Reach Out Your Hand

Posted in: Papoli, Uganda, VPI in Action

Village Partners International Responds to Request for Famine Aid

Uganda has been experiencing a prolonged drought and the repercussions of three seasons of crop failure have resulted in the worst food shortage in  37 years. In some parts of western Uganda, villagers are feeling hopeless and resorting to desperate means. “Famine is real here in Papoli,” writes Geoffrey, a spokesperson for the village. “This has been the worst ever since 1980. The mango fruits that survived during other famine seasons have failed. Even the great farmers of Papoli, who used to have some reserve that they could share in exchange for farm labor, now also have nothing. People are forced to up-root immature cassava to make bread for their families, but the young cassava still has a very high concentration of Hydrogen cyanide. Hydrogen poisoning has claimed several lives in the village and beyond. Hungry mobs continue to invade the gardens of those who planted early corn forcing people to stay vigil at their gardens to protect their crops.”

This was the dire situation unfolding when community partners in Papoli reached out to VPI for help. “People are so weak and already we have had three deaths directly related to the current famine situation,” writes Emmanuel Ofumbi, a community leader. “Some people go hungry for days others, unfortunately, have deserted their homes. There are increased cases of domestic violence being reported. The cost of food has tripled and is still going higher.”

“This very morning,” continues Ofumbi, “14 elderly widows came to my home and humbly asked if they could talk to me for a short time. One after another, they related their stories of desperation and hunger. They left claiming that only God can save them.”

Within days of hearing of the critical situation in the Papoli community, VPI leveraged funds to buy maize flour and porridge and distribution began for the most vulnerable and sick. Thanks to the generosity of donors from Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church, Jubilee Community and individual contributions to VPI, enough money was raised to bring immediate famine relief to over 1,600 families. This is partnership in action and it is also a testimony to how VPI is able to send emergency aid efficiently and directly to villagers in need. Thank you to all who have contributed to the famine relief efforts. In Ofumbi’s words, “God is using us to get His people on their feet.”

To contribute to famine relief efforts, go to:

Terry Leigh Deal
Village Partners International



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