The eradication of hunger is Millennium Development Goal number 1. However, close to 60 percent of Kenyans live below the poverty line and the outstanding indicator of poverty in Rusinga Island is hunger.
The people of Rusinga have traditionally relied on a combination of fishing and farming: however the parcels of land they depend on are decreasing in size as a result of population pressure, and because of soil erosion and poor farming practices they are becoming unproductive and depleted. Fish stocks in the lake are reducing due to over-fishing. At the same time poor people do not have money to buy food at current market prices. HIV/AIDS has impacted negatively on the agricultural labor force thus further reducing food production. Many households are at the edge of economic survival.
The people most affected by lack of food are orphans and vulnerable children who have to go to school on empty stomachs and struggle to grasp something from what their teachers give. Children and adults living with HIV/ AIDS and taking antiretroviral drugs have a special problem as one of the most important components of their treatment is good nutrition. Rusinga Island has been identified as a food poverty zone. At the same time the area is known for other socio economic challenges including very high HIV and AIDS prevalence and illiteracy. Due to HIV and AIDS many young children are cared for by aging, jobless grandparents who struggle to fend for their grandchildren. Some of the children were born with HIV and need special attention and a diet that is in line with the medication they take daily throughout their lives.Badilisha initiated a feeding project currently targeting 60 orphans and vulnerable children .The feeding project is currently running
on donations but our vision is to supplement it with the produce from the farm as part of the local contribution.