Today, there are more than 100 orphaned and destitute children who call the Karen Baird Children’s Home (KBCH) in Sierra Leone “my home” – for many the only true home they have ever known.
The children, such as Fatmata, Joseph, Stella, Maima, live safe and secure there with all their basic needs met in an abundance of love from the caring staff who treat them as if they are “their” children, which in many ways, they are.
And while the KBCH administrators do all they are able on their own to feed the more than 100 children in their care, they cannot do it alone.
Of course, their primary responsibility is to ensure the children receive three healthy, filling meals every single day, something that many orphaned children in the country can only dream of and hope for.
The elders of the village in Moriba Town have done their part to assist the children’s home in the care of their community’s most vulnerable by providing the KBCH with about 250 acres to establish a large-scale farming operation to cultivate rice and cassava (both staple foods of the country) to feed the children and support the home’s operations – eventually leading ultimately to self-sufficiency.
But farming such a large tract of land requires a modern tractor and agricultural equipment for tilling, planting and harvesting, something that would be impossible for the home to acquire on its own.
However, thanks to a generous supporter of Bread and Water for Africa®, we have acquired gently-used Ford tractor (that is not so complicated that it can’t be serviced and maintained in Sierra Leone) just waiting to be shipped to the country – not an easy task these days with the international shipping delays and supply chain issues still plaguing the world.
We remain hopeful and determined that with the help of our supporters – and a bit of good fortune – that this month we will be able to pack a 40-food shipping container with the tractor and its accessories, and other assorted items so desperately needed in the impoverished country and ship it out this month.
As Rev. Francis Mambu, director of our longtime partner there, Faith Healing Development Organization, which oversees the operations of the KBCH, puts it:
“The home survives through donations from charity organizations including Bread and Water for Africa®.
“Due to the economic situation in the country and the district, feeding more than 100 children is a huge challenge.
“Farming is the main source of sustenance and income for the rural people of Sierra Leone, and it is at subsistence level.
“The old primitive agricultural practices that persist to date are mostly as a result of a lack of farming capital to adopt and engage in modernized capital-intensive farming methods that increase production and food self-sufficiency.”
At Bread and Water for Africa® we are doing all we can to help alleviate this troubling issue for the children’s home, and shipping a tractor will be a major step in that direction.