Plight of mothers
01 May 17
Eighteen year-old Sarah is seven months pregnant and lives in a small town near Juba. Her son, Izeil, aged two, is malnourished.
“My husband and I are day labourers but at the moment there is no work because of the drought. We have a hard time. We don’t have anything to eat except from what other people give to us. I hope the rains will start soon.”
Mary Wachira, Caritas Project Coordinator Kenya says “It’s quite bad when you don’t have water and don’t have food. It’s quite hard, you wake up in the morning and you don’t know when you’re going to get your next meal. You don’t know where you’re going to get water. So they’re surviving on wild foods. Those who can be able to go to the forest and they can bring them and eat and at least survive for that day so that is how they are.”
Sarah, 18, and her two-year-old son Izeil. Ilvy Njiokiktjien, Cordaid.
We are lucky to be part of the Caritas family because whatever we do whether it be big or small, it goes to the most vulnerable people.
Every mother wants to be able to take care of their children’s basic needs. However, in countries across East Africa, mothers are finding it difficult to provide food, water, shelter, medication and even to send their children to school.
Women and children might walk for weeks in search of food and water. They have lost their livestock, water sources have dried up and they have nothing left to survive on,
With livelihoods destroyed or under threat, families can often no longer afford school fees. There is also no food for them to take for lunch.
“Even if your child was going to school, now you can’t go because if they don’t have food, unless there is a feeding program…if you send a child to school on an empty stomach, will they understand anything anyway?” says Mary Wachira, Caritas Project Coordinator Kenya.
“We are lucky to be part of the Caritas family because whatever we do whether it be big or small, it goes to the most vulnerable people. To the children, to the pregnant mothers and the like,”
Mary Wachira says that the Caritas network tries to cover as many places as possible.
“Simply because we work through the Catholic dioceses within their country. That’s why we are able to meet the very basic needs of the people at the grassroots level.”
“We are very grateful for the support that the Australian public have given to the people of South Sudan and they are able to meet their very basic needs and they are able to live a life of dignity,” Mary says.