First of all, on behalf of IHF, I would like to express grati- tude to all the people who make this special program possible by their generosity and financial support.
Then as you may have noticed already, over the few past months, we experienced some problems regarding the famine feeds or survival programs that were not fully running. This situation was due to staff conflicts and also to Kenya local political context. However, we endorse full responsibility and we must apologize. In IHF we know that transparency is the most important characteristic of a we- ll-run organization.
Well, survival and famine feed programs kicked-off again on Saturday 20th of October, when we went to Nakuru’s market to buy the food we would have to get delivered in Pokot. So, along with Kevin Paul and Isaiah, I went to buy roughly 300 cabbages and about 900 kilos of maize flour; that was the first (and easiest) leg of what would actually be wonderful trip.
So, here we are, 4 am, ready for departure. Sven and Caroline, our great volunteers from New-Zealand, Kevin, Paul, Peter and Kukat (four of the oldest IHF teenagers), Jane the center matron and I. After a bumpy road we reached Pokot region around 9 in the morning to start the famine feed program. The first village we stopped in is named Chesirimin, and there we shared fairly among the villagers a bit more than 200 kilos of unga (maize flour) and 75 cabbages. Everything went well, and after the chief of the village greetings’ and some casual chats with villagers we were ready for the next stop. 30 minutes later, Kadingding, everybody get off!!
We repeated the same process of food distribution and soon was time to hit the road again, we were now heading to Chemoril. In this village we encountered more people compared to previous locations; so we decided to cut the cabbages in two halves to make sure everybody can get some.
The team stayed overnight in a little one-street dusty town named Nginyang, we were for sure quite exhausted but with the insurance to have accomplished half of the mission properly. Therefore, no problem for falling asleep after such a journey, especially when the eyes have been filled with beautiful images and the heart with sincere greetings.
Sunday, 6 am, no time to lose and half an hour later we hopped in the lorry for what was probably the most memorable part of the trip. This journey cer- tainly reached its pinnacle during the livestock market in Pokot.
Armed with a list of what to buy, a strong motivation, and smiley faces, our crew divided the mission into different tasks. Some would take care of gathe- ring 44 goats, 32 chickens, 3 cows and 1 camel; some others would warn the poorest of the villagers who were targeted to receive cattle, and some others would have control and coordination objectives. After a couple of hours, under a merciless sunshine and within a gigantic yet beauti- ful chaos that characterizes East African markets, we accomplished all of our objectives! We were really happy, hugged and HI-5 each other for some minutes. We still had some food to deliver though; the fourth and last village to visit was Riongo, just a couple of kilo- meters away from the market place.
Once this finally completed, we headed back to Nakuru where we arrived Monday at night. And once in IHF, some other greetings and hugs were waiting for us; all the kids ran toward the truck like if we went away for a year! Feels good to get back home in such lovely conditions!
This Survival and Famine Feed trip successfully completed, I now need to say endless thank you for all the team members. And even though it is commonly said that in a team every one is important but no one is indispensable, I must confess that this wonderful trip would not have been possible without Kevin, Kukat, Paul or Peter, who did an outstanding job.
And even if we have to face reality and recognize that life in the Pokot region is very tough for its inhabitants, we really hope that through IHF support, some of them can have it a bit sweetened. Once again we must thank all of you for your continuous generosity, the most powerful weapon to change things.