Did you just cringe when you read this title? I know you are aware that was is coming will be a report about food and contamination. But it's a bitter sweet thing that I have to share.
For the past several months, I have been heartsick about the conditions in Kenya. As many of you know, I visited Provision on a vision trip with leadership from Grace Community Church here in Fulton, Maryland. While on that trip, I realized that our food situation at the school was grim to say the least. We were aware that food costs were increasing in Kenya, but I was unaware of how badly this was affecting our own children at the school.
While I love and respect the noble hesitation of Provision's leadership to ask for additional funds, it broke my heart to see how small the portion and unhealthy the diet had become. I was determined to find a way to change that.
Because of the many friends of We Are Kenya, we have been able to increase the food budget, and have helped to create a menu that includes a protein, starch and a fruit for nearly every day of the week. In addition we increased the portions by a third to a half. I really cannot explain how grateful I feel.
BUT, this blessing has brought on a curse. A few years ago, large plastic drums were purchased to hold rice and maize flour so that rats, mice, and vermin would not contaminate the food. Now that the school is buying more rice and flour and has added beans and lentils to the mix, the bins are not enough. Because it is much cheaper to purchase these staples in bulk, a large purchase is made at the beginning of the month. These are stored in large sacks made from woven plastic. These sacks have become the playground for many rats, mice, and vermin. Rebecca shared that her team spent three hours picking beans and rice out of the gravel because the rats and mice had chewed holes in the bags. She also shared that the number of mice and rats around the compound has greatly increased.
Anyone know of a good exterminator in Kenya? No? Okay then, plan B is to starve the little buggers out of our property (and maybe get a cat or two!). The only way we can do this is to get three more drums and build shelves to keep them off of the smaller food stuffs, pots, and utensils. We have to make this less of a playground for those nasty little beasts. Each drum is about $25.00 and the shelves a total $60.00 and would go a long way in making sure we are good stewards of the gifts God gives through each of you. Kenyans don't waste food, which means they eat the beans and rice even if they have been contaminated by bugs and mice.
We've had a lot of people ask us for opportunities for one-time donations. Our church likes to call them "handles"- ways people can get involved. It might not seem like a noble project, but this could conserve not only the money we have to send for food, but also potentially prevent the children from becoming ill from eating contaminated food. It can never be said enough, but thank you to those who I know will sacrifice of themselves to make this happen for the little ones we all love so dearly.