Kibera, a neighborhood in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi, is the second largest slum in Africa. It’s a tough place to live: the majority of the 800,000 residents have no electricity or running water. Disease is rampant due to malnutrition and open sewage systems.
2 Degrees founders Will and Lauren travelled to Kibera last year to understand the need firsthand. Will typically uses the word “sobering” when describing the emotional impact of his visit to Kibera.
“The need was everywhere, staring us in the face. It was daunting to see so much desperation, but also inspired us to double-down on our mission to combat childhood hunger. We were energized with the belief that we could make a real difference in Kibera,” Will recalled.
That belief lead to concrete action. Since Lauren and Will’s visit, 2 Degrees — partnered with local NGO Shining Hope for Communities — has given 16,200 RUTF (ready to use theraputic food) meals to children in Kibera. These meals are specially formulated to bring severely malnourished children back from the brink.
Let’s go local in Kibera to hear the situation on the ground.
Alice Akoth lives in Kibera and is the mother of David Okoth. She discovered she was HIV+ when she was pregnant with David, and passed on the disease to David. As a result
of the disease, David remained a very small infant without enough nutrients to fight HIV and grow his body. This all changed when he started eating RUTF at 20 months.
David is now 24 months old and has increased MAC (mid arm circumference) by 1.5 centimeters, a sign of rapid improvement.
“David was very, very small. He is growing very, very well. I’m very, very happy. I want him to grow even more,” says Alice. “At first, David was so malnourished and now because of the RUTF he is not. At this moment, he can touch something and walk. He was too weak when he first came [to the clinic].”
Pamela Atieno is a Community Health Worker at Shining Hope’s clinic in Kibera. Pamela distributes RUTF and goes out to the Kibera community to find malnourished children who need nutritional supplements to enroll in the program.
“There are so many malnourished children, especially in the Kibera slums. When a child takes this RUTF they gain weight. The child gains weight very fast so it is very important. It is so sweet and good. Without the RUTF, it is too hard for a malnourished child to survive.”
Thanks to your purchase of 16,200 2 Degrees bars, we have donated 16,200 RUTF in Kibera. The power of the one-for-one model is real and changed David Akoth’s life. What may have been a life lost to malnutrition and disease, is now a precious, shining hope for the future of Kibera.