Partner: NEO Kenya, led by Wilfred Githongo
Through the Maasai tribe COVID relief project, our local partners were able to provide a two-month supply of food for this community, meeting their physical needs as they recovered from the devastating losses of the pandemic.
The Maasai are a proud nomadic community holding long traditions of cattle herding. Despite outside voices encouraging them to adopt a more modern lifestyle, they have stayed true to their age-old belief of being called to care for and steward cattle. Cattle are also their main source of food as well as income. In their community, their wealth and status are determined by the amount of cattle they possess. In more recent years, the Maasai tribe has faced ongoing struggles as those around them adapt to new, more contemporary realities that cater to the demands of the world today. In addition to the continuous challenges this community faces in regards to their nomadic lifestyle, 2020 brought on even more hardships than they could have prepared for.
THE PROBLEM AND THE SOLUTION
It’s no surprise that COVID-19 has changed the trajectory of lives everywhere. It has forced both people and economies to change how they live and work in the world. For the Maasai tribe, COVID-19 was not the only adversity they faced in 2020. Floods wiped out crops and caused diseases that attacked many of their cattle and left them malnourished. The pandemic also closed down international markets and further isolated them from outside resources and income-generating activities. The tribe as a whole lost hope in where their next meals would come from each day.
Pastor Stephen, who is a missionary with NEO to the Maasai tribe, made it his mission to help and support this community during this devastating time.
Pastor Stephen, and the team at NEO, rented a truck to deliver a two-month supply of food to the Maasai community to provide for their immediate needs. Our partners also sourced the food rations locally to support the Kenyan economy.
Amongst the distribution items were cooking oil, maize, sugar, and rice.
Providing immediate relief for the Maasai tribe not only relieved them of starvation, but also aided in restoring their cultural identity. It gave space for stability and recovery as they were able to rebuild their community. This short-term project allowed them to endure the devastating losses of 2020 and begin to re-establish their livelihoods and impact on other communities and the market for the long-term.
Everlyn Sankale, a widowed 76-year-old woman of the Maasai tribe, went three days without food. Her son had been without work because of the pandemic and was unable to provide for her. Devastated, she was unsure how she would live to see another day. Thanks to NEO, she received emergency food rations when she needed it the most. Everlyn was overcome with emotions and rejoiced that the God she serves remembered her and provided for her. Everlyn was beyond grateful that she and her son didn’t have to worry about food for the next two months.
- Mission ONE partnered with NEO to provide enough food for the community for two months.
- The food rations were sourced locally to support the Kenyan economy.