Famine - Incredible Response

We are not usually involved in famine relief, but on receiving an emergency message from our man in Zambia, Ron Prosser chose to send a message to all supporters asking for help. And the response came in at an incredible rate.

Near the end of the first week, we had £600, by the first weekend it was £6,000, and three weeks later donations approached £18,000. We put our aid through a very unusual route, which brought the fastest possible relief to the villages we work in. Unlike the big charities, who do great work but are encumbered by the size of their deliveries, have large costs to pay, and are often frustrated by dealing with local officials, we sent our cash directly to our own bank account in Africa.

Our man in the area was then able to withdraw cash, travelled to wherever he needed to go to buy food, and took it to the area we had been allocated, and where he personally knows the people and their needs. He distributed the food on our behalf, and reported to us constantly about his progress.

The Zambian government heard about our work quickly, and our man there was invited to meetings, given official approval, and allocated responsibility for an area of about 500 people, whom he was able to keep alive until the next harvest. He had doubts about the security of the storage space he was allocated, so he bought equipment to keep stocks safe on his own premises.

The director has done his sums about how many kilos of maize are required to keep an average family of eight people alive until the next harvest. It was close, but we were able to do it. What we cannot predict, of course, is how the harvests will be in the future.