Child Sponsorship Helps Save Mercy

Written by
Mollex Nakuti
Published on
August 15, 2023 at 6:17:00 PM PDT August 15, 2023 at 6:17:00 PM PDTth, August 15, 2023 at 6:17:00 PM PDT
A healthy Mercy (left in the white shirt) smiles with her thriving family.

When Irene's husband left for Kenya to seek employment, Irene became a single mother solely responsible to provide for five children.

And it was hard. Her daughter Mercy was always sick but she couldn't figure out why. The stress weighed on Irene and she started losing weight and became depressed. Mercy grew so ill at one point that she nearly died. That's when Irene reached out to FH staff members who swiftly intervened. They got Mercy to a hospital where she was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia.

Irene was relieved beyond description to have her daughter back from the edge of the grave. But she was also overwhelmed. How could she afford the ongoing medication that Mercy needed? How could she afford the iron-rich foods to keep Mercy healthy?

Child Sponsorship became a big piece of the answer to covering Mercy's medical expenses. FH connected Irene with a savings group, agricultural training, and psychosocial support. She didn't have money to save at first, so Irene got creative. She started doing farm labour for others until she saved enough money to qualify for a loan from her group. She used it to start a small business selling food at the local primary school.

With that income, she bought a hen and hatched chicks and rented additional farmland. Irene learned from FH how to increase her yields and received vegetables including iron-rich beans which are helping to restore her daughter's health.

"I learned the importance of saving and socializing because there are many [more] things you learn in a group than when you are alone. I'm able to buy my children school materials, meet some small medical expenses, and buy items like milk, salt, paraffin, and matchboxes."

Thanks to child sponsorship and a spirit that just won't give up, Irene and her children are beginning to thrive!

"I have learned the art of saving, staying in harmony with my neighbours through practicing emotional intelligence, and how to properly care for children as well as being innovative."

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