Food shortages and insecurity affect every single household we serve. Hundreds of children come to the Centre daily for a hot, nutritious meal. Hundreds more receive bulk food relief for their households.
Many political, social, and economic factors make Africa's widespread issue with poor nutrition even more complicated. In addition, Makindu is a drought-stricken area,where meager rainfall can destroy any hope for a reasonable harvest and, subsequently, the chance to feed families.
A typical diet in Makindu villages consists of various forms of maize (white corn) and beans. Routinely, people will fill up on "ugali", which is ground maize mixed with water and produces a thick and filling substance. (We foreigners sometimes call it "Oh-Golly", as it produces an almost instant and often overwhelming sensation of fullness!)
With the solar-powered borehole, the Center has plentiful water to irrigate the one-acre garden. Kale, corn, tomatoes,pepper, eggplant, mangoes, pawpaws, and other fruits and vegetables are thriving with the irrigation and providing the children with essential supplemental nutrition.
The children get remarkably quiet at the Centre when they are eating; it is serious business. Soon thereafter, however,they are happy, running about, and energetic. It only takes a few months to see the transformation in these children with routine daily feedings, some with smiles as big as their heaping plates of food!