Can you believe that Christmas is already just around the corner? With the holidays fast approaching for children in the UK, many will be excited at the thought of having a break from school to enjoy the Christmas food and festivities.

In rural Kenya however, many children will not be having a break over this period. They will face the same daily task as always – walking for hours to the nearest water source, then walking back for more hours, burdened with heavy jerry cans of water. Many go to bed hungry when they get home, as food is in short supply in this part of Kenya.

This Christmas, could you help more people to break free from poverty by supporting them to build sand dams and carry out climate-smart farming, so they have enough water to drink and food to eat?

David Mulinge and Monika Ndeto (pictured right) have worked really hard to transform their lives. They’ve rallied together with their community 10 years ago, forming a self-help group in 2010, and have since helped to build four sand dams in their local area. Now they have nearby water, a flourishing farm, food on the table and a healthy, happy family.

But for many families in drylands across the world, their story is different. Without access to a reliable supply of clean water, or enough food, parents struggle to provide for their children, and children are at greater risk of malnutrition, affecting their ability to learn, grow and play.

Will you help them? A gift of just £15 could provide a family with drought-tolerant seeds, allowing them to grow a reliable source of fresh food.

Before David and Monika built their sand dams, they were walking 5-6km to their nearest water source, leaving them tired and with precious little time in the day for anything else. When their children suffered with bilharzia as a result of drinking dirty water, they had to take them out of school and struggled to pay the hospital fees to help them get better.

Things couldn’t be more different now. David and Monika’s children are now grown and raising children of their own in the neighbouring Kikai community, which also has a self-help group whose members have been building sand dams and implementing climate-smart farming with our support. They too are accessing nearby water, producing lots of crops on their farms and generating an income to support their children.

Eunice (pictured bottom right, next to her son in the centre, and husband on far left), who is the daughter-in-law to David and Monika, tells us of her hopes for her children:

“I hope that by the time they grow or come of age, to qualify to be members of the group, they will have seen so many benefits of the sand dams and will be willing to take over from us.”

Sand dams have changed everything for these generations – but there are many more communities who are waiting for their chance to work their way out of poverty.

Here are some of the essential tools and materials that your support could provide:

  • £30 could supply a community with a rake, gardening fork, shovel and watering cans, to plant trees for fruit, fuel and fodder
  • £60 could provide a community with a roll of barbed wire, to reinforce their sand dam and keep it anchored to the bedrock
  • £80 could provide 500 seedlings and a spray pump, to protect a tree nursery from decimation by insects
  • £120 could provide a community with a wheelbarrow and 10 bags of cement, to help them construct their sand dam

Please donate what you can, so that more communities can provide enough water and food for their families, for generations to come.

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Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.