Staying up to date
A couple of days ago, our secretary produced an email newsletter giving some of the facts of the situation and how people can help with the response. If you click the bordered text image, you can read that newsletter.
Don’t forget to sign up for email notifications if you haven’t already. By doing so, you will receive any important appeals as well as the regular newsletter containing photographs, updates, and interesting details about Chaffinch and life at Future Stars.
What is the current situation?
At present, food shortages within Kibera (as across much of Kenya) are serious.
There is no maize flour at all within the slum, and prices of other foodstuffs continue to rise as demand increasingly exceeds supply. With Kibera’s residents being forced to switch from ugali (made with maize flour) to alternatives such as rice and chapati, supplies of these replacement foods are also stretched and, consequently, the prices increase. The daily cost of most essential foodstuffs is fluctuating to such a degree that 1kg of rice can cost 10% more at 2pm than it did at noon. This unpredictability causes huge difficulties in budgeting, both for Chaffinch and for individual families living within Kibera.
What is Chaffinch doing?
Our primary objective is to ensure that the children of Future Stars have enough to eat.
To this end, we have already provided extra funds to cover the increased costs of basic foodstuffs, and also the costs of replacing ugali with alternative carbohydrates such as rice and chapati.
We are in close contact with the staff on the ground in Kenya and are receiving constant updates as they become available. It is, of course, a worrying time, but it is vital that the children are able to continue with their education and their playtime without being frightened at the situation around them.
We are also passing along the messages of hope and good wishes sent by our supporters. If you’d like to send a message of your own, please leave a comment at the bottom of this page and we will ensure it is passed on to the children at Future Stars.
What does the future look like?
The Kenyan government has put measures into place that will hopefully improve the situation.
Imports of maize flour have already arrived from South Africa. These are still difficult to find and significantly more expensive than ‘normal’. However, there are also further imports on their way from Mexico. It’s quite a distance to get these provisions across the ocean hence the delay. The government have reduced or eliminated import tax on various foodstuffs in an attempt to encourage other countries to export goods to Kenya at reasonable prices.
The immediate future is still very uncertain. We don’t know exactly what will happen tomorrow, or next week. And we don’t know exactly when the situation will improve. This uncertainty is very difficult for those trying to survive in Kibera from day to day. We can only hope that food and assistance will reach those who need it in time.
As for Chaffinch, we will continue to provide extra funding to Future Stars for the provision of food. We are committed to ensuring that none of the children will go hungry. Of course, our urgent appeal to our supporters is vital to this mission. Whether it is direct financial donations, or simply sharing the message amongst family, friends, and colleagues, it is only with the help of our supporters that we will be able to ride out this difficult period.