From Tears of Hunger to Showers of Blessing
Tears trickled down Moses’ cheeks as he read a book passage titled 'A Birthday Celebration'.
It reads as follows: ‘My name is Mati and yesterday was my birthday. My mother prepared sumptuous meals. My mother prepared my favourite meals like rice, chicken and Samosa. The food was mouth-watering, and I ate to my satisfaction but later fell ill. I was taken to the doctor who said that I was constipated and after treating me, advised me not to overeat."
Ironically, most of the children reciting the passage had gone for long hours or days without food. Moses himself had only eaten one meal the previous day.
Kenya has been enduring its worst drought in four decades. More than 4 million people are food insecure, and 3.3 million cannot get enough water to drink.
School children have been severely impacted. Numerous students dropped out of school to support their parents in search of pasture, food and water. Students who remained in class struggled to concentrate due to hunger.
Moses’ family has also been struggling to cope with the effects of climate change. Successive failed rain seasons have caused his family to lose a sustainable income source via farming. His father depends on gathering dead wood for sale to sustain his family of eight. When there is no food, his mother gathers wild roots for a meal.
Overwhelmed by hunger pangs and weakened by thirst, Moses reflected the suffering of children in his community through his tears.
Thankfully, Moses’ tears of hunger turned into showers of blessing after his story was featured on television. Well-wishers contributed to a feeding programme run by World Vision in his primary school, and even to the building of a new home for Moses and his family.
With the establishment of the feeding programme, children have the energy to focus in class. Moses now actively participates during lessons. He is keen and eager to answer the teacher’s questions.
Kadzo, a pupil in Moses’ class, shares, “I am happy now because I have something to eat in school. It was painful to recite a passage about food on an empty stomach. Now, I enjoy reading the passage because I am assured of eating lunch in school.”
The school attendance has also improved. “We now have 100% attendance unlike before, when most children would stay at home because of hunger,” says Gift, a teacher at the school.
In addition, Moses’ new house makes it much easier for him to go to school. “I enjoy going to school now because our beautiful house is near the school,” Moses remarks, “My former home was far. I had to wake up at five o'clock each morning to trek to school with my siblings and friends. The journey was not safe because we would often meet elephants from Tsavo National Park that came close to people's homes to look for food during long droughts.”
Through the interventions funded by World Vision’s child sponsorship programme and grants from USAID, Moses’ life has been transformed for the better.
“When I grow up, I want to operate cameras, fly drones and tell stories of children,” Moses declares. With the support that he has received for his education, Moses has finally gained the confidence to dream.