How massive locust swarms are devastating millions in East Africa
Massive swarms of desert locusts are devouring crops across east Africa, fueling fears of a major food crisis.
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It’s thanks to people like you that we are able to save lives, and we are so grateful for your generosity.
At Concern, we witness the difference your support makes to the world’s poorest communities on a daily basis, and it’s truly humbling. But don’t just take our word for it – see how the lives of people like Yasmiin, Alex, Nyakoun and Nyayany have been transformed by your unwavering kindness.
You only have to look at these two photos of five-year-old Yasmiin* from Somalia to see the very tangible difference that your support has made to her health and well being. In March 2017, she arrived at a Concern emergency nutrition clinic in Mogadishu with her mum, Aamiina Hassan*. As you can see, little Yasmiin was emaciated and distraught, weighing just 27lbs.
With your support, our team kicked into action to treat her. Aamiina was given on-the-spot training in how to feed her with a special high nutrition food supplement and told to return to the clinic for weekly checkups over the following two months. Happily, Yasmiin responded well to the emergency feeding programme and then to our follow-up supplementary regimen. After 11 weeks, she weighed close to what a healthy young girl of her age should, and her child-like appetite for life had returned. Yasmiin's joyful smile and healthy, beaming face in the second photo say it all.
When extreme drought came to Kenya, so did your kindness – bringing Alex’s family everything they needed to survive. Alex’s daughter, Kame, was malnourished. She’d beg for food first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Alex was heartbroken that he had nothing to feed her and that she was clearly suffering.
But since we began supporting Alex’s family with cash transfers for food, he has seen “big changes” in his children. Alex’s family now eat three meals a day, which he says has given his children their spark back. Now they have the energy to run around and play.
He told us: “Now they are happy, they smile and laugh.”
Alex is working to replace the livestock he lost during the drought and earn a living again. He is incredibly grateful for the help he’s received: “Concern didn’t drive past our village, Concern came in and sat with us, listened to what the problems were and responded. Thank you.”
When Nyakoun and her two children fled violence in South Sudan, they found safety across the border, in a camp supported by Concern. Nyakoun told us: “When we crossed the border I knew that we were safe. I knew that we would survive.”
Her baby boy, Thujin, was suffering from malaria. His condition was so severe that he couldn’t eat, leaving him malnourished and in urgent need of therapeutic food. Thankfully, your support enabled us to provide him with nutrient-dense therapeutic food, which helped him regain his strength.
And for his older sister, Knyakotar, you helped to provide a special cereal made of corn soya bean mixed with oil and sugar. It’s nutritious and filling – giving children like Knyakotar the energy they need to play and concentrate in school.
Since arriving at a refugee camp in Ethiopia, Nyayany has learnt so much about growing crops – thanks to the kindness of people like you. Nyayany and her children have now lived in the camp for five years. It’s their home and will be for the foreseeable future, which is why your gifts have been used to help make it a better place to live.
At first we supported Nyayany with food rations, but recently we’ve helped her grow most of her family’s food – something she’s very proud of.
You helped to give Nyayany seeds, tools like watering cans and hoes along with all the training she needed to start farming the land. She now grows lots of different nutritious crops, and has already harvested her okra, carrots and chard. She told us: “I feel happy because I’m planting vegetables. I can take them, and then I can sell them in order to buy what I need.”
She remembers what it was like to have nothing to feed her children when they cried with hunger. It is such a relief to know they now get three healthy meals a day and even attend school and get an education.
Your generous support throughout 2017 made our life-saving work possible. But with many humanitarian challenges ahead in 2018, we need your support more than ever to help eradicate poverty, build resilience and save lives.
*Names changed for security purposes.