starvation

The Hungry Season 2020

In Malawi, the Hungry Season of 2020 has been compounded by the current Coronovirus Pandemic.

Most of the vulnerable children who are fed at the project are orphans. Being orphans, they live with families other than their parents and are usually a drain on already scarce resources. Most of the families in the Kanyenyeva area are subsistence farmers, growing only enough food for themselves and their family. It is a means of survival but does not produce income. Subsistence farmers are impacted greatly by variations in weather.

In January, 2020, UN’s World Food Program warned about food insecurity in Malawi and other southern African countries.

“An unprecedented number of people in 16 countries across southern Africa are gravely food insecure as climate change wreaks havoc on the region.”

“This hunger crisis is on a scale we’ve not seen before and the evidence shows it’s going to get worse,” the WFP’s Regional Director for Southern Africa, Lola Castro, said in a statement.

The crisis is impacting 45 million people — many of whom are women and children. The region has been hit hard by repeated droughts, widespread flooding and economic hardship.

Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe are among the hardest-hit.

Many families across the region are already skipping meals, taking children out of school and falling into debt to stave off agricultural losses, the WFP said.” (Source: https://www.dw.com/en/un-warns-hunger-crisis-in-southern-africa-on-scale-weve-not-seen-before/a-52029274)

According to USAID “Recurring droughts afflict Malawi’s agriculture sector, threatening the livelihoods of Malawi’s smallholder farmers, who constitute 80 percent of Malawi’s population. Thirty-eight percent of Malawians live below the poverty line, and 47 percent of children are stunted.

Malawians are currently experiencing the hungriest time of the year. It is the time while they are growing and harvesting their crops for the year ahead. They have eaten their harvest from 2019 and have nothing until they can eat from their harvest of 2020.

During this time of the year, the orphan project experiences a higher than normal number of children seeking a meal. Due to the Coronavirus in North America, several fundraisers which support the feeding program have been cancelled or postponed. With less income than expected, the leadership at the orphan project have been forced to reduce the number of meals they offer to the children in their community from 6 days a week to 3 days a week. For some children the meal they receive at the orphan project is the only meal they receive that day. Decreasing the number of days the children can have a meal can be devastating.

We know that many people around the world are experiencing a decrease if their own incomes, too, however; a meal for a child costs $.50. A donation of $10 will feed 20 children! No amount is too small. Please prayerfully consider donating to help the children in Malawi be fed. Click here to learn more about how to donate.

Sustainable Farming

 

These individuals from the Kanyenyeva area recently attended a week long training at E3 Worldwide. The purpose of the training was to help them learn about sustainable farming techniques. “Every year almost all rural households which make up 85% of the nation have to grow the bulk their own food during the 3-4 months rain season. The process of crop production is the foremost poverty trap in that it is costly in more ways than just financial for poor households.” (e3worldwide.org/food-security/)

“E3 Worldwide is working to help reduce the cost of growing food by exploring much cheaper substitutes for chemical fertilizers, offering training for alternative methods of agriculture such as permaculture to attain maximum yield per acreage that also nurtures the ecosystem to retain fertility naturally, introducing irrigation agriculture to beat seasonality, and encouraging the cultivation of ‘cash crops’ to generate income.” (e3worldwide.org/food-security/)

While at the E3 Worldwide training they also learned about eating a healthy and more sustainable diet which will decrease their dependency on maize (which is not native to Malawi) and increase their consumption of native fruits and vegetables.

The people that attended the training will share their new knowledge with others in their community. They said that they were very excited and thankful for that week long course and are very eager to use what they have learned. They reported that the training is eye opening and life changing.

The past few years the harvest in Malawi has decreased due to flooding and mistimed rains. With the training which they received, they should become less dependent on the rains and be able to grow crops year round which will increase their food security.

We pray that what they learned during this week long training will continue to be shared in their community and beyond while it provides ways for them to have year round food security.

Food Scarcity in Malawi

eggThis is a typical meal in Malawi. The largest part of the meal is nsima which is made with corn meal and water. It has no nutritional value but it does help a person feel full. In a typical year there is enough food to last through most of the year and into the next growing season. The end of the growing season is called the hungry season because their food from the last harvest does not last until the next harvest.

This past growing season (2015 – 16) the hungry season started early. It started at the beginning of the growing season, around November, because in the 2014- 15 growing season the country of Malawi’s harvest was decreased by 35% due to lack of rains in some areas and floods in other areas.

The coming hungry season is anticipated to start even earlier. They expect the hungry season to start before the growing season starts. The latest harvest was 15% less than the previously smaller harvest.

DSC_0211This is a grim reality for millions of people in Malawi and elsewhere in Africa. From the beginning of the last growing season, around November, 2015, the orphan project doubled the number of children it feeds to around 800 children.

There is going to be a huge need for more food for the people of Malawi starting in the fall of 2016. Please consider donating now so we can be prepared when the hungry season starts. Please help keep the people of Malawi alive.

For more information read this article in the Guardian.com.

25 to Stay Alive

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In our first mission trip in 2009, KOCM was feeding about 150 orphans a lunch of nsima (corn flour and water) and vegetables, twice each week. With the generous support of all of our MOCP members, they are now feeding over 500 orphans, FOUR times per week.

Malawi experienced heavy flooding early this year which had disastrous effects on this season’s crops. Pastor Andy Jones reported that Malawi’s crop yield decreased by 70% this year. The entire country is feeling the effects of the floods, and as a result, food is becoming scarce and much more expensive. We are planning to raise 25,000 additional dollars to help the people of Kanyenyeva survive during this “Hungry Season” beginning in November, when their food supplies start running out.

The additional funds will help KOCM expand their lunch feedings to SIX days per week, plus the funds will provide needed corn maize for the caregivers and their families during the coming months. For some orphans, this lunch program is the only meal they receive each day. Your generous donations will go a long way in preventing our brothers and sisters in Malawi from possible starvation.

We have about $10,000 left to reach our goal of $25,000!! Your generous donations can be mailed directly to Malawi Orphan Care Project. Please indicate “MOCP –25 to Stay Alive” on your check. Or you may make donations by credit card or PayPal.

Malawi 25 to Stay Alive Maize  (Click link to download and print pdf flyer to pass along to others.)

Zikomo kwambiri ndi Mulungu akudanitsen (Thank you very much and God Bless You).

 

Ken Ekegren, President

Malawi Orphan Care Project, Inc.