Education is a child’s best path out of extreme poverty. Yet circumstances in the lives of vulnerable children often make attending school nearly impossible. This creates a frustrating cycle for mothers like Marie Rosine, who desperately wanted to see her children become educated, resilient, and able to flourish.
Marie Rosine is a single mom who worked diligently on her small farm. But she was never able to produce enough food to feed her children.
The cultivation techniques she used had been passed down for generations in her Rwandan community. But they were ineffective against the local pests that continually destroyed her maize crops. She toiled tirelessly, but her efforts produced only meager harvests.
There was little to eat and even less that she could sell to produce an income. As a result, she couldn’t buy food to create balanced meals and a nutritious diet. And that led to malnutrition for Marie Rosine’s three children.
There were no funds to pay for health insurance or clinic visits, and she certainly couldn’t afford school supplies or fees. So her children soon dropped out of school.
“I felt like an irresponsible mother for failing to meet my family’s needs,” Marie Rosine said.
Hope for a Better Life
But everything began to change when Food for the Hungry (FH) came to her community. Marie Rosine was very motivated to provide a better life for her family, so she was eager to attend meetings and become involved.
It all started with child sponsorship. Marie Rosine signed up to allow a compassionate FH supporter to sponsor her 11-year-old daughter, Egidie. Child sponsorship provided food, clean water, school fees and supplies, and other basics that had always been out of reach.
Learning Opportunities Abound
The monthly support from Egidie’s sponsor made training and startup help available to equip Marie Rosine to earn enough to adequately provide for her children. She took advantage of many opportunities, including:
Marie Rosine learned modern farming techniques including push-pull technology, which would revolutionize her maize farm. She learned to use organic manure and how to mulch, plant, and weed at the optimal times for peak harvests.
Push-pull agricultural methods keep pests at bay, and manure from her livestock has increased her yield. Her harvests and income have multiplied exponentially, increasing 500%!
Child sponsorship made it possible for Marie Rosine’s family to receive a goat, a pig, and training on how to care for these animals so they would provide milk, manure, and extra income.
A Kitchen Garden
Marie Rosine received seeds, tools, and additional training to learn how to grow nutritious vegetables. The flourishing kitchen garden enables her to prepare fresh, well-balanced, vitamin-rich meals for her family.
Hygiene and Sanitation
To prevent disease, Marie Rosine and her children are now able to use a sanitary pit latrine that was installed in their community. Improvements within their household included pot drying racks to keep dishes clean, and a tippy tap that enables regular hand-washing.
Marie Rosine was able to join an FH saving group with other moms in her community. This gives her access to funds to pay for necessities like school fees and to receive small loans to buy necessities for her farming business.
As a result of these improvements, Marie Rosine’s business is flourishing and her family is full of hope.
Back to School
And this year, Marie Rosine’s children are attending school with a new sense of pride. She was able to purchase all the supplies they needed and pay the school fees herself.
“Our way of living has changed completely,” Marie Rosine said. “We eat a balanced diet, are healthy, and if something arises, we can access the care we need, because I’ve been able to buy health insurance!”
FH child sponsors regularly make this kind of dramatic change possible in many places around the world, lifting up vulnerable children and transforming their families and entire communities, while helping them to become resilient and able to flourish.
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