When Job lost his oxen, sheep and camels, as well as his beloved children, he still chose to say, “Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). Mai Kenkoo, despite facing devastating tragedy, also perseveres in trusting God. “I have faith in God,” she says, “He will do better for us.”
Mai’s family once had multiple sources of income. Her daughter-in-law looked after the family farm in Ramsar, Pakistan and supplemented this income by selling handicrafts. Despite living with tuberculosis, her son also brought in a small amount of money as a cobbler.
When debilitating drought arrived more than a year ago, Mai’s daughter-in-law was unable to plant food to harvest. Without fodder, her cattle died. The shortage of food cost her son the strength to work, her daughter the ability to breastfeed her babies and her older two grandchildren the resolve to walk to school.
In Pakistan, where most rural inhabitants make their living by farming, drought is a serious problem. Already struggling to live off the modest yields of small plots of land, many people are unprepared to deal with disasters.
PWS&D, together with partners at Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) and local partner Community World Service Asia (CWSA), is helping 1,600 households like Mai’s meet their needs.
Packages of flour, rice, pulses, sugar, cooking oil, tea, salt and matches distributed every month for half a year are stocking the kitchens of affected families so that any income they have can be used for things like health care or school costs.
Recognizing the importance of farmers’ abilities to support themselves, 650 farming families in Sindh province are being trained in sustainable agriculture. Incomes will rise as product costs are reduced and soil fertility increases. Additional training in early warning systems will help farmers protect livestock and make use of drought resistant crops.
Thankful for the assistance, Mai comments, “God has now provided us a means to food through this project. We not only get to eat three meals a day but are also able to save for later.”
*PWS&D is a member of Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a coalition of 15 church-based agencies working together with the common goal of eliminating global hunger. This project was undertaken with matching support from the Government of Canada.