UN World Food Programme

From the Field - Kenya

Rose Ogola, WFP Public Information Officer in Kenya, was caught in action during her recent work in the Horn of Africa.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live and work "in the field" for WFP?

Join Rose as she takes you on a journey from her home base in Nairobi to Dadaab, one of the largest refugee camps in the world, to help cover the unfolding crisis in the Horn of Africa.
 
Rose joined WFP in 2009 and is currently working as a public information officer in Kenya.
 
When I left Nairobi for Dadaab to cover WFP’s response to the huge Somali influx, I didn’t know what to expect. Of course I knew that I was going to meet with people who are suffering the effects of drought, but honestly I was not prepared for the amount of suffering that I came face to face with.
 
The first day I went to the Dagahaley reception centre in Dadaab, the first sight I met was of hundreds of people waiting outside the gates for their turn to go through the recognition process which enables them to access the various services including food assistance. 
 
Just looking at these people, it was evident that they had endured a lot. They looked tired, haggard and desperate. With many of these being children, one would expect them to be playing as children do irrespective of the situation; but not these children, instead they sat quietly and others slept on the dusty ground.
 
Then came the horror stories. Stories of how people, mostly children died on the way, succumbing to starvation, because they did not have food or water as they trekked, in some cases, up to 30 days from Somalia to Kenya.
 
That first day was very emotional for me, maybe because as a mother, I put myself in the shoes of those mothers who had to bury their children on the way or who watched helplessly as their children cried from hunger. 
 
I actually had to shake and remind myself that I needed to take pictures and write stories that would tell the world what these people were going through and that they needed assistance. I then donned my hard shell and went to work.
 
One of the things that gratified me most was the look on the faces of the refugees once they received their 21 day ration of food. I remember one woman, Saruuro Mohamud, who I met early in the morning carrying her seven year old physically disabled daughter as together with the rest of her family, as they trekked to the reception centre, having walked for 25 days from Somalia with very little food or water. Later that day, I found her and her family of nine sitting next to bags of food they had received and she was tickling her children who were laughing helplessly. That sight made me thank God that I worked for the World Food Programme, which can change the look of despair, to one of hope.
 
Written by Rose Ogola, WFP Public Information Officer in Kenya
 

I THANK GOD FOR YOU ROSE

Really, ,you may not know how far you lifted up souls in that land of hunger. Again thank you Rose for the courage. Until one treads tour path before he or she can imagine what human beings go through elswhere. I am a science teacher here in Cameroon and so interested in seeing others live well. At times i think my rightful place is in the field out of classroom helping the needy, but how to go about it is the problem. There are times i glue to my screen for hours watching documentaries on hunger in the world. I would feel like existing there to to help. I am thinking of organising through schools gifts for the needy this year.You are my source of inspiration Once More you are a HERO Theodore Nchotu Bermo Chemistry deopartment Government Bilingual High School Baleng/Bafoussam Cameroon

Love the world-save Africa and other needy countries

I am so happy and proud of everyone at WFP. Keep up the !!!love!! and good work. WFP has touched my heart so much and i am sure of others too. I wish so much that i could be there with all you gals and guys and mamas and papas. Whenever i hear or rather see all the good things that all of you good people are doing, i just go "Alrigghtt!,give me a high five". Another note is that : Can there be more self-sustenance programmes ?

Rose, You are truly wonderful

Rose, You are truly wonderful - How awesome it is that your presence (help) brings hope to so many.

hi guys

how can I volunteer in Somalia with WFP

Your story brought tears to

Your story brought tears to my eyes. But more importantly, I was able to see what my little donation did to one family. Those smiles in the picture really warmed my soul. I'm now even more motivated to help all children of God whoever they are and wherever they may be. Thank you Rose and may God bless you. Irene

Recognition

I have just read some of the most interesting information from your field staff.To me this is an eye opener of what goes on in the world of a refugee environment, please do accept my support in form of encouragement since you can know that one Kenyan is very appreciative with the work you are doing and are engaged in. Remember that as you are tending to the poor and vulnerable you are indeed like loaning God and mark you your portion of award is readily available here on earth and in heaven. Continue with these noble work and in due time what you offer in form of skills,techniques,expertise,knowledge,services will go along way to help and great satisfaction,actualisation,and projected goals and targets will act as your potential strength in times of hardship,stress,challenge,pressure and encounters. Let me find an end to my appreciation while i pray that God bless you more.