BETHLEHEM CHILDREN'S CARE CENTER - COVID-19
Tomato’s under Quarantine:
Located on two acres in the lush countryside of Western Kenya lays HOPE’s BETHLEHEM CHILDREN’S CARE CENTER.
This home was born in a climate of violence. The 2007-2008 Kenyan crisis was a political, economic, and humanitarian crisis that erupted after former President Kibaki was declared the winner of the December election. This resulted in the resurgence of ethnic tensions, political assassinations, destruction of property, and deaths by the hundreds. In the midst of this political storm Linet, who had been helping HOPE in another children’s home, became aware of children in the Kitale community who were orphaned by the violence. Through various means, each a story of it’s own, she gathered 9 children and sheltered them in her one-bedroom home.
HOPE helped Linet and the children in various ways but it became obvious that we would need to relocate. Within a year, we were able to purchase land and build a lovely home. Soon gardens, chickens, a borehole and cash crops followed. Over the years we have watched the children grow, sponsored the children in their education, developed a flourishing agricultural business under Joseph’s expertise and drill a productive borehole. All has been going well until COVID-19.
Like many nations of the world, Kenya went into lockdown. Here is the recent SOS sent from Linet describing the situation:
“We want to say our daily life style has totally changed. Yesterday the government of Kenya announced no more movements. If you are found on the streets or on the road you will face the law. Many Kenyans were beaten by police men yesterday for not getting back home by 6:00 pm. Again no business is running, all shops, market places were locked down last week, we at Bethlehem are facing the loss of not taking our tomatoes for sell. We tried to sell locally door to door and the local chief warned us, we were summoned with a letter. At these moment we will have to count our losses, the first sale would gave us 10,000 KSH. For sometime now we’ve had trouble with the health people. The market was ready to buy, the sales were promising but now that will have to wait.
Secondly the budget in the house has gone way up, all the kids in boarding schools are closed and are home with us, provision for three meals a day is more expensive than we thought. Please pray with us as we pray for you too that it shall be well soon.”
HOPE was able to step in quickly and help in two ways:
- With our COVID-19 EMERGENCY FUND, we ‘purchased’ their tomato crop valued at KSH 10,000 which amounts to $200
- We were able to share with them the method of ‘sun drying’ their vegetable crops. This was both new to them and a potential cash crop for the future.
We are asking our donors to “wash your hands and stay at home” but we would also ask you to consider helping us purchase food, reading books for our students and, yes, even tomatoes! ????