Livestock Projects Bring Hope to the Persecuted in Kenya

08/22/2019 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern)ICC recently assisted four families through livestock projects in Lamu, Kenya to help those who lost loved ones and all of their possessions in the 2017 terror attacks in the Jima and Maleli villages. These two attacks were executed by al-Shabaab, which has transformed the Boni Forest into a hiding place and a base for planning and carrying out attacks in the coastal Lamu county along the Somali border.

Syungo lost her husband on the night of July 8, 2017, when militants ambushed the primarily Christian village of Jima, slaughtering nine men. She said, “In addition to all the pain of losing our loved ones, we had nothing on us because the Somali extremists burnt our houses, clothes, and food granaries.  After ICC’s assistance, my life and [those] of my children have taken a huge step towards improvement. Having nine goats and a shelter for them is such a great gift to us. We will make sure the goats are fed and taken care of.”

All of the families that were displaced from the village due to the attacks opted to stay near the secure town of Witu without going to work on their fields for fear of being killed. This project was aimed at supporting the beneficiaries in becoming self-reliant and taking an economic journey to diminish poverty and avoid returning to the dangerous villages in Boni Forest.

It is then no surprise that Salome sees the project as an opportunity to tap into the goat milk market. “The Lord has been so good to us despite the challenges of losing my husband and struggling to take care of my family alone. Today, I have seen the hand of God again, and I am so grateful for the goat project that ICC has blessed me with. In just a few months, the goats will reproduce and I will be selling milk to the villagers. Goat milk is very costly due to its nutritional value and this is going to be a lucrative venture,” Salome said.

“The Lord has been so good to us despite the challenges of losing my husband and struggling to take care of my family alone. Today, I have seen the hand of God again, and I am so grateful for the goat project that ICC has blessed me with.”

Agnes is hopeful that the 13 goats she received will reproduce by the end of the year. With a smile on her face, she told ICC, “Hope has been restored to our lives and we feel encouraged to pick up our spirits and pursue our goals. I woke up without a single goat and now I have 13 of them. This is the doing of the Lord. I praise Him for remembering me. This is a gift that gives birth.”

We believe that these goats will be beneficial to the widows as their breeding, milk, and meat production can all be turned into lucrative businesses. ICC also carried out its first ever oxen project, comprised of two bulls, a yoke, chain, plough, and a cart which were delivered to Katana, a survivor of the Maleli attack.

Katana expressed, “As a person who has depended on farming for many years, I know the worth of having your own set of oxen and a cart. Crop farming needs tilling and ploughing. Furthermore, after harvesting, carrying the produce home or to the market becomes easier with a cart. I am glad today because I have been empowered with the oxen, plough, cart, yoke, and a chain.”

Unfortunately, al-Shabaab remains a security threat through its persistent attacks in northeastern Kenya, targeting non-local Christians, police officers, and foreign aid workers. Recently, the militants abducted two Cuban doctors, Assel Herera Correa and Landy Rodriguez, who were working in Mandera, and an Italian social worker, who was kidnapped in Chakama in the coastal region. The three are yet to be found. Please pray for the release of these individuals and for the safely of all those who are living under the threat of al-Shabaab.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

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