On a hot September day, I witnessed a sea of
men and women, dressed in vibrant jewel tones, amassed in the center of
Sabarou, a dusty, brown village in Niger. The mood was hopeful: They’d
come to receive emergency food rations distributed by Lutheran World
Relief and local partners. That day 170 appreciative families received
bags of millet, Niger’s staple food.
A few weeks earlier, Sabarou had been all but deserted.
“All but two families left the village in January because there was no food,” said Halima, a young mother whose easygoing smile belies her hard life. “I walked for 48 hours to Dakoro, spending the night on the road with my three young children.” She worked odd jobs there until she could afford a ride to Maradi, the nearest large city three hours away. She cleaned houses there to earn money to feed her family.
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