Earlier this year, one of our newest partners, the Our AIM Foundation (OAF), requested grant funding from Bread and Water for Africa® to assist the organization in the construction of seven boreholes (water wells) in rural villages in Malawi.
OAF program manager Ishmael Kadango noted that hundreds of millions of people around the world, and especially in sub-Saharan African countries such as Malawi suffer illness, and even death, every year from easily preventable waterborne diseases.
“The world’s number-one killer is unsafe water,” notes Ishmael. “The child mortality rate is very high in Malawi due to unsafe water,” adding that 90 percent of the world’s deaths due to malaria is caused by a lack of clean water, and tragically one if five children in the country “do not live to see their 5th birthday because of malaria.”
While OAF and Bread and Water for Africa® have been working independently to dig wells and protect springs in sub-Saharan Africa, for the first time this year thanks to our supporters, we were able to team up with OAF to construct the boreholes in the Malawian villages.
Ishmael informed us that the boreholes would be constructed close to schools where students can be encouraged to practice safe hygiene, particularly in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The project will also prioritize communities which do not have access to drinking water,” he said. “Water and sanitation are basic, but essential human needs.”
Today, we are pleased to report that the seven boreholes, each serving a surrounding population of approximately 200 residents of villages including Chiputu, Chawala, Chaponda and four others.
While these seven projects have been completed, ensuring that an estimated 1,500 Malawians, primarily women and girls, will no longer have to several miles in each direction to fetch water, this is not the end of our budding relationship with OAF as we hope to continue our partnership to provide clean water to thousands more in 2022 and beyond.
“Now, hundreds have access to potable water right outside the door,” says Ishmael.
As is the case in the United States, in the past few months, countries in sub-Saharan Africa have been seeing an uptick in the numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
In July, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) reported that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Countries across sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing a third wave of the coronavirus disease pandemic, with the number of new weekly confirmed cases rising by more than 20 percent in 22 African countries.”
Contributing to the rise in cases is lack of adherence to COVID-19 mitigation measures and the spread of more contagious variants, WHO reports. And while the pace of vaccinations is increasing across the continent, less than 1 percent of Africa’s population is fully vaccinated.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reports that “COVID-19 is having devastating consequences on millions of children in sub-Saharan Africa, as many become orphaned, making them vulnerable to many social ills.
“The region is in the throes of a full-blown third wave of COVID-19,” UNICEF stated recently. “Children are often not directly affected by the deadly disease, but they are losing their parents to the pandemic.”
UNICEF spokesman James Elder noted that when children become orphaned, traditionally the responsibility of looking after them falls on their grandparents. However, as older people are among the main victims of COVID-19, “children are often shoveled off to another relative, who likely is living in dire, impoverished circumstances.”
In addition, millions of children have been unable to return to school since classes started resuming, and children who do not go to school are unprotected and open to exploitation,” he said. “COVID-19 has dealt a devastating blow to education.”
At Bread and Water for Africa®, we are not necessarily an emergency relief organization although during the pandemic, thanks to our supporters, we have been able to expand our programs by increasing shipments of medicines, medical supplies, and equipment to our partners who operate hospitals and clinics in countries including Cameroon and Sierra Leone.
Most recently, we shipped a 40-foot filled with personal protection equipment (PPE) such as isolation gowns, face masks, disposable gloves, and disinfectant spray to our partner in Cameroon, Hope Services, which operates a clinic in Yaoundé for the indigent, to keep their frontline medical staff safe as they risk their lives to save others.
And soon, we hope to ship a 40-foot container of medical supplies including catheters, PPE, surgical packs, wound care items, beds, examination tables, wheelchairs, and much more to our partner in Malawi, the Our AIM Foundation, where it operates its Holistic Community Center and “provides critical care and inspires hope” for more than 10,000 residents in more than 120 surrounding villages.
Realizing the critical need for clean water, especially now during the pandemic, we have been working harder than ever to protect spring sites from contamination in Uganda, repaired several non-functioning wells in Tanzania, and most recently are working to dig a well for a clinic in Sierra Leone.
And, as we have done for two decades, we are supporting children’s homes in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zambia, and Zimbabwe ensuring that hundreds of orphaned and destitute children with nowhere to turn have loving homes where all their basic needs are met, as well as the opportunity to attend school through our school fees assistance program.
None of this would be possible without the generous supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®, many who have been with us since the beginning, and whose continued help is needed now more than ever as we hope and pray for the end of this terrible pandemic which has wreaked havoc and brought misery around the world.
Dear Bread and Water for Africa® Inc. Family,
The passing of Adeline “Addy” Rose Krizek this past weekend has brought messages of grief from not only those who knew her well in her community of Alexandria, Virginia, where she was revered for her selfless service to Christian Relief Services Charities Inc. and many local nonprofits which she served as a volunteer, but also from sub-Saharan Africa.
Addy was the wife of Christian Relief Services Charities Inc. founder Gene Krizek and was by his side as secretary/treasurer on May 12, 1986, at the very first joint board meeting of the founding members of the organization with motto: “A Gentle Voice for Good.”
Over the years, Christian Relief Services Charites Inc. evolved into an umbrella organization for several nonprofit agencies, including Bread and Water for Africa® whose mission to provide a loving home, basic needs, an education, health care, clean water and more for orphaned and destitute children in countries including Cameroon, Kenya, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and elsewhere which she supported with all her heart.
I know she never forgot her trip on the Bread and Water for Africa® tour to Kenya where she was able to meet our international spokesperson, Phyllis Keino, founder and director of the Lewa Children’s Home, the “mother” to hundreds of orphaned and abandoned children. But more importantly for Addy was the joy she saw in the faces of the children who got three meals a day, a warm bed to sleep in every night and the opportunity to go to school because of Phyllis and the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®.
“Our friend and a mother to many Africa’s children, kindness was contagious and her memory will live on forever.”
“My deepest condolences to you and your family during this time. Gene, Paul and Bryan, Addy was an amazing woman, and she will truly be missed. I will always remember the special times we spent together in Eldoret, Kenya; pole pole ( sorry sorry).” Phyllis Keino
Upon hearing of her death, I heard from several of our partners expressing their sadness.
“Our hearts are very heavy and sad about the news of the passing of our ‘Mother of Africa,’ Mrs. Adeline Krizek, a Godly woman who together with our dear father, Mr. Gene Krizek, touched thousands and thousands of hearts, especially children,” wrote Margaret Makambira, founder and director of our longtime partner, Shinga Development Trust/Lerato Children’s Village in Zimbabwe.
“We in Mutare have enjoyed their faithful partnership for over 20 years now. Her vision has borne fruit to many young people who are now teachers, nurses, police officers and army personnel, to name but a few.”
“Her vision also helped to save many children who were starving, and she fed them.”
In Zambia, Angela Miyanda, founder and director of our longtime partner there, the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre, addressed Bryan Krizek, executive director of Christian Relief Services Charities and a son of Addy and Gene, writing “We in Zambia learnt of the death of your mother, and wife of Gene, with a lot of sadness.”
“We have all benefited from the kindness of your parents’ selfless love towards children in need,” she continued. “Our board, the children and caregivers are all praying for God’s comfort to you in your time of bereavement.”
“We will always love and appreciate your mother. The children at Kabwata have made it today because of the love of the Krizek founders and family. To Gene, I say let God be your peace. The joy of God will be your strength.”
“Sleep well Aunt Addy.
From Cameroon, Esther Ndichafah, founder and director of Hope Services, wrote to express her condolences.
“This is so sad! May the Lord comfort Papa Krizek, her family, and her extended family which is Christian Relief Services and Bread and Water for Africa® “
From Sierra Leone, our longtime partner the Rev. Francis A.M. Mambu, founding and director of Faith Healing Development Organization, wrote: “I am sorry to hear of the passing away of Addy Krizek. On behalf of FHDO, we send our condolences to Mr. Krizek, their children, Christian Relief Services and Bread and Water for Africa®. “
“This is a great loss to the continent of Africa, and especially Sierra Leone. May her gentle soul rest in perfect peace.”
As Executive Director of Bread and Water for Africa®, it was my great honor to have known her personally, share in how her kind heart and humanitarian work on behalf of people she would need meet – especially the orphaned children and expecting young women and mothers with children under five, among the most vulnerable people in the world.
Her life can be summed up in one of my favorite verses from the Bible: “Many daughters have done nobly. But you excel them all.” – Proverbs 31:29.
Bread and Water for Africa®
Since 1967, the United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) International Literacy Day has taken place on September 8 to remind the public of the importance of being able to read and write as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance literacy around the world.
And this year this theme — “Literacy for a human-centered recovery: Narrowing the digital divide” is as important as ever.
Bread and Water for Africa® has strived to help bridge the digital divide by provide computers to schools in Kenya, Zambia, and Sierra Leone which have the means – electricity and broadband – to be able to utilize them.
But for more than 20 years we have been shipping tens of thousands of books to sub-Saharan African countries such as Ethiopia and Uganda through our partnership with Books for Africa.
For example, through that partnership, we have shipped 22,000 books which were distributed by our partner in Uganda, Bega kwa Bega (Shoulder to Shoulder), to 177 schools where they benefited an estimated 54,800 students and nearly 2,300 classroom teachers.
Our partner in Ethiopia, Haramaya University sponsors more than 50 high schools with a total attendance of nearly 27,000 students who are eager to get more books.
The books make a huge difference in the lives of these young men and women – just ask Getahum Miliyon, principal of the Haramaya University Model School, one of the best in the country, who reported following our previous shipment that EVERY SINGLE GRADUATING STUDENT passed their university entrance exam, crediting the new textbooks being a major factor in their success.
“This is impossible without the support of Bread and Water for Africa®, he told us.
In addition to providing the books which benefit tens of thousands of students, Bread and Water for Africa® promotes literacy for children in countries program including Cameroon, Chad, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zambia, and Zimbabwe through our school fee support program enabling hundreds to attend school every year where they learn to read and write, and getting the education they need to become successful, self-sufficient adults.
At Bread and Water for Africa®, we don’t just want to give a man (or woman) a bag of rice to eat for a week or two and then go hungry again, we want him to learn to grow it, and how to sell it, in order to build a life of self-sufficiency for himself and his family.
Such is the case through our food self-sustainability program with our partner the Rural Youth Development Organization-Sierra Leone (RYDO-SL).
Earlier this year, RYDO-SL program director Joseph Kobba reached out to us requesting funding for vegetable and crops production training for 75 impoverished women and youth to help them establish self-help income generating projects by training them in entrepreneurial and business management skills, as well as providing them with modest grants to help them achieve their dream.
“Food security in rural communities is a means of saving lives, improving nutrition, investing in women and youth, and laying a foundation for development and prosperity,” reported Joseph.
Among those who are benefiting from the program is 28-year-old Alusine who lives in the village of Ngehun Songa near the city of Bo who had to drop out of secondary school because there was no one to pay his school fees following the death of both his parents during the Ebola virus outbreak in the country in 2014-2015.
Knowing of his struggles, Alusine was contacted by RYDO-SL staff in their efforts to register vulnerable youths for the Bread and Water for Africa® COVID-19 support program.
“I am now a proud farmer because I can now grow rice on a large scale that can feed my brothers and sisters,” says Alusine. “Farming is very expensive work, but the support I received from Bread and Water for Africa® has helped me to take a big step forward.
Alusine also wants the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® to know that their gifts have not just been of great help to himself and his siblings “but a blessing for my community.
“Thanks be to God for the farming tools and training I got from the COVID-19 relief program. My first harvest surplus is this year, and I am selling it in the community I love.”