Kenya: Penna’s Battle to Provide for Her Family

Penna sits on a fallen tree holding her head in her hands. Tears roll down her face as she shares her story: 

“My children cry when they are hungry. And they are always hungry because I have so little to feed them. This drought has stolen our lives.”  

A mother of five in a remote area of Kenya, Penna says, “My husband and I are farmers. But our fields have not produced any food since July 2016. All we have left to eat is a little corn and some beans. It breaks my heart that we cannot feed our children. I am their mother. That is my main job. 

“All my children are at risk, but my baby, Grace, is the one I worry about the most. She is only 9 months old, and she suffers the most of all my kids. I am breastfeeding her, but I’m not producing enough milk. She goes hungry all the time. 

“I don’t know if baby Grace will survive the drought,” Penna says. 

Penna is a brave woman, but, as she told her story, it was clear what a heavy burden she is carrying.  

“Before the drought, my family had enough,” Penna says.  

Back then, when things were going well, Penna’s family ate three hearty meals a day. They focused on their kids’ education and on getting the best yield from their crops.  

Now, everything is different for Penna’s family. 

They eat only one small meal a day, usually about a cup of corn porridge. Now every waking moment, and every sleepless night, they focus on how to feed their children. Every day Penna wonders what she can do to help them survive. 

“I am so worried for my children,” Penna says. “I can’t stop thinking about what I can do to get food for them. I can’t stop thinking about how I should do it.”  

Imagine how you would feel if you were in Penna’s shoes. Even if you are not a parent, you can feel the anxiety of not having enough to care for one’s children. 

“My children cry when there is no food. The drought has taken our life. There is nothing worse than being hungry and not being able to feed your children.”  

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The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is the international humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church serving in 118 countries. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. ADRA’s purpose is to serve humanity so all may live as God intended.

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