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Support the Sister Bernadette Sunshine-Mitzvah Fund!

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By Allison Kozicharow; Edited by Elizabeth Fine

As we approach the end of 2023, people in the western region of Kenya, where WiRED International serves, face ongoing hunger as the regional drought and the war in Ukraine reduce the supply of food and spike its cost. In support of Sr. Bernadette Nealon, with whom WiRED has worked for many years, our Sister Bernadette Sunshine-Mitzvah Fund helps cover the purchase of groceries for the poorest people in western Kenya. Food aid around Christmas is especially important. It’s a time when hunger is often overlooked by donors who turn their attention to other interests and spend their money elsewhere. All money collected for this fund goes directly to purchase food — with zero spent on administration.

These donations will go to struggling families with children, where food is most needed. And so we are continuing our annual effort to raise funds for people in the informal settlements (slums)  and rural areas in and around western Kenya. Again we ask our generous donors to consider sending a few dollars to help. Even the cost of a modest lunch for two people in the United States would more than cover the $30 for groceries to feed a family of five in Kenya for a full week. Our community health workers in Kenya, who serve in these communities every day, will direct the food to the families in greatest need.

Thank you for taking a few minutes to learn about the pressing need among the poor in Kenya and about how to help us address it. Watch the video here:

Photo Gallery of Some of the Children Helped by the
Sunshine-Mitzvah Fund

Catherine Faith Adhiambo

Catherine was born on December 7, 2021. Her mother died seven days after delivery due to postnatal complications. The grandmother is currently the caregiver and lives near Kowino Hospital in Nyalenda, Kisumu, Kenya. She had a small business cooking chapatti (fried flat bread) and beans at the roadside, but currently this is not possible because she has full responsibility for Catherine.

Baby Catherine was enrolled at KUAP-Pandipieri Maternal & Child Health Clinic (WiRED’s partner in Kisumu) and referred to the Nutrition Department for assessment on January 5, 2022, where she was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition (SAM). Catherine was being given ordinary milk diluted with a liter of water per 500ml milk daily.

The nutrition intervention included family counselling and replacement feeding, which the grandmother agreed to, but at times she had inadequate money to regularly buy the required milk. With support from the Sister Bernadette Sunshine-Mitzvah Fund, qualified nutritionists supplied milk weekly for daily use during the subsequent clinic visits.

Because of this intervention Catherine’s weight significantly improved and her general health progress as is seen in the subsequent clinic visits chart. Catherine’s grandmother was determined to take care of her, and she has never missed a clinic appointment. The love she has for baby Catherine is impossible to miss as Catherine responds to her grandmother gestures with a huge smile and contentment.

A Father Receives Help for His Son from The Sunshine-Mitzvah Fund

The father is a committed man who takes his caring role very seriously when it comes to his baby son Joshua (fictitious name). Joshua received care from the KUAP-Nutrition Outpatient Therapeutic Programme. His response to care and treatment was significant, and the bond between father and son was admired by all.

Prior to the father assuming the care role, Joshua was emaciated and wasting. All that Joshua’s father learnt at KUAP weekly nutrition clinics he made sure it was put into practice. Today Joshua is a credit to his father and much thanks goes to the Sunshine-Mitzvah Fund for food given to sustain his son’s health.