Yesterday we visited one of Compassion International’s Child Survival Programs in Kenya. It provides prenatal care, food, supplements, health care, motherhood training, education, encouragement, spiritual training, and income generating opportunities (including microfinance).
Globally, 24,000 children under 5 die every day from preventable diseases, most within their first hours or days of life.
In Kenya, 22 million people (55% of population) live on less than $1.25 per day. And those with a job often support 10+ people financially. The Child Survival Program is designed to reach these mothers and some households earn as little as $10 per month.
We met Scola, a mother of four who joined the Child Survival Program and found a new way of life. Not only did she learn a better way to raise her children, but through microfinance, she was also taught how to make and sell soap. Spending $7 on supplies, Scola could make $20 worth of soap. The $13 profits let her buy more soap and pay her $6 monthly rent.
Cloth drapes the walls to add beauty to her small one room shack. The family shares one bed. The roof is corrugated tin and the floor is cement. A sewage trench runs almost stagnate outside her home. Her husband struggles to find odd jobs. Scola is full of joy. The Child Survival Program has changed her life. It has enabled her.
We also met Eunice. She makes necklaces since joining the Child Survival Program. She rolls slivers of old posters, calendars, and scrap paper into beads coated with varnish. Her smile was overwhelming. Her joy was contagious. She had dignity and humility. When asked about her dream for her son Stanley, she said:
I want him to do well in school… to go to university. I’d like him to become a doctor… and support others in the community.
The people I met work incredibly hard to survive. The Child Survival Program and Child Sponsorship Program give these families a boost of hope and the rare opportunity to break the poverty cycle. Think about Eunice’s hope for Stanley.
I want my child to be successful so that he can financially support others.
Compared to almost everyone in the United States, these people have nothing. But when they get something, they are looking to help others. Think about that. Get gobsmacked.
Currently, Kenya has 3,000 kids waited to be sponsored. The model is entirely scalable. They are just waiting on your support.