"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Monday, February 25, 2008


One of the most important truths we learned when we traveled to St. Mary Kevin’s in December is this: the children are hungry more often than not and offering them three meals a day is often a questionable proposition.

Since our return, we have been frank about this and have managed to receive some substantial donations from people who would like to address the food problem head-on.

Because of the kindness of these donors, Change the Truth has been able to commit to contributing $1000 US each month for at least the next year for the purchase of food. In my most recent missive from Rose Mary, she addressed the issue:

“We received the February funds and we withdrew that money to purchase food – rice, corn flour, potatoes, sugar, beans & soy, meat & milk, etc. The food stocks will last three weeks, up to mid-March. We are working on provisional plans to start a food farm upcountry late this year, or early next year. First we have to prepare figures to show that the project will be cost-effective (relative to purchase of ready food products from markets in town); then we need agricultural input on the best seeds and the planting cycle; and finally we need a small-scale feasibility study to prove.”

This is why I love working with Rose Mary and Joseph. They explore every possibility, every angle. If it makes more sense for the CTT funds to go into a self-sustaining farm, then so be it! I trust them to determine which option will be the best.

Some mornings while we were there, the children complained that they were hungry. We realized it would be asking a lot of them to sit down to an art project or a therapy session on an empty stomach, so we waited patiently along with them to see what would unfold. Soon, we would see the older boys dragging tree limbs toward the cooking area. Then a fire would be lit, followed by the long process of mixing and cooking the porridge, and finally, the clanging of a stick hitting a metal can and children filing toward the huge blackened pot with their plates in hand.

We learned later that from day to day, it is an uncertainty as to if/ how often that might happen. The seven of us knew it needed to be urgently addressed by Change the Truth as soon as we returned home.

As you know, there are lots of ways to help the hungry. I personally have chosen to help these 150 orphans in Kajjansi, Uganda. Eddie and I also help the hungry in Kansas City by contributing to and working for Harvesters . There is an organization called Mazon which is a Jewish response to hunger to which we also donate; they help hungry families across the country.

There is so much you can do – in your own backyard and even a few backyards away.

Imagine waiting for the clanging, and it doesn’t come.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Food is an issue right now among so many people I know--but not lack of food, rather too much of it. They are overfed and overfat (by their own admission--so many in my workplace are vying to become The Biggest Loser). There must be a way to balance this scale. Perhaps within our own circle (or maybe just within our own heart), we can say: cut back on the food, yes, and donate what you think you would have spent on those chips, that soda, those lattes, cookies, cakes.... donate that money that would have been spent unhealthfully to these kids who are underfed.

During Lent, the lesson that used to be "give up" has been changed--for the better--into "give."