Faith’s Journey: Food for Thought

On Monday mornings Faith was glad to be back in school after her weekend away. Her teachers always made sure she and her friends got their fill of morning porridge. It felt good to get something in her belly, especially because she didn’t get much to eat over the weekend. Her mother and father did their best, but sometimes she and her siblings went to bed hungry. Sipping on the hot, thick liquid, made from millet flour, always made Faith feel warm and full. It made the mornings in class go by very quickly. School, which at first seemed hard, was getting easier. Faith also felt like she had a lot of energy to play Kati (a game similar to dodgeball) with her friends during break time. After their break, it was easy to focus on the numbers and letters on the blackboard when her tummy was not hurting from hunger.

Before lunch, Faith learned a new routine. She and her classmates would line up quietly and take turns washing their hands. They did it every day, sometimes more than once. The clean water flowing from the tap over her fingers was cool to the touch, and the liquid soap they used was made by some of her classmates’ mothers right at the school. Her teachers explained how important hand washing was because it helped them stay healthy. Everyday the routine was the same and it felt good to be clean.

Lunchtime meant even more food – rice, ugali (a starchy millet based staple food in Kenya), stewed meat or beans, greens of all sorts and an orange or banana. The smells coming from the kitchen near her classroom created a heavenly aroma and the flavors on her plate were delicious! Soon Faith learned more routines – eating with not just a spoon, but a fork and knife as well. She also learned to use a napkin and to say please and thank you. She giggled as she shared her lessons with her family at home. It was fun learning new things.

For most children in Mathare, food insecurity and malnutrition are a stark reality. Many of the families we serve are often uncertain about where their next meal will come from. Poor educational outcomes and poor health are linked with food insecurity and malnutrition. Without proper nutrition, children have a reduced capacity to concentrate and this leads to impaired cognitive function. Malnutrition also weakens the body’s ability to resist infection, leading to increased absenteeism from school.

When you walk alongside children like Faith through the classroom sponsorship program, you help provide delicious and nutritious meals for our students. For a number of children, the food they receive through the school’s feeding program is all they may eat for the day.

Would you consider partnering with us today to empower the children of Mathare? When you sponsor a class you give children like Faith the opportunity to thrive and break the cycle of poverty!

Sign-up to be a classroom sponsor today!

Thanks to our generous supporters, the first 100 new classroom sponsorship gifts will be matched. This means your gift of $45 becomes $90!

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