to Mugure, it hasn't been easy for them financially. "Over the last couple of years, food prices have really gone up from 75 shillings to now, we're buying the cheapest food at 165 shillings — almost double what we used to buy."
On top of that, the lack of food is increasing demand at Kids Alive feeding and residential centers, says Mugure. "People don't have enough food, so they come into our clinic for medical check-ups because of lack of food. We have more in terms of the feeding programs that we have — more of our community members, Families Together Program, coming into our residential care just to ask for food."
According to Mugure, the government is not able to help. "Currently, as we speak, even the government's food program is running dry."
The irony is that while there is drought and famine in the north, other areas of Kenya have plenty of food. "But the infrastructure and the cost of transporting this food to the northeastern part of Kenya is so expensive, so farmers don't want to transport the food to where the drought has hit," says Mugure.
However, Mugure is praying that God will use this to bring many people to Christ. "We were just praying about the situation and how we can get Bibles to them. Yes, we have fed them, so now we need something else, on top of feeding them. So we're looking at Bibles and any spiritual material we can get."