REV CANON PETER KARANJA
As a nation, we are in desperate times when close to a quarter of our countrymen wake up every day without knowing where their next meal will come from.
My heart, like that of all other Kenyans, sinks daily as I see images of desperate and malnourished children.
While the reality that we cannot feed our people is indeed humbling, I find it very saddening that year in year out we get to this low point where we watch our fellow Kenyans suffer and die from hunger.
Tradition has been that when we are in a crisis, we look to the West for emergency donations as we castigate our government for sloppy disaster preparedness and the usual slow and bureaucratic response. Whereas these issues remain critical and needs not to be belaboured, more Kenyans continue to suffer.
It is impressive to note that this time round ordinary Kenyans and corporate organisations have taken responsibility and initiated efforts to be part of the solution. The reports of the growing contributions to the “Kenyans4Kenya” initiative where ordinary Kenyans have contributed millions of shillings to feed our starving countrymen are impressive and encouraging.
The kindness of those who have contributed has moved my heart. It shows how much we could do as Kenyans if we joined hands and focused on redemptive solutions. The power of unity can definitely do wonders.
Isn’t it liberating that by giving as little as Sh10 every Kenyan can be part of such a life saving initiative?
How about skipping a meal or two and donating that to someone who has not had a meal for days. It could be the coins that are lying idle in your house. How about sacrificing that new shoe you wanted to buy and giving that money for a child staring at death.
Let us encourage Kenyans everywhere that they regularly gather to talk about this initiative and advocate for increasing and repeated participation.
A few churches have made initiatives to help. I would encourage every church to join in this endeavour in whose participation mobile money transfer technology has made easy.
This is an opportunity for pastors to demonstrate Christian charity by mobilising the entire Kenyan congregation to enthusiastically join in.
At the National Council of Churches of Kenya we are aggressively mobilising resources for intervention of at least 200,000 people in 10 districts affected by the current drought.
In this initiative, the Council like in many times before will assist the affected persons with food aid, school feeding programmes, and advocacy with relevant authorities at all levels.
I believe if every Kenyan did what is within their power we can avert the death of our compatriots and mitigate the tragic suffering that faces millions of our brothers and sisters.
Let us encourage ourselves with a scripture from Proverbs 11:24-25
“One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”
In deed by stepping out to help, you will not be poorer but instead the lord will prosper and bless you.
(Reverend Karanja is the General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Kenya)