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Fasting for a cause

 

As a family, we never used to fast from eating. In fact, our home is filled with people who have a hobby in consuming large amounts of food, especially my brothers and I. We earned the nickname ‘night runners’ from our father because of the way we always would sneak into the kitchen at night for a midnight snack without making a sound. My brothers are 7, 11 and 17 while I am in my third year at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

When the lockdown began, my parents were obliged to do a larger amount of shopping than usual to stock up food that would last for some months. Consequently, our eating habits grew with each passing day until May 2020 when we began to hear stories of those who were struggling out there.

I recall the news story of the woman who would boil stones as a way to convince her children that there was food, and it broke our hearts. There was no day that would pass us by without us hearing a new devastating story of the starvation that was going on with the rise in unemployment.

My mother, together with a group of friends came up with a way they could stretch out a helping hand in the best way they could. They had decided to begin an initiative known as ‘Adopt A Family’ that involved back-to-back donation. I would illustrate it this way:

Person A from who is from County 1 can reach out to person B from county 5, a friend or a relative and use them to identify a family in that county and donate money to them through person B. Similarly, person B will also reach out to person A to find a family from county 1 and donate money through them. No individual is allowed to disclose the name of the family in need or the donor. Therefore, each member of the initiative would donate to an anonymous family and those families in need would receive help from an anonymous donor.

She sat us down as a family and shared the idea of the initiative with us and gave a suggestion that each of us should contribute some money to it through fasting once a week. We chose to do this every Friday. By fasting for 8 hours (morning to evening) each person would save about 200 shillings, an amount equivalent to that spent on breakfast and lunch and at the end of the day we would put together what we had and send it off.

At first it was not easy for any of us who were used to three meals a day, but with time we eventually got used to it. It was a rule in my family, but it slowly morphed into a norm. We have carried out this initiative for over a year now and we do it to this very day. The essence of being able to help a family somewhere in the country makes me feel at peace, despite not being able to bring an end to the issue of hunger.

I believe that with every little action we do, we can create such a huge outcome for others.

 

This article was written by Cheryl Wambugu, a third year Bachelor of Arts in Communication student. 

 

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