Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Daily Bread

The cost of food and energy continues to rise all over the world. Have you felt the pinch in your budget? Have you had to shed some extravagences in order to stretch your budget?

Now imagine being responsible to feed a school of 150 teenage students and 15 staff, or a children's home with 80 growing children and babies, and another 20 staff, all on an income of donations, at a time when donors are cutting back...

The rising cost of food and energy have been problematic in Kenya since 2008, but have experienced the sharpest spike during the first quarter of 2011. The Nest and New Dawn have recently reported how challenging it is to supply the nutritional needs of their students and children. Additionally, staff members' salaries must be stretched farther to support rising costs of public transportation and food for their own households.

Have you cut out some extravagences from your diet to save on your grocery bill?

How does the Nest and New Dawn do that when their diet is so basic?

Here is a list of foods that are the Daily Bread at the Nest and New Dawn:

tea, sugar, milk

grain for porridge

fresh and ground maize

spinach, kale, onions

sweet potatoes, rice, potatoes, dried beans

tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, zucchini

salt and cooking fat

not at all extravagent, very healthy, lacking in protein

Both the Nest and New Dawn have cooks on staff. The Nest provides breakfast, morning porridge, lunch and dinner for their children. New Dawn provides lunch for their students.

Both organizations dream of being able to provide more regular intake of protein for their growing young people in the form of meat, fish, eggs and yoghurt. But how can they accomplish that when they struggle to afford the most basic diet?

New Dawn dreams of being able to provide a greater variety in their lunches, as several students have trouble digesting the maize and bean diet. They also dream of being able to offer morning tea/breakfast, since many of the students' families are unable to provide breakfast at home before coming to school.

Cooking requires fuel of some sort. For years, the Nest has used an indoor steamer/cooker whose heat is generated by burning wood.

New Dawn recent received a gift of a Bio-Digester. This apparatus quickly digests cow-manure (from the school's small herd) and transforms it into usable energy for cooking. Otherwise they depend on wood for fuel as well.

The Nest works very hard to procure firewood for cooking. Kenya has cycled through years of deforestation, and then a revival of reforestation. Therefore, firewood is very expensive to purchase, and the Nest has no internal source of firewood. It must be transported to the Nest, and with the rising cost of petrol, one can only imagine that the cost of wood has escalateded as well.

Both the Nest and New Dawn grow their own vegetables to help off-set the cost of buying food. The Nest has hens and goats, while New Dawn has cows, but neither organization has enough land to be self-sustaining.

Saba, International partners with the Nest and New Dawn in supplying grants to support their nutritional needs. We hope to do more to keep the children and students fed, growing, learning, thriving.

We call on the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ, to help us find joy in giving... even sacrificially!

Please pray for both the Nest and New Dawn--staff, students, and children--that God would provide graciously, abundantly, faithfully!

posted by Cathy Woller