Attending school is a child’s best path out of extreme poverty. Yet circumstances in the lives of these children typically make receiving an education impossible. This creates an inescapable cycle for families and mothers like Marie Rosine.
No Path to School, No Way to Hope
Marie Rosine worked diligently on her family farm. But this single mom was never able to harvest enough food for her children to eat.
The ancient cultivation techniques she used, which had been passed down for generations in her Rwandan community, were inefficient. They were ineffective against local pests that continued to destroy her maize crops. As a result, her enormous efforts led only to meagre harvests. And small harvests led to skimpy meals and an extremely small income for Marie Rosine and her three children.
“It wasn’t enough even to solve minor family problems,” Marie Rosine remembers.
Among the many essential needs that went unmet:
- Nutritious food, causing her children to become malnourished on an unbalanced diet.
- Health insurance, creating additional challenges when family members got sick.
- School supplies and fees, leading her children to skip school and ultimately drop out.
“I felt like an irresponsible and hopeless mother for failing to meet my family’s needs,” Marie Rosine shares.
But the blessing of child sponsorship provided by Food for the Hungry (FH) supporters changed everything. It cleared the path for Marie Rosine’s children to go back to school, opening the door for them to achieve a brighter future – in a way that may surprise you.
Marie Rosine tends her maize crop.
Child Sponsorship Transforms Families
Marie Rosine wanted a better life for her family. So when FH entered her community, she was eager to learn and get involved.
It all started with child sponsorship. Marie Rosine signed up to allow a compassionate sponsor on the other side of the world to help make sure her 11-year-old daughter, Egidie, would receive food, clean water, education, and other basics she had struggled to provide.
But that wasn’t all. Child sponsorship with FH is designed to empower families and communities to become self-sustaining. Ultimately, they won’t need child sponsors anymore.
Learning Opportunities Abound
The monthly support from Egidie’s sponsor empowered many projects. These equipped Marie Rosine to earn an income and provide for her children. And this mom took advantage of every opportunity presented to her, including:
- Agricultural Training
Marie Rosine learned modern farming techniques and best practices that would transform her maize farm. She gained the knowledge and tools to use organic manure; to mulch, plant and weed at the appropriate times; and to utilize push-pull technology.
- Raising Livestock
A goat and pig were provided to her family. And Marie Rosine received training on how to care for these animals as sources of milk, manure, and extra income.
- Establishing a Kitchen Garden
With gifts like seeds, tools, and training, Marie Rosine was able to grow nutritious vegetables. With those, she prepared meals that provided a well-balanced diet.
- Hygiene and Sanitation
To prevent disease, a pit latrine was installed in Marie Rosine’s community. There, she and her children could safely use the bathroom. And her family received other gifts, such as a pot drying rack (for keeping clean dishes clean) and a tippy tap (for regular hand-washing).
- Savings Group
Membership in the group provided Marie Rosine with a place to save money with other moms in her community.
With increased harvests and income, Marie Rosine is now able to pay the fees to send her children to school.
Back to School, Filled with Pride
As a result of these activities, Marie Rosine’s life today looks radically different.
Her harvests have multiplied exponentially. Push-pull methods keep pests at bay. Manure from her livestock has increased her yield. Where once she could only harvest 20 kilograms of maize, today she’s reaping at least 100 kilograms. And her income has grown accordingly.
And this school year, she’s sending her children back to school with a new sense of pride. Why? Because she’s able to provide their school materials and pay their fees herself.
“Our way of living has changed for the better,” Marie Rosine says with joy. “Health insurance is more accessible now than before. My harvest has increased due to push-pull techniques. School materials for my children are bought easily. Their nutrition has improved with a balanced diet.”
This is the kind of dramatic transformation FH child sponsors make possible, lifting up vulnerable children while lifting up their families and communities.
Mothers Empower Girls to Stay in School
Farm Tools, Training Help Families Find New Income Avenues
Growing Hope from Vegetable Seeds