Posts tagged christmas 2012
Food Parcels

Hello everyone! We are now back in the UK and wanted to fill you all in on the rest of our news from the trip.

One of the major achievements was the distribution of the food parcels to families who needed them in the area. As I mentioned in a previous post, we visited more than 100 families and encountered some very severe situations of families in desperate need. With 55 food parcels to distribute we couldn't possibly make them stretch out to help all the families, so we squeezed a little here and there and managed to scrape together 87 parcels in total.

Each food parcel was worth 1100 Kenya Shillings (roughly £10) and contained 8kg of flour; 2kg of beans; 2kg of sugar; 1 litre of cooking oil and 2kg of rice, enough for an average sized family for around one week. I would like to introduce you to some of the children and their families who received food parcels.

Juma - 13 years old Juma is a child who currently attends Mtwapa Academy. He contracted HIV at birth and is fighting to prevent this virus developing into AIDs. As is common with many children in his situation he is now an orphan since both his parents passed away. He currently lives with his elder brother and his wife, neither of whom have a stable job. Since taking in Juma, the whole family have suffered a huge amount of discrimination rooted in a lack of understanding and knowledge of the disease. They have been chased away from jobs by people who thought that now they must also be 'infected' and Juma is struggling to see himself as normal or to imagine a future life for himself. One of the largest problems Juma faces is food. Such a simple thing yet it is causing him huge problems. As HIV positive, Juma is entitled to free anti-retroviral drugs to control the virus, which he is receiving, however the tablets are prescribed three times a day, to be taken with a big meal. As with many children in his situation, Juma is lucky to receive three large meals a week, so the medicine is unable to work effectively.

Loice (2 years), Saumu (4 years), Amir (9 years), Musa (10 years), Ishmal (11 years) & Swabrina (13 years)

Amir, Musa, Loice and Saumu with their mother

This family have a total of six children living with their single mother together in one room. Their father abandoned the family some years ago and their mother, without any formal education or qualifications of her own, is struggling to make ends meet. Some of the children attend Rescue Foundation, a local community group providing free or very cheap education and day care for the youngest children, others attend the local government school which is overcrowded, poorly resourced and badly managed. Without any regular income, the family struggle on a daily basis to put food on the table.

Mwanyae Family After their mother passed away due to HIV these nine children were left alone. Their care was discussed by village members and in the end they were divided amongst neighbours, extended family and well wishers in the area. Mohammed (around 5 years - pictured) is living in a single-roomed mud hut with his aunt, who is herself a widow with three children and no stable job. His brother and sister, Richard and Madiha, (around 7 years and 3 years - pictured) are staying with another aunt in a mud and iron sheet construction in serious disrepair. In this house are a total of nine children, the eldest of whom now has an 8 month old baby boy of her own.

Madiha and Richard with their aunt receiving their food parcel

Richard and Madiha's aunt in her house with her eldest daughter and grandchild

Mohammed's aunt outside their home

Mohammed with his toy pencil case

Mohammed with his aunt

Brian Matias Brian is a little boy attending New Life Kindergarten. Neither his mother or father are around, leaving Brian in the care of his grandmother, who is blind. In the same home, also under the sole care of the grandmother are Emily (aged 4) and Charity (aged 7). The girls are currently not attending school after being sent home to fetch school fees. This family is a very large one, with many children and grandchildren who have been left to the care of this elderly lady. Without a job of her own, and with very few people around to support her, she struggles to feed and care for the children, let alone send them to school.

Brian's whole family receiving food parcels and nets

Brian's grandmother with Charity (aged 7) outside their home

As I said, there are 87 families who received food parcels. I could tell you 87 stories just like these ones here. But I think that's probably enough for now. I cannot tell you how important this food was to these families. If you are reading this knowing you donated a parcel, please know that it has truely gone to a family who need it.

Clearly these parcels are a short term fix and most certainly do not even begin to address the depth of the problems for many of these families. However, it does give them a head start for the next week or so and a reprieve to get on top of other costs such as rent or school fees which have been outstanding and building up over time. To help families like these ones find a long term solution we would love to be able to assist them in starting small businesses to create a sustainable income over time. We have done this already with some of the families on our sponsorship programme who have started businesses such as charcoal sales and chicken rearing, and have found it to cost roughly £85 per family, depending on the type of business they start. If you think you could help any of these families to find a sustainable income by donating that amount of money, please contact me today and we can get started. My mobile number is 07950329398 or my email is I would love to hear from you.

Thank-you once again for the food.

Buying Food Parcels

As many of you know, over the Christmas period this year we ran a Christmas gifts appeal and many of you bought mosquito nets or food parcels to distribute in Kenya. We were really pleased with the response we had and we were really excited to distribute them while we were out here. We had 55 food parcels donated, so we set about visiting many families in the area to ascertain which families were most in need of food and research each individual case thoroughly. We were expecting to encounter lots of families who were desperately in need of help and indeed that is exactly what happened. Every single family identified was in real need of food. In the end we decided to find some more money, using a donation from ‘Coterie Creative’ and an individual donation from Tina and Michael Wright to help us close the gap between the money we needed and the money we had. I am thrilled to tell you that we finally bought enough food for 87 food parcels. 87 different spread across all our projects – Mtwapa Academy; Victory Kindergarten; Rescue Foundation; Royal Academy and New Life School will receive food this week. Each parcel costs £10 and contains 2kg of beans; 2kg of rice; 4kg of wheat flour; 4kg of maize flour; 2kg of sugar and 2 litres of cooking oil – all basic essentials for most Kenyan dishes.

I am looking forward to showing you the photos and telling you a little about a few of the families but for now let me share with you the images of the food packed and ready to go! The sight of so much food in one place was truly incredible. It’s going to make a huge difference, so anyone who is reading this who has bought a food parcel should be really proud of themselves! Thank-you so much for your support, all across Mtwapa kids will be eating good, solid meals this week thanks to you.

overflowing bags of rice

large sacks of beans ready to go

cooking oil - each family will receive two bottles

The sacks of maize flour. This pile is two sacks deep and each sack contains 12 packets!

lots of food ready to distribute

Save a Life this Christmas

Great news! The Milele Christmas Gifts are now available! They make a perfect gift for 'hard-to-buy-for' people this year! Donate to Milele this christmas and we will buy a mosquito net (£5) or a food parcel (£10) for a family in Kenya. In return you will get a gift certificate to pass on to someone in this country explaining why the gift is so important  - the ideal substitute for a box of chocolates or a bottle of wine.

Mosquito Nets (£5)

With malaria one of the biggest killers of children under 5 in this area, nets keep little ones safe during their first few years of life. They are specially treated to provide maximum protection.

6 month old twins making good use of your mosquito net donations last year

Food Parcels (£10)

No family should be hungry this Christmas. Food parcels provide healthy and tasty sustenance to families who are malnourished and struggling for food.

Food parcels are a great way to help families who are hungry this christmas

To Order:

To order a net or a food parcel drop me an email to

Lets make a real difference

Last year together we managed to give Mosquito nets and food parcels to 38 families. After visiting the homes of these families and seeing the incredible difference they make, I can truly tell you there really is no better way to spend your money this year. One mother told me she had been really scared of Malaria after the long rainy season, but since receiving the net, not one of her children has contracted Malaria. This year we can do even better - we can reach even more children and families and save more lives.