This October 2020, we are excited and worried. Before we get into why we’re excited, let us address our worries:
Kenya has entered a drought season. This is not unusual. Dry seasons are part of the rhythms of this semiarid climate. This is always a challenge. Some people have the resources to plan ahead by building water catchment systems and large water storage containers. The majority of the poorest, most vulnerable will have to rely on generous neighbors who were better off than them.
But this year, the drought is complicated by Covid.
Taveta and much of Africa has already been cut off from major food sources with borders and transportation shut downs. The drought makes this all the more difficult.
Brad and I know personally the hazards of these dusty roads when using a motorcycle for transportation. The dust has made motorcycles unusable, and this is the mode of transport affordable to the most poor. This also means motorcycle taxis are without income. People are not able to travel to the stores, hospitals, etc unless they have access to a 4-wheel drive vehicle. We know all too well how few reliable vehicles there are in this area.
Charity told us yesterday that our ladies group is now walking over 10 miles to get water because the local spring they depend on is dry.
And to add another complication, schools are opening in part, calling back just the students in 4th grade, 8th grade and those preparing for exams.
In the most at risk area of Urukungu, the water catchment system Foothold helped them install at the primary school was found to be dry when school resumed, and students were largely without food.
This season will last for the next few months. This is another time, we realize that relief is needed to address these challenges. We are working to raise relief funds to address these concerns.
We are hopeful, as we continue to monitor this situation that there will be a solution. We appreciate your prayers and any support toward these needs.
In spite of these difficulties, our Maasai Literacy program has resumed with Covid precautions in place. We have hired a new teacher we cannot wait to meet when we return who is a member of the local tribe and speaks the local tribal language.
He has been meeting smaller groups of students on their homestead instead of bringing them to the school building, making social distancing possible but also by bringing the classes closer to them, it makes it all the more accessible as well.
The women are beside themselves, hearing a Maasai man teach them, who is education and encouraging them in basic literacy and business skills. His position will be another step of change in this community, another challenge to Maasai men as he serves as quite the role model.
Unfortunately, due to the drought, the Maasai men who were previously enrolled have not been able to attend yet because they must take their cattle far to find food and water for them, so we anticipate them returning when the rains return. Still, Charity and the teacher are looking for creative ways to reach them under the conditions.
Please continue to pray for Kenya and consider supporting us so that the work that has been done is able to continue.