World Environment Day (WED), begun in 1972, is the United Nations’ way of encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment and over the years it has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is celebrated by millions of people in more than 100 countries.

WED is recognized on 5th June of each year, with this year’s focus being “Small Island Developing States and Climate Change” with the host country being the Caribbean island of Barbados. The theme for 2014 is “Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea Level.”

At Bread and Water for Africa UK and our partners in sub-Saharan African countries, climate change is affecting the ability of African farmers, such as at the Baraka Farm in Eldoret, Kenya, to be able to continue to be able to provide fresh produce for the orphans living at the adjacent Lewa Children’s Home.

Increasingly poor climate conditions are also impacting the banana plantation at the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre in Zambia which provides nutritious bananas for the children as well as generating a surplus income for the orphanage. Today, as the Shinga Development Trust strives to establish a farm to provide produce for the orphans they will soon house on-site, they face challenges in the form of inadequate water for crops – water wells must be dug deeper and deeper as the world’s water supply diminishes.

WED provides the opportunity for everyone to realise their shared responsibility to care for the Earth, and to become agents of change.

Africa is considered to be one of the most vulnerable continents to climate change, and the situation is made worse by its poor state of economic development. It is even predicted that in some African countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture, on which 70 percent of the population rely upon, could be reduced by up to 50 percent by 2020.

By supporting programs such as the Baraka Farm, Shinga Orphan’s Village, and Kabwata Orphanage, you are assisting in providing not only immediate life-sustaining nutritional food, but helping to establish a sustainable long-term solution for many years to come.