When Faith Wangui was 5 years old, her mother woke her up early in the morning, quickly wiped her face and got her dressed for the day, and then they left the house together. Faith was a little hungry since she had only had a few bites of the stewed greens and ugali (a starchy millet based staple food in Kenya) that her mother had made for their family the evening before. Her father and mother had made sure that Faith’s three brothers and sister each ate a little too so that there was enough to go around. Today there was no breakfast, but that was okay, she was used to it.
Though it seemed like just another day in the Jangwani Community in Mathare, Nairobi, today was special. It was Faith’s first day of school. The winding stream of sewage that ran through the center of the muddy path outside the tightly packed, one room shacks that formed her neighborhood was a little more difficult to avoid that day, but Faith was used to it. She held on tight to her mother’s hand and managed to keep her shoes mostly clean as they walked. They soon reached their final destination, the Believer’s Center Church in Jangwani, Mathare, Kenya.
For families like Faith’s who earn less than $2 a day, the small makeshift preschool of the Believers Center Church was a huge blessing. The church ran a simple program; Faith and her friends sang and played games. They learned a few letters, and some days they got tea, porridge or even lunch. Other days there was no food. Sometimes, they didn’t do much but play quietly because there weren’t enough teachers or volunteers to watch and teach all the children. But, that was okay; Faith had gotten used it.
Faith’s story is the story of many other children living in extreme poverty. Many of these children grow up only knowing scarcity, which often nurtures a sense of desperation and hopelessness.
Local churches are a light in many of these communities, but because of limited resources, their impact is hampered. Is there hope for these children? Can the cycle of poverty really be broken?
When you sponsor a class you give children like Faith the opportunity to thrive and break the cycle of poverty! To learn more, look out for more on Faith’s story over the next two weeks.
Thanks to our generous supporters, the first 100 new classroom sponsorship gifts will be matched. This means your gift of $45 becomes $90! Sign-up to be a classroom sponsor today!