'Uncle E' and Mum to hundreds - AngelaTwenty five year-old Emmanuel, or “Uncle ‘E'” as he is called by the children at the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre, lost both of his parents at the age of nine. Emmanuel was continually kicked out of his classes for not paying his school fees and didn’t have food at snack or lunch time on the few days he was in class. Emmanuel, however, was lucky enough to have a friend, Paul, who lived at the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre. Paul told Mrs. Angela Miyanda, founder of the orphanage, about Emmanuel’s dire situation.

Deeply moved by Emmanuel’s plight, Angela visited the school that very week to talk with Emmanuel and his teachers. Thanks to your support, Bread and Water for Africa®, and our partnership with Angela, she had the financial means to pay his remaining school fees, keeping him from being kicked out of class. Emmanuel went to the Kabwata orphanage to thank Angela and she told him he was no longer an orphan – he was a part of their family now.

Today, thanks to his new family and hard work, he has earned a university degree and works in Accounts and Marketing at a large, reputable company in Zambia’s capital city of Lusaka. When asked, Emmanuel says that the biggest problem facing his country today is the crumbling family structure. Emmanuel exuberantly promises that one day he will adopt a child of his own and become the best father he can. He hopes to carry the same good fortune he was blessed with at the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre into someone else’s life.

” In that one week after meeting Mum, I was told my school fees were paid and I received the first new school uniform I’d had in years – and I tell you, I was just in shock and thought to myself, what a blessed week this is!”

World Water Day

Water is Life! World Water Day is an opportunity to focus on the critical role that freshwater has in our lives and on the fact that so many people around the world STILL do not have access to it.

This precious resource plays a significant role in:

Nourishment – particularly in children under-5

  • Many infant formulas require clean freshwater for mixing in order to treat malnourished and/or abandoned children in our projects in Haiti and Africa.

world-water-webDisease Prevention

  • Cholera, diarrhea, intestinal worms, and malaria are just a few of the many life-threatening diseases caused by drinking water containing bacteria or water that is used by animals and humans for bathing. One of our most recent efforts was to provide chlorinators for safe, clean water to our partners in Haiti in response to their 2012 cholera epidemic.


  • Many families throughout Africa are limited to the amount of water they can transport home in buckets from the water wells that might be located miles away. In times of serious drought, it is not rare for a family to only have one bucket to share for a day – rather than prioritizing water usage for sanitation or bathing, a family will likely use it for cooking or drinking instead.


  • Clinics are nearly inoperable without water access – think about the many treatments or medications that require water! We have been lucky enough to partner with clinics in Sierra Leone and support their efforts to provide each emergency clinic with an onsite water well.


  • Without easily accessible water sources, children often must travel alone for miles to the nearest water well and then back home. This puts them at an incredible risk for attack and other unknown dangers on the route.

At Christian Relief Services, water inspired one of our first projects when it was identified as the primary concern on American Indian reservations in South Dakota in 1987. Since then, it has been an inherent consideration in all of our goals and projects. We know that you also care about freshwater access for all and hope you’ll spend the month of March committing to being advocates for World Water Day! Here are a few ways you can advocate for the accessibility of this most basic need:

  • water1Be conscious of your own water consumption! This website has 100 ways to save water this month – do you have any ways to conserve that aren’t on this list? Let us know!
  • Share your knowledge with those around you. As the saying goes: “Knowledge is power!” Empower your friends and families to be water advocates!
  • Check out the United Nations World Water Day main website to find out more about the history of World Water Day and ways to be involved in the movement.

Commit to sustainable change by signing up for a monthly gift to Christian Relief Services‘ to support our projects and programs that offer a water supply and basic resources to those in need worldwide. Because water advocacy should be celebrated as a year-round holiday!



drainageWater is life. It can sometimes be easy for us to take this precious resource for granted thanks to its ready availability here in the United States, but access to water is a daily concern and threat in many regions of Africa.

In 2009, Kenya experienced its worst drought in over 40 years. The lack of rainfall that persisted for more than 11 months that year caused water shortages throughout the nation, creating even greater difficulties in the communities affected. Not only did people lack water essential for their own health, but there was also no water to sustain crops – leading to massive crop failures that sunk the region into famine and further poverty.

waterharvest2Without a stable supply of water, our partners the Lewa Children’s Home in Eldoret, Kenya could not provide for the 500-600 people who depend on the complex every day. As a result of the devastating drought of 2009, the Lewa Children’s Home complex, including nearby Baraka Farm and Kipkeino Primary School, realized the need for improved water management to prevent future disasters. We at Bread and Water for Africa® worked with the Lewa Children’s Home to combat the water shortage by supporting forward thinking projects and stability for the Home in the future.

Water-harvesting provides great benefits and a unique stability to areas where rainfall is sporadic. This type of water management allows for water to be stored through extended periods of drought to be used for irrigation, as well as drinking water for animals and – after filtration- for people.

diggingAfter extensive research into the technology and system that would be most successful and sustainable for the Lewa Children’s Home Complex, Jos Creemers and Phyllis Keino determined that a two reservoir system to harvest and store the water was the best approach.  Thanks to the rallying and support of all of our loyal and compassionate donors, we were able to support Lewa’s installation of this water-harvesting system just in time for the next drought. 

Thanks to the new ability for the reservoirs to capture rainfall during the rainy season (however short it may be in a given year), and the capacity of the equipment to actually prevent any evaporation of the stored water – the home is able to withstand droughts by planning and rationing the stored water. Upon implementation, the first water reservoir was completely filled in just six weeks!  Needless to say, the water-harvesting project has been a great success! This water management project provides the Lewa Children’s Home with improved water and food security, which allows the complex to focus on increased care of its beneficiaries rather than on the basic day-to-day survival of the complex.

reseviorAlthough this project has been a huge success, the devastating effects that Lewa Children’s Home faced during the tragic drought of summer 2011 showed us that there is still more that can be done – training, better equipment, and larger storage capacity to name a few. Future investment in the water infrastructure and sustainable water and soil management is still necessary. Would you consider donating today to aid in the continuation and expansion of this project?


Our deepest condolences to the people of Japan, particularly those who have lost loved ones in the earthquake and tsunami.

Providing Thanksgiving meals for victims of domestic violence

Christian Relief Services, works affiliate American Indian charity, Running Strong for American Indian Youth®, to provide Thanksgiving turkeys and dinners to serve well over 20,000 needy families on three American Indian Reservations in South Dakota and Montana.

Thanksgiving meals include:

• Whole Turkey 10-12 lb 1 ea
• Cheese Loaf – 1 ea
• Macaroni & Cheese – 20 oz – 2 ea
• Frozen Peas – 1 lb 1 ea
• Frozen Carrots – 1 lb 1 ea
• Frozen Corn – 1 lb 1 ea
• Frozen Sweet Potatoes – 1 lb 1 ea
• Stuffing Mix 1 ea
• Holiday Pie – 24 oz. 1 ea
For more details and how to help, please visit their website.

Providing Thanksgiving meals for victims of domestic violenceChristian Relief Services also partners with affiliate, Americans Helping Americans® collected donations in order to provide holiday meals at Thanksgiving for victims of domestic violence in Virginia. We provide over 3,000 Thanksgiving turkeys and dinners to hungry families for the holiday. For more information and how you can help, please visit their website.

25 years of good works

25 years of good worksA Recap of 2009:

Dear Friends,

This year, Christian Relief Services celebrates its 25th year of service. Over the years, we have been joining forces with communities around the world to fight poverty and give those in need a chance at a better tomorrow.

Christian Relief Services' Executive Director, Paul Krizek, visiting a Haitian orphanage in 1995 during the onstruction of Hope Hospital.
Christian Relief Services’ Executive Director, Paul Krizek, visiting a Haitian orphanage in 1995 during the construction of Hope Hospital.

We are proud to say that our important work has made a notable difference in communities in the United States, Africa, Haiti and Lithuania.

Christian Relief Services’ efforts improved thousands of lives in 2009, alone. For example, we teamed up with Bread and Water for Africa, one of our affiliate organizations, to ship medical supplies, hygiene items, shoes, clothing, tools, and school supplies including textbooks all valued at over 9 million dollars to partner organizations in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and Zambia. Christian Relief also supports sustainable grassroots programs in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi and Cameroon.

Along with Americans Helping Americans (AHA), Christian Relief distributed over 1,000 pairs of new boots and 1,000 warm blankets to Appalachian children in West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina in 2009. Since July 1, 2009 Christian Relief and AHA also provided special food boxes to 8,995 individuals in the Appalachian region of West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. For the holidays, Christian Relief gave Appalachian families over 10,000 whole turkeys and supplemental food, including fresh fruits, vegetables, bread and a dessert item. Christian Relief continued its support of service enriched housing and community centers, as well as local affordable and transitional housing programs.

On American Indian reservations, Christian Relief worked with American Indian Youth Running Strong, to distribute food and supplies to 12 American Indian-run church and community food banks and food pantries. In 2009, Christian Relief provided over 2,000,000 pounds of food for over 29,000 individuals, as well as 32,000 holiday turkeys and 162,000 pounds of food for Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday meals.

Over 3,000 children received 5,000 new winter coats, 7,000 new blankets, 5,000 pairs of new shoes and school supplies. In addition, Christian Relief funded the construction of water wells, community gardens and emergency heating.

The early years. Eugene (Gene) Krizek, founder of Christian Relief Services, with a newly installed water well on an Indian Reservation.

My father founded this organization out of his home 25 years ago with not very much more than a vision and a willingness to work hard for those less fortunate than himself. It is an honor and a privilege to be able to continue his work today with the help of Christian Relief Service’s dedicated staff, our inspiring partners across the world, and kind and generous friends like you who have made all of this possible.

Thank you and God bless,

Paul Krizek
Executive Director,
Christian Relief Services