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The world has witnessed from a far the horrors of what is taking place in East Africa as tens of thousands of children continue to die from famine. A Springfield-based humanitarian group is stepping up and doing their best to combat the problem. KSMU’s Justin Lux has this report.
Drought, war and famine have forced hundreds of thousands of Somalian refugees into neighboring Kenya leading to the deaths of nearly 30,000 children.
The situation in Kenya is something the Springfield-based Convoy of Hope is very aware of due to their continued presence in the country, but recently the need for an increase in resources has become a necessity for Jeff Nene and the organization. Jeff Nene is the senior director of public relations.
“We’ve been there, like I mentioned, for several years now in Kenya and then as this situation has escalated with everything going on Somalia and the refugees just flooding into Kenya we knew we had to do more so we’ve stepped up for the efforts,” Nene says.
Nene says they’ve tried to act quickly to provide relief.
“We immediately wired money to Kenya so that they could purchase food immediately and not have to wait the several weeks that it takes for containers to arrive,” he explains.
As more than 9,000 meals were being distributed from the Kenya warehouse, the Convoy of Hope began assembling containers to be transferred to Kenya where the refugees are awaiting aid. The first of which is expected to clear customs this week and provide over 200,000 meals.
For those looking to help, Nene says it’s more efficient to donate money to pay for the cost of shipping.
“It may cost anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000 to ship a container to Africa. If people will give towards that shipment cost we can get a lot of the food and supplies donated,” says Nene.
To make a donation, visit their website convoyofhope.org. Any donations made to the relief efforts in East Africa will be reserved for that use only.
For KSMU News, I’m Justin Lux.