It is sometimes difficult to hear the heartbreaking stories of the people we help, especially when they involve children. What keeps us encouraged are the stories we receive from our partners detailing how dire situations have been turned around and lives are renewed.
One of those recent stories came from a Catholic school we support near the second largest urban slum in Africa.
Meet siblings Humphrey, 8, Nancy, 5, and John, 4. Four years ago, their mother sold them to a woman living in the infamous Kibera Slums of Nairobi, Kenya. When the staff of a nearby Catholic school we support found out what had happened, they helped the children enroll in school and put them in their grandmother’s custody.
But their troubles were far from over. After a few months, their destitute grandmother abandoned the siblings to go earn a living on a distant farm, and the children spent the next three years caring for themselves.
(Left to right) Siblings Nancy, 5, Humphrey, 8, and John, 4, had been living on their own for three years until a Catholic school supported by Cross International Catholic Outreach rescued them and placed them in a loving home.
They lived in a one-room, iron sheet house in the middle of the bush. The windows and door didn’t close, the floor was made of mud, and there were gaping holes in the roof. Humphrey, who wasn’t even in third grade yet, juggled work and school, desperately trying to support his younger siblings, but they often went without food. Weekends were especially difficult because they did not receive a school lunch to fill their empty bellies.
When the staff at the school went for a home visit, they quickly realized that the siblings had been abandoned. The staff arranged for the children to stay with a catechist and his family at the local Catholic mission compound. The siblings are now clothed, well-fed, and able to attend school every day. Their happiness is evident by the gaping smiles always on their faces. They are now receiving the care and love every child deserves.
Our Catholic benefactors enable us to support several life-saving programs like this one in Kenya and other Sub-Saharan countries. To learn more about our work with orphans and vulnerable children in Africa, click here.