The Founder of Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa once said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.”
In the same way that Mother Teresa strived to help the vulnerable in society, we should also put in just a little more effort in making life better for those in need.
In Kenya, despite food security getting better in 2016, we still have hundreds of thousands sleeping on an empty stomach.
According to UNICEF’s Kenya Humanitarian Situation Report released in May, 2016, there still are 639, 400 people who lack food security down from 1.1 million.
Kenya has witnessed its share of misfortunes ranging from floods, famine, terrorist attacks and collapse of buildings.
One common thing with all these tragedies is the unity shown by Kenyans to come together and help.
In 2011, three million Kenyans faced starvation in the northern part of Kenya, a situation that was deemed critical and warranted immediate action.
The Kenya Red Cross Society launched an initiative with the support of Safaricom Foundation and other corporates that brought together other members of the public to raise Sh677 million in just a month.
In 2013, Kenya suffered a devastating terror attack on the Westgate Mall in Westlands Nairobi where many lost their lives and others were seriously injured.
Kenya Red Cross launched an emergency funds strive towards the West Gate Mall Terror attack where millions of shillings raised towards the humanitarian drive.
A most recent tragedy is the collapse of the Huruma building where about 22 people lost their lives and 137 others remained homeless.
People from all over contributed essential amenities like food and beddings for the victims of the collapsed building.
That Kenyans team up quickly to alleviate the suffering of the needy especially in times of crisis is not in dispute.
Corporates and individuals purpose to contribute in cash or kind towards those who lack by donating food, clothes and medicine in children homes, hospitals and other areas where it is required.
The World Humanitarian Day will be commemorated on August 19, with the theme this year being, “One Humanity”.
The day recognizes the efforts of humanitarian workers and their sacrifices in delivering assistance to those that are in need.
On this day, there is a call for global solidarity with the millions who are in need of humanitarian help to survive.
Let us also, as individuals, private sector, government, take up the responsibility to make life better if not for all, for at least one person.
Helping the needy does not need to be a grand gesture. Offering food to the hungry, clothes to those who lack, paying a medical bill for a person who is stranded are all ways that one can bring a smile to those suffering.
As the old adage goes, give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
In the same spirit, donors should think beyond just giving money and food and instead think of a more sustainable way of supporting those in need.
Coming up with community led projects that can earn the needy revenue is one way that will not only put food on the table but will also help eradicate poverty.
“In a world that is ever more digitally connected, each of us has the power and responsibility to inspire our fellow human beings to act to help others and create a more humane world.” – Ban Ki- moon, UN Secretary General
Rita Okuthe is a Trustee, Safaricom Foundation