On The Road To Food Security
Last year many of you heard me say "I've been there, and I've met children in Zambia who do not have even one meal a day, so I need to go and do something about it.". Well, now I know them by name, they greet me regularly with hope in their smiles, and thanks to you I'm able to deliver some relief food.
Bags of mealie meal (a flour made from corn) are being cooked into a doughy substance called nshima and filling tummies here and there in Mbayi. Occasionally, to provide some nutrients, I include beans, carrots, or a bit of kapenta (tiny dried fish), relish they call it, meant to accompany nshima. But the need is great and I have to ration very carefully, making prudent decisions that leave many wanting.
Those who are not able bodied, typically young orphans and the disabled elderly take priority, but many more are lacking nourishment. As they struggle through this lean season, some of the men make a bit of charcoal which they carry long distances, hoping to sell on the roadside or in markets. Women, if they have, do the same with small quantities of mangoes or cassava leaves. Others rely on residents from nearby towns, who possess land in Mbayi for crops and sporadically hire help, making payment with just a few cups of flour for hours of hard work in their fields.
These people - often working when ill and in pain - are doing the best they can, but no matter how hard they try, they remain destitute.
Our goal is for food security in 2012. I thank God for those with hearts of giving who are helping many survive this rainy season of 2011.