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September News from Bread and Water for Africa® Relief after Cyclone Idai, a visit to our partners, and more!

This month, we have wonderful news to report. In Zimbabwe, thanks to our supporters, nearly 1,000 schoolchildren were fed for an entire month following a tragic cyclone that killed hundreds and left thousands homeless. Also, thanks to their generosity, we were able to provide the funding necessary to repair or replace several of the latrines destroyed in the storm. In addition, this month our executive director reports on her field visit to Kenya and Uganda, and we express our support for the mission of this month’s International Literacy Day.

Bread and Water for Africa® Supporters Provide Emergency Relief Following Cyclone in Zimbabwe

Last March, catastrophic Cyclone Idai devastated portions of Zimbabwe, leaving hundreds dead and many more missing.

“In some parts of these regions whole families were swept away by the water that had flooded the rivers or were submerged in mud and rock slides,” reported Margaret Makambira , executive director of Shinga Development Trust, a longtime partner of Bread and Water for Africa®.

“Due to the devastation, most families lost part of their houses with some losing their crops,” she told us. “In this regard, most families now had to rely on handouts from well-wishers for survival.”

In the aftermath of the terrible storm, Margaret learned of a school in the area known as Chipinge which had suffered extensive damage. Worse yet, the people living in the surrounding community had nothing to eat.

With emergency grant funding from Bread and Water for Africa®, 946 students were fed for an entire month.

As for the school itself, latrines had been destroyed and Angela turned to us for help. New latrines were constructed, providing reliable sanitation facilities for hundreds students and their teachers.

“We have averted a health hazard that could have emanated from a lack of proper and adequate toilets,” said Margaret .

“In time of need, Bread and Water for Africa® has once again come to the aid for Africa, particularly Zimbabwe.”

Executive Director Visits Partners in Kenya and Uganda

Bread and Water for Africa® Executive Director Beth Tessema recently returned from an extended visit to Kenya to meet with Phyllis Keino, our international spokesperson and founder and director of the Lewa Children’s Home, to evaluate its progress and conduct a needs assessment.

From there, Beth visited Uganda where she evaluated forming potential new partnerships with children’s homes and brought Phyllis with her “because she knows how children’s homes should be managed and can quickly evaluate whether there is a good standard of care at a children’s home.”

While she was in the country, she also visited our current partner Bega kwa Bega (Shoulder to Shoulder). In the past two years, we have provided 44,000 books to Bega kwa Bega, which has distributed them to 120 impoverished rural schools and benefited more than 15,000 students.

In addition, Beth visited its organic farming training center and came away very impressed.

“The Bega kwa Bega program is a great example of how food self-sustainability at a grassroots level benefits family and, eventually, whole communities,” Beth commented. “It is always true that when every family’s needs are met at the grassroots level, the whole community changes.”

Bread and Water for Africa® Supports the Mission of International Literacy Day

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) International Literacy Day, celebrated annually on 8 September, is an opportunity for governments, civil society and stakeholders to highlight improvements in world literacy rates, and reflect on the world's remaining literacy challenges.

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals promotes, as part of its agenda, universal access to quality education and learning opportunities throughout people’s lives. One of its targets is to ensure all young people achieve literacy and numeracy and that adults who lack these skills are given the opportunity to acquire them.

We have been working for years to provide tens of thousands of children in sub-Saharan Africa with the education they need to learn to read and write. We have also helped them fulfill their greatest wish of progressing through primary and secondary school with our school fee support program.

Without an education, these children would be doomed to a life of menial labor, struggling to feed their families and themselves.

“Today I am able to work because I was sent to school,” said Kangwa, one of those thousands who is a successful data entry clerk in Zambia. “It’s a big achievement for me because most people would love to work in such a place!”