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Archive for November 14th, 2009

Kenyan student to bring message about hunger to local seminar

Posted by Administrator on November 14, 2009


Saturday, November 14, 2009

A 32-year-old woman from Kenya hopes she can bring to Lubbock a message about a crisis that plagues people in the South Plains and her homeland alike: hunger.

Esther Ngumbi, a doctoral student at Auburn University in Alabama, said she faced poverty and hunger as a child in Kenya while trying to pursue her education. Her family survived on the crops they worked to grow on their 10-acre plot of land in Kikoneni.

“All we could grow was what the rains would leave us,” she said. “If the rains decided not to fall, we didn’t have food that year.”

Ngumbi said her family also survived on aid from charities such as United Nations food programs – a point she will stress during her address on hunger and global progress today at the Overton Hotel.

Ngumbi will serve as keynote speaker at a seminar, Global Millennial Goals: Vision, Value and Direction, hosted by Texas Tech’s College of Human Sciences and the Texas Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.

The seminar will feature such speakers as Ngumbi and others from the Tech, Lubbock and Texas A&M communities, said Nancy Shepherd, a research associate in Tech’s College of Human Sciences. Speakers and a four-member panel will discuss ways to achieve the United Nations’ top eight goals for improving the standard of living of people across the globe.

High on Ngumbi’s agenda is stressing the local and global ramifications of hunger, she said.

“Hunger is not just in Kenya,” she said. “I came to realize that – boom – hunger is in the United States, too.”

Hoping to show how hunger is a real problem on the South Plains is David Weaver, the executive director of the South Plains Food Bank and a panelist at the seminar. He said as many as one in five adults on the South Plains doesn’t have enough food to eat.

“One of the things we want to do at the South Plains Food Bank is give voice to the hungry, and the seminar is a chance to talk about what the needs of the hungry are,” Weaver said.

Ngumbi said she will encourage the audience of students, association member and the Lubbock community to end global hunger through education and activism. She said she will stress such tactics as volunteering in local food drives and financially supporting international efforts to reduce hunger by providing food aid and knowledge for sustainable farming.

Ngumbi said she hopes to inspire the audience through leading by example. The entomology student at Auburn said she plans to move back to Ken-ya after she earns her doctoral degree. From there, Ngumbi said, she hopes to transform her family’s 10-acre farm into a model of efficiency by practicing sustainable agricultural techniques

“It presses my heart to understand my family still goes through these problems,” she said. “It hurts to know they don’t have a comfortable place to sleep. Because of my education, I know I am being prepared for noble actions back in Kenya.”

Source: http://lubbockonline.com/stories/111409/loc_516323309.shtml


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