KENYANS FOR KENYA:Why it needs to be long term.

No Kid Hungry is a  campaign that aims at ensuring no child in America goes without food,the national spokesperson and founder for End hunger network   is actor Jeff Bridges.On their website they ask people to donate at least a dollar that will go towards seeing a child receive up to 10 healthy meals.Already over 53,000 peole have signed up for the campaign and it is definitely set to attract more people.

In Kenya we have had the KenyansforKenya initiative started by the private sector, that has seen over 600,000 peole in a country of over 40 million donate in cash and kind to the appeal that was began to feed hungry Kenyans in northern Kenya.When the campaign started i tweeted that i hoped this would not be a short term strategy but that the initiators of this fund drive would find a way to make it long term.The same calls for long term solutions to hunger issues were raised when the private sector held a fund raising at one of the upmarket hotels in the capital city Nairobi last week.The intiative almost hit its halfa billion shillingtarget and you can read more about the drive here.

Now in an earlier article on the current food crisis  i detailed how i made a trip round the rift valley and saw acres and acres of farmland under maize crop .How i drove by little towns ,where market women and men sat by mounds of vegetables and cobs of green maize and potatoes waiting for buyers.Yet we were busy importing maize from outside the country to stem the deficit that is the cause of the hike in food prices especially of maize.Many people reading this who are not familiar with the Kenyan diet will wonder at our obsession with maize or corn as it is called in certain parts of the world.But maize meal is to Kenyans what pasta is to the Italians,so you can imagine the kind of crisis precipitated when  the precious commodity runs out.

While appreciating the good work and generosity Kenyans and friends of Kenya have shown in supporting the campaign i hope there are long term measures by both the public and private sector to see that we have an initiative along the lines of No kid Hungry.This will ensure that no Kenyan child will sleep hungry or miss school because they lacked a nourishing and  satisfying meal at the end of the day.

School feeding program is already in place in some parts of the country where children attending school at least get some food when they are in session.These programmes are funded by both government and international donors.

If such programs like these can be expanded such that the most vulnerable members of our society and especially children are guaranteed a meal or even three meals every day it would go along way towards ensuring that the countrys’ future citizens are given a chance to  grow and thrive.

When all is said and done each of us owes it to future generations,whether we have children or not to ensure that we leave this country a better place than we found it.This includes making sure another generation of Kenyans do not grow up knowing the ravages and pangs of drought and hunger.Over to you Kenyans for Kenya team…… hope this is the beginning of a hunger free country.


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