“Andrew” was so hungry. All his classmates were hungry too. All the time. Hardly anyone had breakfast before they came to school, and not many brought a lunchbox with them. Some did not come to school at all – they were too weak from lack of nourishment. Despite the drought, fruit was developing on a baobab tree. It takes about six months for baobab fruit to ripen, after which they fall to the ground. But Andrew could not wait and decided to climb and pick the unripe fruit to eat. He fell from the tree and ended up in hospital.
“We have no food in our area”
Andrew lives in Matabeleland, a desperately poor part of a desperately struggling country, Zimbabwe. “We have no food in our area,” said one church leader in Matabeleland. “In my village, out of 47 households, only 6 harvested enough grain [to last] until August,” said another.
April-May is the main harvest time in Zimbabwe for the staple food, maize. But low rainfall meant yet another poor harvest in 2022.
Malnutrition brings stunting of children and diseases like pellagra and kwashiorkor. Zimbabwe has the highest inflation rate in the world. An average domestic worker now earns barely enough for half a loaf of bread a day.
Hope and health from ePap porridge
Working through local churches and Christian organisations, Barnabas is providing a special maize-based porridge called ePap. Fortified with vitamins, minerals and protein, a small daily amount quickly brings health to malnourished children and adults
Local pastors know who is in greatest need and make sure that widows, elderly, the sick, the disabled, child-headed households, pregnant women, breast-feeding mothers are prioritised.
Daily ePap for just two months heals the deficiency diseases and gives people energy: adults can work, children can study.
Through Barnabas Aid you can help
A child of seven or over needs a daily 50g (dry weight) serving of ePap, costing 12p ($0.17; €0.14). Infants aged one to six need half that ration.
£1.25 ($1.70; €1.40) could buy a 500g bag of ePap which will provide 10 days of nourishment for children aged 7 and over, or 20 days for younger children
£7.50 ($10.20; €8.40) could buy 6 bags of ePap, enough to restore one older child or two younger children to health
£17 ($23; €20) could provide enough ePap to nourish a family of five for a month