Fred, our manager in Soroti, came across this little boy just the other day.
He wrote: “This little boy made my heart bleed. I found him in a school uniform digging down a very hard anthill, to find these little creatures underground. I asked him why he is not at school, and he said he was going, but he had to look for something to eat first.
“I believe the right to food is not only for children but for everybody. Yet for many here it’s not even a right anymore, but a chance, which is very bad. I believe whatever little we can do will make a great difference.”
The Global Care Soroti staff have already used up all their discretionary funds on extra feeding for sponsored children, and all the Christmas gift money was spent on food, not clothes. The drought began in December 2015, and did not ease across East Africa until April 2017, causing food shortages and soaring prices, a fatal combination for struggling families.
Yet even though the drought is ending in other parts of East Africa, in semi-arid Soroti the rains have been patchy and sporadic, and the crops in the compounds of families depending on subsistence agriculture have failed again. Thin cattle eat the leaves from the trees, as there is no longer enough viable grazing. We sent a further £7,750 to support feeding in Soroti just weeks ago. Feeding costs are growing ever higher as food shortages become even more widespread.
Will you help us bear the cost of this continuing burden? We cannot afford to keep feeding the children without additional income, including paying back the money already overspent from the Uganda budget. Our 2017 Harvest Appeal aims to raise at least £10,770, the sum needed for us to cover our costs in providing 50kgs of posho for each of the 224 sponsored children in Soroti, and 50 families in the disability group we support in Atira. 5kgs feeds ten people for one day.
50kgs will feed a family of ten for over a week, and will be made to last longer by many. With no end to this crisis in sight, we would like to raise even more funds, enabling extra feeding to continue.
As we consider our own abundant harvests this year, please remember the desperate need of the families of Soroti in this season of hunger.