Sponsor’s Gift Transforms a Family’s Future

Story and photos by Emmanuel Mwangala, Kenya Intern

A simple gift from his sponsor seven years ago transformed the lives of a boy and his entire family living in poverty in Kenya and opened the door to a future in cattle farming they had never dreamed was possible.

Mwandoro stands with the cattle that his family is raising.

When Mwandoro’s father received a phone call from the Hope Center seven years ago informing him of the gift fund his son’s sponsor had sent, he and his family were excited.

Child Champions at the center had asked Mwandoro and his father to visit the center the following day to settle on a gift they would purchase with the funds received.

They decided to get two chickens.

Mwandoro had been registered into the OneChild sponsorship program at Hossana Hope Center in Malindi, Kenya, in 2009 when he was 5 years old.

At the time when they received the gift, his father Ndurya was optimistic that the chickens would multiply in numbers and that his family would also have the luxury of eggs to eat. He never thought beyond the increase in number but was determined to take care of the amazing gift his family had received.

Ndurya was a peasant farmer and depended on rainfall to farm vegetables on his small piece of land. Malindi receives very little rainfall annually and this meant that Ndurya could only farm and harvest a few times a year. He would sell some of the vegetables to people in his community and have some to supplement meals at home.

Mwandoro helps feed the family’s cattle.

He says he earned the equivalent of $2 daily from selling the vegetables.

The amount, he says, was not enough to meet the needs at home like food, clothes, school fees, and sometimes medical needs whenever someone in his household got sick. Child hunger always loomed.

This family living in poverty needed to find a way to earn more income and the sponsor’s gift couldn’t have come at a better time.

After receiving the chickens, Mwandoro and his siblings took turns caring for them. After a while, the number of chickens grew to 25.

“When the number increased, we would sell some eggs and eat some. We also sold some chickens to pay school fees for the children, and once in a while we would treat ourselves to chicken,” Ndurya recalls.

In addition to the chickens, the family received two goats from Mwandoro’s sponsor in 2017. Ndurya says the gift of the goats inspired him to trying livestock farming.

“The goats sparked something in me,” he says. “They got me thinking about keeping animals. I had never had animals before because I could not afford to buy any, so when we received the gift, I thought that was a way of God opening my thinking.”

As the family continued to take care of the goats and chickens, the goats multiplied in number, and they were also able to sell some chickens and buy more goats. In 2019, the family had eight goats. That same year, Richard and Lana, Mwandoro’s sponsors, gifted the family another goat.

At that time, the family had wished to own a cow. They decided to trade their goats for a cow from someone in their community. The cow has given birth twice and now the family owns three cows.

A simple gift from Mwandoro’s sponsor led to, over the years, the family making a living raising cattle.

“It is amazing that what was once a dream is now a reality. I am so grateful to Richard and Lana. It is from supporting one of my children that my whole family now has hope for a greater future. The livestock has been able to transform our lives at home,” Ndurya says.

“I never thought that my son could own cattle because I could not afford to own one at his age,” he says.

“But thanks to his sponsors, he is now a young cattle farmer through which we’re able to meet most of our needs.

“I am also grateful to the Child Champions who guide us and helped us choose a perfect gift that has transformed our lives.”

Currently, the cow produces approximately 6 liters of milk daily and the family earns $4 from selling the milk.

Mwandoro’s father saves the income earned from selling the milk and is able to settle school fees for Mwandoro and his siblings. His father is also able to afford food and clothes and pays water bills at home.

Mwandoro, now 18, is currently in high school and hopes to become a police officer someday.

“I never have to worry about staying in school because the constant worry about my father paying my school fees is a thing of the past,” he says. “I am also happy that not only am I benefiting from the gift, but my family is also significantly benefiting. The family gift we received has gone beyond calming our worries to making us hopeful for the future.”

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