29 April-3 May 2013
Want to do something different to support Christian Aid Week?
1.4 billion people live on less than £1 a day. We’re asking you to put yourself in their shoes by living off £1 for food and drink for five days.
It will be tough but it can be a profound, rewarding experience and the money you raise from your challenge will help some of the world’s poorest communities lift themselves out of poverty.
Eustace Njeru, a farmer, lives in Mbeere South, Kenya, in an area where the climate is dry and unforgiving.
The difficult weather conditions mean his family often do not have enough to feed themselves; during dry periods, they just eat enough to stay alive.
Eustace is frustrated by the lack of information and training that holds him back from feeding his family.
Recalling their most recent experience of severe food shortages, he says: 'I was feeling hungry in my stomach and at the same time troubled in my heart as I knew there wasn’t enough to eat.
'There’s not enough rainfall. When you prepare for the rains they don’t come, and then when they do, they come when you’re not prepared, so the harvest is poor.'
SALI (Sustainable Agricultural Livelihood Initiative), a Christian Aid partner, has just expanded into this area and Eustace has joined them.
SALI provide SMS texts to farmers with the local weather forecast, allowing them to plan and make decisions about their crops.
They also provide training and advice about how farmers can adapt their farming to avoid the disastrous effects of coping with little rainfall for their harvest. The benefits of SALI have already been seen in other parts of Mbeere, Kenya.
The project brings hope to Eustace: 'If I knew how the weather would be, in cases where there is going to be little rainfall, I would plant early. If I plant early, let’s say in September, by December there would be something to eat when there has been little rainfall.
'But if I plant in November, when the rains are expected, and there is then little rain, we may have nothing to eat in December, and in January, too.'
With help from brilliant Christian Aid supporters like you, we can continue to fund projects like this and help people like Eustace make a better life for his family.
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More on Christian Aid Week
Our wonderful Christian Aid Week cartoons are by Dave Walker: www.cartoonchurch.com, facebook.com/cartoonchurch, @davewalker