East Africa is in the middle of a food crisis so massive that 20 million lives are at immediate risk. Twili is one of those.

We met Twili and her children in the village where they live in Kenya, where she shared her story:

“I was married; my husband was sick and passed away in 2006. He left me alone with four children. It was so terrible to lose my partner and the breadwinner of our home. He was a farmer and we all depended on him. I got depressed and didn’t know what to do. I had no choice than to decide that we were going to survive, and I alone had to support my children. I started to collect sand and stones and tried to sell it to people who were building. It was hard, but I had no other option to sustain my family. Another man approached me and offered my family his support. I trusted him and we got married. We got two children but then he stopped supporting the children and me. So we separated and he left. I don’t know where he is today.

“Now things are extremely tough. There is no work and I cannot buy any food for my children. I cannot stop thinking about my children, I feel so bad and we are facing so many difficulties.

“We ate our meal yesterday. Today we have eaten nothing. And we have no food for today. I wish there was some casual work I could do, like cutting firewood and sell, but nobody is buying because there is a drought and everyone is in a difficult situation. With no work, I cannot buy any food. We are hungry.

“I have no hope. I am waiting for some work. But it is hard.

“I have no family here. I have no animals (chicken, goats, cows). Because the rains haven’t come I haven’t been able to plant anything. The casual work is very irregular. My children go to school but they don’t get food there. So they are hungry all the time.

“Sometimes our neighbors assist us with some food. That is how we are coping.

“My daughter Mary is coughing and have eye problems. She has regular nose bleeding and need medical assistance. I cannot afford that since I have no money at all.

“I’m in darkness. My only hope is that God will do a miracle.

“My children cry and ask for food. Almost every night we sleep hungry.”

KENYA 17-0036

Two of Twili’s children, Patience (17, far right) & Mary (11, second from right) shared their words as well:

“Last night we had little food that we could eat. We had some maize and peas. That was our only meal throughout out the day. We ate it before sleeping but it was very little and we were not satisfied. It’s been like this for a long time. It’s becoming our normal life.”

Mary: “In school sometimes our friends share their lunch with us. I wish I could be a doctor one day.”

Patience: “My dream is to become an engineer. But my inner wish is to have food and some clothes to wear.”

Families like Twili’s need you now. Please contribute to our emergency fund today.

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(Photos: Izla Bethdavid Boltena/ADRA Sweden)