Climate Justice

and why everyone is affected 

Our volunteers in Kenya this week suddenly got calls from worried parents or friends, asking if they were ok and how they could help. 

The Austrian News Channel ORF asked if we have people in the affected regions and if they could do an interview.

Our e-mail suddenly exploded with demands for donations and cries for support from Nairobi and Mai Mahiu.

What has happened?

For weeks Kenya has been exposed to extreme rainfalls. As you know from our work, it is not unusual that we experience moderate to heavy seasons and that, around once a year, we report a flood in our project region. In the past few years, the drought has become longer and harder to endure for the farmers and the rainy season has become stronger, flooding our region and throwing months’ worth of work backward. But this year things were different. The consequences of the ongoing rainfalls have displaced over 130.000 people in a matter of weeks. A dam broke in Mai Mahiu and claimed the lives of at least 40 people. The moment we write this article, the total number of casualties ranges between 70 and 140 people. International news reports have been covering the stories for the past few days and raising the number of death tolls daily. 


In the Mayenya Community, we have been spared until now from the worst floods, but whole villages located close to Lake Victoria have become inhabitable since the lake crossed over this year due to the heavy rainfalls. A part of these extreme weather conditions can be linked to the El Nino weather phenomenon in combination with a positive Indian Ocean Dipole. I am sparing you the science here and you can read more about this online, but however you will put it, at the bottom line, climate change plays a key role in the catastrophe.

For 15 years we have been working relentlessly and trying to improve the lives and living conditions of the people in our communities as well as we can. Now, we feel that we risk all the work and all the achievements because we just cannot seem to get a hold of mitigating climate change. Climate Change and its effects is nothing that will maybe come someday, and while it is lovely to have a few days of summer weather in April here in middle Europe, the consequences for our beneficiaries are already deadly. 

Why are we writing about this? Because we need your support. Especially here in Europe, we have a historical responsibility to reduce our CO2 emissions as much as possible and as fast as possible. And yes, without the commitment of other industrialized nations, we can only do very little, and there is always somebody else who could and should do more than us. But, if this had been our mindset, we would have never started Make Me Smile 15 years ago when we decided to help 10 vulnerable girls affected by HIV/Aids  and gave them a home. And yes, in a perfect world, there should be no need from outside and from so far away to help these kids, but this just isn’t the world we live in. We decided to help back then and as a result, we grew into an amazing organization taking care of thousands of children and employing hundreds of hard-working committed people in Kenya. So please, get active. Start today and look at how you can help to mitigate climate change to protect the people in the project regions we love so dearly.