Disaster relief in Kenya.
Food for Life Cycle for Life Trust
Thank you for your interest in the present work we are doing to assist the needy with food during the current crisis caused by Covid in Kenya. The number of cases is gradually rising here, and due to a lack of testing facilities, we are not sure of the accuracy of numbers. However, the economic impact has been catastrophic, to say the least – all hotels, restaurants, and entertainment places are closed. We have a curfew from 7 pm to 5 am daily, and there is no inter-city travel allowed. All local and international flights are canceled. Our largest foreign exchange-earners are tourism, diaspora funding, floriculture and horticulture, exports of tea, coffee, and services – all these have been hit severely as all such business is totally disrupted. As a result, the Kenya Shilling has depreciated by over 10% in a month! We already had a high rate of unemployment, and now due to Covid, the number of people losing jobs is unthinkable. A lot of businesses are operating on reduced staffing and did send people on paid leave or reduced salaries in April. However, the cash flows of all companies are meager, and we expect a huge number of people will be on unpaid leave or made redundant in May. Our Government is trying its best to manage but is also struggling as their budget deficits are huge – we expect very little support as individuals from the Government.
The Asian Community has come out in force to support the needy. A lot of organizations are donating food, as over 10 million people live in the slums, most of them are daily wage earners, and as of now are lacking even 1 daily meal, besides clean water, sanitation, and possibilities of social distancing. Also, at the last count, the Country had about 200 ventilators, very few ICU beds, and absolutely no ability to manage cases in case there is a spike, which is expected.
Food For Life Cycle for Life Trust started over 22 years ago – we are four friends who raised funds and we have been serving a hot meal to over 1200 school children every day for over 22 years. The funding for this is from the interest we earn – hence Food for life, as we have no intention of spending the principal funds we hold. We cook a nutritious vegetarian meal
Daily and then go to the schools identified in the slums to feed the children every single day. For some children, this is the only meal they get in the day! We are a registered charity in Kenya and do have a tax exemption certificate that Donors in Kenya can use to qualify for tax exemption locally.
Now the same team together with other well-wishers has decided to pack a food pack that will last a family of 4 five to seven days. We have a team that is doing the packing in a warehouse (given to use for free use) by a team called ‘the last resort’ giving their services for free. In addition, we have got donations of the boxes, a forklift, and all transportation for free. Essentially all that we collect is used 100% for the purchase of the rations, and then effectively distributed by the Red Cross Organization (for free) with a lot of controls and checks.
Each pack currently contains 2 kgs. of maize flour, 2 kgs of either red beans, green gram or rice, cooking fat, salt, and a bar of soap. One such pack costs us Ksh. 500/- ($5 or £3.75). Our target is to distribute at least 50,000 packs. So far, we have packed over 12,000 packs.