Starving Children

Feeding Hope in East Africa

- by Anne Williams

Today, more than 60 percent of the population in the Tigray region of East Africa is struggling with high levels of food shortages resulting in malnutrition and starvation.1 What can we do? How can we offer any measure of hope?

Through the generous support of our partners, Hand of Hope, the outreach arm of Joyce Meyer Ministries, is working diligently to immediately address these critical needs. And together, we can help even more precious children and their families.

Right now, through multiple feeding sites, we are equipped to serve millions of meals throughout East Africa, delivering hope, encouragement and the good news of God’s love for them.

Our Pediatric Specialty Clinic in Yirgachefe—founded alongside Crisis Aid International—is serving many families in the midst of this unprecedented hunger crisis.

To date, more than 140,000 patients have been treated at our clinic. Many are malnourished children who either receive outpatient care or stay for a minimum of one to two weeks until their health has been restored.

As you read this, some of the frailest children are being loved back to health.

Mesele and Zinash are just two of thousands of children whose lives have been saved. Together, we can save even more.

Mesele is the youngest in his family and the source of much joy. His smiles fuel their souls. This sweet little boy faced a constant battle with hunger for the first five months of his life.

Every day his family worried, watching him show the same signs of decline that took the life of an older sibling four years earlier.

They saw how his bones protruded out from his skin. They saw how he couldn’t keep down his mother’s milk, the watery stool that followed, and the pain in his eyes.

His father worried his son would die. So, when Mesele’s family found out about our clinic in Yirgachefe, his father bundled him up and began walking.

When they arrived, Mesele was barely alive, but his frail body responded quickly to the strategic feeding regimen: therapeutic milk given in gradually increasing amounts, over a course of a few weeks.

This special formula is rich in nutrients but easy to digest and provides the energy necessary for malnourished children to rally and recover.

Days later, the vomiting and diarrhea stopped. Weeks later, Mesele was able to put on some weight. Today, his eyes follow you with interest. He smiles, and his family is brought to tears. Once again, Mesele is the giver of much joy, and there is hope for his future.

Little Zinash is 2 years old. She’s the youngest in her family, too. Their close-knit family lives in a one-room hut where Zinash’s parents, sick with worry, watched over their suffering children. Then they heard about the clinic.

On the day of her examination, Zinash was not even half the weight of an average 2-year-old. Her legs were filled with the fluid of edema, and a painful rash covered her body.

This sweet baby was also suffering from a sore on her foot that, because of her body’s malnourished state, would not heal. She clung to her mother nervously as a nurse cleaned and dressed her wounds.

Being admitted to the clinic’s residential program was essential for Zinash’s survival. She needed the therapeutic milk in addition to intravenous antibiotics, and critical wound care twice daily.

Today, little Zinash receives around-the-clock nursing care and is making improvements on a daily basis. Back at home, her family is happy she is improving and hopeful for her future.

Out of the love we share for these children and their families, God’s blessings flow. With your support, Hand of Hope, Joyce Meyer Ministries World Missions can provide food and specialty pediatric care to more children in East Africa, bringing joy into their hearts again.

  1. Source: https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/un-agencies-concerned-looming-famine-northern-ethiopia-call-urgent-life-saving