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CRS Rice Bowl Lenten Story of Hope: Week Five

March 28, 2023

From the Office for Social Ministry

The Lord speaks to us through our brothers and sisters, especially in the faces and the stories of those who are in need.” Pope Francis Message for Lent 2023

The final Story of Hope in the CRS Lenten 2023 Rice Bowl program provides faces from Keyna to reveal God’s transforming love through service with others. This inspiring African Story of Hope is about a farming family that is confronting climate change and their community which learns how to use a solar powered well for water.

Turkana, Kenya is very hot and dry. Temperatures reach the mid-90s year-round. Most people in this area raise livestock such as goats and camels, and a few are farmers. But the climate makes this work difficult—and climate change is making it even harder. Rebecca and her husband, Lotiang, have farmed and raised goats for years. They rely on rain and river water to irrigate their crops and feed their animals. But it is raining less and less in Turkana, and —when it does rain—it can be unpredictable and intense, leading to floods that wash away the seeds.

Rebecca and Lotiang struggled to water their farm. They worked hard so their family can thrive. Their determination—and hope for their children’s futures—helped them overcome challenges they faced. They participated in a Catholic Relief Services program that installed a water well in their village and trained them in new farming techniques. With the well and solar-powered pump, they irrigate their fields regularly and take care of their goats.  Lotiang learned to grow kale, which provides nutrition for his family and community because their crops can be sold for a good price at the market. Rebecca is grateful that her children can eat healthy food every day. She is also happy that she can send them to school using money from the produce Lotiang sells at the market to help nourish the community.

Rebecca and Lotiang have become leaders in their community and teach others what they learned so that everyone can benefit. “I learned much in CRS’ program,” Rebecca says. “It is a program that has changed my life. I am trying to show my community what I am able to do so that they can emulate it for a better future. Through that I will change my community.” For more on the inspiring Rice Bowl Stories of Hope about our sisters and brothers around the world through whom God can speak to us this Lent, please visit www.crsricebowl.org. Please remember to bring your Rice Bowl collections to your parish church and/or school during Holy Week so your efforts can be combined with others when the parish sends in the results of its Rice Bowl 2023 Lenten journey. Mahalo!