Any child living anywhere in the world is destined for a life of poverty without an education.

Nowhere is that more true than in sub-Saharan Africa which in no way could be described as “a land of opportunity” for those who can’t read or write, add or subtract of have a general knowledge of the world.

Theirs is a life of struggle and despair with no hope for anything better in their life than to labor hard – if they are fortunate enough to find work – eat for a day, and have a place to sleep for the night.

That’s why Bread and Water for Africa® provides funding for school fees and school uniforms for hundreds of children each year in several African countries.

For example, in Cameroon, our partner there Hope Services, enables deserving children whose greatest wish in the world is to go to school with funding provided by supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®.

This year, Hope Services Director Esther Ndichafah expects to enable more than 200 underprivileged children including orphans and what she calls “persecuted children” to go to school, giving them their only chance for success in life.

Her mission, she says, is to give “the underprivileged the same opportunities to be educated like others” and helping transform “poor children into established self-reliant individuals” by encouraging academic excellence.

At Bread and Water for Africa® Esther’s mission is our mission. We strongly believe that education is not a key to success, it is THE key to success.

In the villages of Bangolan and Babungo in Cameroon, as well as Lolo in Chad, secondary school tuition is extremely inexpensive compared to what it costs to educate a child in the United States.

That is unless you are a poor orphan and then it may as well be $1 million.

In Kenya, Bread and Water for Africa® provides funding for secondary school students living at the affiliated Lewa Children’s Home as well as sponsored children in the local community.

Stella Keino of the Lewa Children’s Home stated that by providing school fees for orphans living at Lewa and others “This benefits the Eldoret community and the country as a whole.”

Stella sees short term, medium term and long term outcomes for the students.

In the short term, children will be able to go directly to high school without any disruption to their education with funding for the school fees in place from the start of the school year to the end.

In the medium term, children will be able to attend all the years of high school without worry of how they will pay their school fees year after year.

And in the long term, the students will be able to attain a higher education than they otherwise might not have been able to “and develop themselves to be better citizens.”

In Zimbabwe, working with our partner there, Margaret Makambira, director of Shinga Development Trust, 30 primary school students and 20 secondary school students, will benefit from our school fee support program.

Margaret firmly believes, as do we, that an educated population will empower the nation, build healthy communities and lead to a long-term goal of self-sufficiency as she works to eradicate illiteracy in her community, one child at a time.

The result of our efforts – all of us, Bread and Water for Africa®, our grassroots partners working every day to better the lives of children in the communities, and you, our supporters who make it all possible – is that today hundreds of children are in school instead of the streets, and tomorrow they will have a bright future, leading the way for thousands to follow.

All because of our supporters, Bread and Water for Africa 2016 highlights include:

  • School construction completed in Cameroon
  • 74 orphaned children found a loving home in Kenya
  • 1,006 students received primary and secondary school education in Sierra Leone
  • 146 children in foster care received food support and assistance with school fees in Zambia
  • 207 children benefited from an orphan feeding program in Zimbabwe

Watch here how successful 2016 has been thus far!

Bread and Water for Africa® is proud to announce that the construction of the Hope Academy primary school Cameroon is completed and its doors have just opened to students eager to begin a brand new school year in a brand new school building.

Last year, construction began on the K-5 school building, with more classrooms to come, and we couldn’t be more pleased to hear from school President Julius Esunge that the 130 children who have enrolled now have the opportunity for a quality education.

“We are excited that this dream is coming to fruition,” he added.

And so are we here at Bread and Water for Africa®. There is nothing we love doing more than seeing a person with a dream to help others – literally making the world a better place – realize their dream.

You can see for yourself the smiles on the faces of the happy children who can now rejoice as they too are realizing their dream, a dream of an education and a successful future.

Watch here:

On December 9, 1988, nearly 30 years ago, the Board of Directors of Bread and Water for Africa® took up, and approved, the matter of providing support for a little orphanage in a town called Eldoret in Kenya.

The rest, as they say, is history.

From that day forward, Bread and Water for Africa® has been committed to providing help to Africa’s most vulnerable residents – its orphaned and abandoned children who without such assistance would likely have a short life struggling to survive on the streets of villages and towns with no one to care for them, no one to protect them.

It’s likely that no one on the board of the directors that day had any inkling that they were taking the very first step towards what that little orphanage would result into what is today – the Lewa Children’s Home, which has provided a safe sanctuary for hundreds, if not thousands, of little Kenyan boys and girls.

It’s also likely that not even Phyllis Keino herself, founder of Lewa, could have predicted that today that when she took a few children into her home, then constructed what was then a small orphanage to handle the overflow, that now these children, many who have grown into successful adulthood, would all be calling her “mama.”

Since that time beginning with Phyllis, our long-time international spokesperson, Bread and Water for Africa® has expanded our support of orphan care programs to other countries including Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In Zambia, working with our partner Angela Miyanda, director of the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre, we are able to provide a loving home for dozens of orphans, many of who are victims of the AIDS crisis in the country having lost both parents to the deadly disease, and even more tragically, some even born with the virus.

In Zimbabwe, working with our partner Margaret Makambira, director of the Shinga Development Trust, we provide support for a feeding program for orphans in foster care and it is our hope is that one day we will be able to construct an orphanage there similar to Lewa and Kabwata in partnership with Shinga.

We cannot express how proud we are and how fortunate we feel to be able to work side by side by caring, loving women such as Phyllis, Angela and Margaret who care more about the most defenseless in their communities than they do about themselves.

And to think, thousands of children have been rescued, and likely hundreds from possible death on the streets, all because a few men and women sitting around a table in the United States cast a vote for life for the children of Africa.

Access to clean, safe and unpolluted water is a valuable commodity in many places in sub-Saharan Africa. It is estimated that 90 percent of all serious illnesses in Africa can be linked to contaminated water and poor sanitation.

fhdo-rutile-sl-2016-6-orphanage-wellFor decades, Bread and Water for Africa® has made providing access to clean water a key priority by digging wells, ensuring that thousands in the surrounding community no longer have to walk miles fetching water, and literally risking their lives drinking it.

Such was the case in the community of Rutile in Sierra Leone where years ago, working our local partner there, Faith Healing Development Organization, we were able to fund the construction of a well on the grounds of an orphanage providing safe water for all.

But that was before the mining operation “whose activities have resulted in the pollution of all source of drinking water” arrived, we were told by FHDO Executive Director Rev. Francis Mambu.

Sierra Leone is one of the leading producers of bauxite, an aluminum ore and the world’s main source of aluminum, and nearby mining operations have caused the water to be unusable.

However, there is hope. It is possible that with a processing plant, the contaminated water in the well can be filtered and packaged into what are known in the country as plastic “sachets” which can contain between 8 and 12 ounces of water.

water-sachets“These sachets are commonly bought and sold in all of the markets and streets throughout the country,” said Rev. Mambu who is proposing, with the support of Bread and Water for Africa®, to construct such a plant to not only restore access to safe, unpolluted drinking water for the community, but also provide a means of support to the orphanage where the well is located.

“From all indications, this project will be a lucrative one that will greatly sustain itself due to the demands of clean water in our mining communities, especially now that the dry season is about to begin,” Rev. Mambu told us.

The estimated cost for the processing plant is $16,000, and we at Bread and Water for Africa® are committed to supporting the project in the knowledge that not only will the processing plant restore safe water to those in the village of Rutile, it will also provide much-needed income to the orphanage so that orphaned children in the community will have a home to go to for years to come when there is nowhere else for them to turn.

Education is the future of Africa

Ethiopian classroomWhile we strive to ensure African children have proper nutrition and access to clean water, we also realize they will likely not get far in life without an education. To that end, Bread and Water for Africa® has partnered with Books for Africa for years to ship books to primary and secondary school in Ethiopia. In the past two years, we have shipped nearly 50,0000 books to Sierra Leone and Ethiopia and plans are underway to ship another 20,000 more to Ethiopia in the next few months.

Our partner in Ethiopia, Harmaya University, sponsors more than 50 high schools with a total attendance of nearly 27,000 students who are eager to get more books. The high school students in Ethiopia will benefit more from these books since all the subjects in the secondary schools are taught in English.

This initiative is in line with our mission to promote literacy for African children in the strong belief education aren’t just an investment in the future of Africa – education is the future of Africa.

When the books soon arrive in Ethiopia after weeks of crossing the sea on a cargo ship, scores of young Ethiopian scholars will be able to read new books made possible through your generosity. Supporting programs like this give thousands a chance at a better life and future.

Book Shipment

A recent report in the Concord Times of Sierra Leone confirms what we already knew here at Bread and Water for Africa® — that cassava, along with maize, has been identified “as two of the main pillars of West Africa’s food security that could form the backbone for a thriving agro-industry in the sub-region.”

That’s why we are working with our partner in Sierra Leone, Faith Healing Development Organization (FHDO), to construct a plant to process cassava into flour, known as gari, which is a food staple in the country. 

As FHDO Executive Director Rev. Francis Mambu explains, FHDO will provide 500 female farmers with cassava seedlings to plant on their small tracts of land, who will then sell the mature cassava root to FHDO, which will process the cassava into gari. Then the women will purchase the gari in bulk at wholesale prices which they can sell at their local markets – effectively making two profits on the same  product.

 The study recently released by the Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Fund for Agricultural Development entitled “Rebuilding West Africa’s Food Potential” pointed out that countries in West Africa such as Sierra Leone, one of the poorest in the world, “can realize full agricultural potential if they boost productivity, foster competitiveness and ensure than small-scale farmers have greater access to markets.”

And that is exactly what FHDO with help from our supporters here at Bread and Water for Africa® is working to accomplish.

Read more at http://slconcordtimes.com/maize-cassava-identified-as-west-africas-food-security-pillars/

Rev. Francis Mambu puts it this way: “Access to safe drinking water is a challenge. Presently, the community does not have a running tap.

“The school children travel far distances to fetch water which is really affecting their education.”

Not to mention putting their health and their very lives at risk by being forced to drink water from unsafe sources such as streams, ponds – even puddles in the middle of a muddy unpaved road – risking cholera, dysentery, Typhoid fever and parasites by sipping just even a mouthful.

But what other choice do these girls and their families have?

In 2015, Bread and Water for Africa® provided funding to Rev. Mambu’s organization, Faith Healing Development Organization, to dig a well at a school at the community known as Waterloo in Sierra Leone.

And right now, today, Bread and Water for Africa® is in the process of digging a well in the community of Hill Station which is scheduled to be completed by the end of March.

Imagine, children, primarily little girls who spend their days walking miles back and forth carrying as much water they can put on the their heads will instead be able to go to school.

And, they and their families won’t have to risk serious illness, and even death, drinking water from questionable sources.

Last fall, Bread and Water for Africa® was successful in applying for a $10,000 grant from the Neilom Foundation at the University of Maryland College Park to dig a well at Hill Station. A New Well for Hill Station, Sierra Leone.

Not only will the well serve the Imatt Primary School where it is to be located, allowing children to remain in school instead of fetching water and not taking a life-or-death chance every time they take a drink of water, but thousands of families will also be assured of clean, safe, uncontaminated water for drinking, cooking, washing and bathing – all from just one single well.

 

Bread and Water for Africa® has been awarded a $10,000 grant by the Neilom Engineering for Social Change Fund to build a water well in Sierra Leone.

The grant is being made available through the Neilom Foundation and the Center for Engineering Concepts Development in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, in partnership with the Center for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Leadership in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland College Park.

“Our name reflects our highest priority to bring clean water to families, clinics, schools and entire communities,” stated Bread and Water for Africa® Executive Director Bethelhem Tessema, who noted that Bread and Water for Africa®, through partnerships with grassroots organizations in Africa, has provided water wells for tens of thousands of people in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Zambia and Sierra Leone.

The $10,000 grant funding will go towards building a hand pump water well to serve the Hill Station Primary and Secondary Schools as well as the surrounding community in Freetown, Sierra Leone. We will commit matching funds of $5,092 to fully meet to the total project costs of $15,092.

In 2015, we established a goal of building three wells in Sierra Leone, a country still recovering from the Ebola outbreak of 2014, by June 2016. The first of the three wells, in the community of Waterloo, is soon to be completed.

Bread and Water for Africa® has established a goal of building a total of three wells in Sierra Leone, still recovering from the Ebola outbreak of 2014 which continued into 2015, for FY 2016. The first well, in the community of Waterloo, is soon to be completed.

The Neilom Grant money, combined with the matching funds contributed by Bread and Water for Africa®, will make it possible to complete the second well early in 2016.

We will administer the grant with its partner, Faith Healing Development Organization (FHDO), of Freetown , Sierra Leone, which have worked as partners for more than 10 years. Weather permitting, the construction of the new well could begin as soon as January and be completed by the end of March.

The need for such a well in Sierra Leone is great. The vast majority of the population does not have access to safe and clean water and nearly half of the population uses unprotected water as their primary source for drinking, bathing and washing.

We are extremely grateful to the Neilom Engineering for Social Change Fund for recognizing the need for a well in this community that will benefit thousands and literally save lives.

On behalf of these thousands, we say “Tenki” (“Thank You” in Krio, the national language of Sierra Leone).