From the capital city slums of Zambia, to the remotest villages, three words bring instant recognition, joy and gratitude: Feed-The-Hungry.
Our Director of Ministry Programs, Roger Walterhouse, went to Zambia to see how our new partner, African Vision of Hope, was faring during these tough times.
They feed 3,500 children in five schools. They also have two halfway houses for boys and girls escaping crises like trafficking or modern slavery.
Roger visited three of the schools, currently closed due to the pandemic.
One school opened for the day, giving the children a chance to show off their school uniforms and their musical talent. “We walked into the classroom,” Roger relates, “and a quartet of girls started singing a praise and worship song. It was the best singing I’ve ever heard.”
As Roger, his colleagues and hosts went from classroom to classroom, he says, “The kids saw Feed The Hungry on my shirt and broke out clapping!
They were jumping up and hugging us, saying, ‘Thank you, thank you!’ We were treated like kings.”
He tells us the schools he visited, both in the villages and in the slum of Katiki-tiki, were “the best we’ve seen in Africa.” When schools closed, hot daily meals for the children ended and our partners began taking Manna Packs of fortified rice to the children’s homes.
There, Roger learned that many families, despite their extreme poverty, take in orphaned children.
Esther, a 68-year-old widow, shares her one-room home with 14 boys, some of them her grandsons and great-grandsons. Esther made a meager living breaking rocks into gravel. Now, even that source of income is gone.
When Roger asked Esther how she and her boys had survived these past months, she simply pointed at the Feed The Hungry logo on his shirt. In the village of Chongway, Roger came across a farmer planting sweet potatoes.
Through a translator, Roger learned that the farmer, Joseph, and his extended family had been on the brink of starvation during a severe drought.
Killing off most of his crops, the family endured months of food insecurity. Until it became a daily struggle to find a single meal for his children.
And then, just as all hope for any sort of survival had pretty much faded, FTH turned up with emergency rations of fortified rice packs. Enough to sustain him until he could replant his crops.
“When I met Joseph, his wife and family (pictured above) they were happy and things were much better in their lives at this point”, recalls Roger, “But I was unprepared for what happened once Joseph realised who he was talking with”.
Joseph fell down on his knees, grabbed the legs of Roger, and said, ‘You saved my family’s lives!’ Tears were running down his face.”
To these children and their families, your generosity is truly an answer to prayer.
Even those who understand little English know what “Feed The Hungry” means when they see or hear it.
Director of Ministry Programs