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Poverty in the midst of plenty

On the morning of 24th December, 2012, i had no reason to step out of my house in my local community but did and i overheard a group of women discussing. They were happy at the beginning of the discussion, then suddenly they all turned cold and the tone of the discussion changed to that of pity and sympathy that forced me to approach them and find out the sudden change of mood.

One of the women pointed to a house nearby and told me that one woman just gave birth to a baby boy and they were coming from there to see her. Given birth to a new life is good news and i was happy for the woman because she delivered safely and this was her third child. I went ahead to ask why the change in mood and i was informed that she has no food to eat. She was not working or trading and her husband out of the meager earning has paid her hospital bills and there was nothing left to feed the woman and her children.

I was moved, so i went to visit mother and child. lo and behold, the husband just came back from fetching water and they were talking about food when i knocked. After the brief visit, i went home and told my elder mate the story, we quickly rallied round and put together some food items which we sent to her and her family. i know that she has told me her story sometime ago before given birth to this third child but one has to be careful in taken up another persons family because a lot of things are ascribed to spiritism even when you had best of intentions.

You can imagine what it is like for a woman that just gave birth to be hungry and do not see any hope in the nearest future. Hunger is a deadly disease that can kill and two major lives are involved here - mother & her new born child.

This is one story out of so many. Women are suffering enduring hardship to bring up their children and so many are also having so many children even when it is glaringly obvious to them that they cannot feed them well and give them the best of education, they will go ahead to breed them.

I will want to get to educate women on given birth to only the number of children they know they can cater for without being misconstrued. there is so much poverty while our politicians and people at the top are stealing us dry instead of making available to the common man our quota of the largesse.


Riya's picture

Thank you for mobilizing the

Thank you for mobilizing the community and helping the family who are in much need. This is the reality of many people especially women around the world.Bringing another human being on the earth is a wonderful thing and I am glad to hear that the mother and new born are safe and healthy.

Even within a mist of poverty there is plenty thing we can do to help people and you have just shown the example!!!


otahelp's picture

thanks for the encouragment

Thank you Riya. We will continue to do our little bit to assist our sisters when we can.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Initiative
Lets keep the light shining

Phionah Musumba's picture

A Case in Point

Let me commend you for sharing this story in this forum. Where I come from, poverty, and here I mean abject poverty, is the order of the day. This is one of the core reasons why I founded the Centre for Disadvantaged Girls in my community. To tackle the hunger problem, we survive by sharing what we have with those that don't. Come the rainy season and everyone who's healthy and has a mouth and belly to feed joins everyone else as the plough their gardens for food.
Weeding and harvesting time calls for the same unity of purpose which ensures that since everyone works, no one goes without food. This has worked well for us since it becomes way much easier to take care of the poorest of the poor who include orphans when it comes to feeding.

Phionah Musumba
Founder/Executive Director
Malkia Foundation &
Centre for Disadvantaged Girls, Kenya
P.O Box 9461 - 00300,
Nairobi, Kenya
Facebook: Phionah Musumba
Twitter: @KenyaGals
LinkedIn: Phionah Musumba
Skype: phionah.anguzuzu.musumba

Indispensable Ede's picture

Its so sad

I am very glad to read this your story. I think its a rampant occurrence in our society. From the on-set, you see a man and a woman living from hand to mouth, having eight children. It is so sad because apart from the issue of Hunger and starvation that eventually leads to death and other ailments, we also see situations where the parents later take the female children out for prostitution and all forms of slave trade. Why cant we give birth to just one or two kids we can afford to cater for and give them quality education they deserve instead of subjecting them to suffering.
This issue needs to be addressed critically because now we have many medical centers that give free counseling on Family planning. I really wonder why these facilities are not being used.

otahelp's picture

its really a sad one

Centers for family planning has always been there but the major problem is how to reach the grassroot. a lot of these folks will not have the courage to work into such centers to make enquiries. so we need to use other ways / forums to reach them mostly one to one talks and councelling. that is what i feel will really help and also that we do not get misunderstood along the line because my people see children as a free gift from God and for that reason they continue to breed them and that is why they will not understand why a couple cannot have a child of their own after several trial. it is immediately attributed to spiritism and other things like that.

We will continue to try.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Initiative
Lets keep the light shining

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