Lucy Wangui, 18, narrates how her mother’s death in November 2020 left her breastfeeding and caring for her two-month-old sister and 7-month-old daughter.
Regrettably, Lucy dropped out of primary school and left Kevin Kamau, her elder brother, as the primary breadwinner with limited skills. Like most slum dwellers, Kevin scrapes by on casual work as a boda boda rider who earns a little too insufficient to survive the harsh realities of urban living leave alone make enough take care of his seven other siblings. He explains that it is a brutal world to navigate when the current discourse does not support you. Her generosity to breastfeed her sibling despite her adversity moved many to show empathy and compassion. Well-wishers and neighbors rallied to aid and donated the little that they could. Despite their best efforts, the food was not enough to properly ensure Lucy consistently had a balanced diet to care for the two babies properly.
Our Church Partner in Korogocho heard of Lucy’s story in the media and quickly stepped in. The Church’ Survival Program, supported by Compassion International, took in the babies, which will go a long way in easing the family’s financial burden and ensure the babies receive the resources needed to thrive. Lucy will also receive various skills, training, spiritual, and financial assistance to support and nurture her family.
Remaining positive while not having access to an income or some semblance of financial security has been difficult. But Lucy, unable to keep seated in her single-room house in Dandora slum, is hugely excited and hopeful that she will get a chance in the near future to go back to school, complete her studies and eventually be self-sufficient.
The story of Lucy reminds us of the real need to invest specifically in the early years of child development and that failure to protect children is one of the most costly mistakes societies can make.