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Struggling to Survive in Kenya: Madris and Her Family

Madris and her family did not cause climate change. But they bear its brunt in Kenya.

Madris (45), works to exhaustion to provide for her family, left to right, Julius (12), Joy-Faith (6), Erick (8), Alex (7), and Eugene (16). Photo: Gary Moore/Trócaire

Rains don’t come. Nothing grows. And Madris – a single parent – is afraid and exhausted. Her husband abandoned her and her six children. He never returned. The relentless drought makes life even harder. “When I look at my land now,” she says with sad eyes, “it looks to me like a desert.”

Each day Madris labours back-breaking hours for her family. Walking the three-hour trip to haul water. Carrying heavy firewood. Tending their few chickens and goats. Trying to coax crops from scorched soil. Madris admits, “I struggle to make sure there is no day my children miss food.”

More and more her heroic efforts aren’t enough. Sometimes the children miss school while Madris scrapes together money for books and fees, and the family’s food runs out. Alex and little Joy-Faith cry from hunger.

Madris is doing all she can to provide for her family, but she can’t do it without you.

Please give to Trócaire this Lent. Help equip farmers for a changing climate and support hungry families like Madris’, so love can conquer fear in Kenya.  

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Meet Joy-Faith

Joy-Faith is a bright spark who loves school and is usually in the top three in her class. But relentless hunger and global warming have cut deep – at the age of just six, she grows serious and tells you that one of life’s greatest gifts is to have food. Please will you be Joy-Faith’s friend, and help her family this Lent?

Joy-Faith is Madris’ six year old daughter. Photo : Gary Moore / Trócaire

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