Here in Southern England, we woke up to nearly a foot of snow, and more on the way. The children are out playing, throwing snowballs, sledging, laughing. Their parents are not so happy. Roads are blocked, main roads are closed, cars are abandoned, lorries jack knifed. We're told stay at home unless your journey is essential.
It's inconvenient and uncomfortable, but for most of us, nothing more than that. In a few days, it will be over, and all we'll have left are memories of cold and Christmas card scenes.
Meanwhile, in Kenya, and most of East Africa, there is drought. For the sixth successive season, the rains have failed. This has a huge impact on the amount of crops the people can grow. The knock on effect is devastating. With less food, some people go hungry. Scarcity pushes prices up, meaning more people cannot afford to buy it, and the number of malnourished people rises. Economies suffer, jobs are lost, more poverty, the cycle is endless.
The situation does not last for a few days. It goes on, and on, and on. And, as always, those who suffer most are the vulnerable - the poor, the disabled, children.
World In Need runs a sponsorship programme for children in Kenya. We run a school in Soy, a poor, rural town north of Eldoret. As well as a good education and a hopeful start in life, the children are also given a meal each day. For many, this will be the only nourishment of their day. The school started in January 2009, with one child. 73 children are now enrolled, and the numbers are growing. Which, unfortunately, means the costs are growing, too.
£5 (about $8) provides a child with one good meal every day for a month. £20 provides for all a child's monthly needs. For many children, this amount is the difference between getting an education and having to work at menial jobs to help feed the family. It means they have a future.
If you'd like to know more about our school, the children there, or what sponsorship means to them, come and visit our website at www.worldinneed.co.uk
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