As I sit here in Pottersbury, it is difficult to imagine how difficult life can be in rural Kenya. It can feel like the ‘land that time forgot’ in many ways.
The $500 billion, plus, given to Africa in the last 60 years has in many ways only made things worse for the people - more are starving than ever before. In Kenya there is
90 % unemployment
78 % live in rural area’s, most on less than £1 a day. No harvest…no income!
70 % of food is produced through subsistence farming
1 in 3 are malnourished
Life expectancy - 62 years
As the saying goes if you ‘give a man a fish you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’.
Vast quantities of aid builds dependance rather than independence and self-sufficiency. From what I’ve seen, education and knowledge empower people to help themselves. Only Africans can solve Africas problems. Only Kenyans can solve Kenyas problems. They do need help, but the right kind of help.
It’s easy to take for granted having an education - I know I do. Having access to training when I need it. To the internet. Even the library if I want to learn something new.
But…’you don’t know what you don’t know’. What if you genuinely didn’t know that you could improve your life? What if you had lived as you do all your life, and nothing had ever changed - certainly not for the better. Given food aid…but not taught how to feed yourself?
Living day to day. Walking 3km for water. Working the land with nothing but a machete.
The Bible says that ‘My people perish for a lack of knowledge’…..and in Ol Rangai village, in the Rift Valley in Kenya, that was certainly true.
At PottersHeart we believe in helping people to help themselves. We especially believe in helping those who genuinely want to help themselves. Our work is small scale, its relatively low cost…but its effective. The villagers develop their own solutions as a result of the training we provide.
Through our partners, our hands and feet on the ground, we support the implementation. It’s important for us to know that there is a genuine return on the investment we, with your invaluable support, are able to make there.
Our stories are of lives transformed through the application of basic principles…a lot of hard work…and HUGE levels of ownership!