Meet Florence, a lively 12 year old girl that lives in a village about 2 miles away from Open Arms Academy. She lives in a small mud thatched house with her mother, sister and two brothers.
There are millions of children in Kenya who live in extreme poverty today, without water, sanitation, and healthcare services. The only channel these children have to a better life is through education.
A normal day for Florence begins at about 6 AM when her mother wakes her up to get ready for school. She shares her bed with two of her siblings while the youngest child sleeps with their mother. There is a small outdoor bathroom that serves the people living in her area. They get their bathing water from a river nearby. They prefer to fetch their water the evening before and store it in buckets so that they can use it to shower in the morning.
Most of the time, Florence has black tea for breakfast and then starts walking to school. Even though lessons begin at 8am, Florence and her sister leave home between 6:30 and 7:00 AM for their 2 mile walk to school. Both girls are fortunate enough to be sponsored to study at Open Arms Academy.
“I’m always happy when its time to go to school. When we get there in the morning, they give us breakfast. They started doing this when I was in class 4. Its called the breakfast club. I think it’s the best club in the whole school!” says Florence.
As she goes about her day, Florence is always keen to catch up on her reading. In the evening when its time to go home, she has to be very fast because she wants to make sure she can finish her homework before it gets dark. Their house doesn’t have electricity so they like to finish most of their work when its light outside. Her siblings who go to public schools around the area also get home around the same time.
Florence also helps her younger sibilings with their homework. Her mother works hard to make sure her children have something to eat before they go to bed.
“My mother likes it when she sees us doing our homework. She was unable to go to school when she was a child and she always tells us to do our best because we have this opportunity. We also like tending to the flowers because when she sees them, she always smiles”.
“I know my life is difficult at times. But I am not sad about it because I am going to school, which means that I have an opportunity to improve the state of my life.”
Because of your generosity, Florence gets to go to school and have healthy meals. Because of you, she has hope.
Joining the Circle of H.O.P.E., our monthly giving program, assures that children like Florence can continue to dream and achieve. Your monthly gift of any amount will change lives. You can join today by clicking here.
God bless you,
Executive Director, Open Arms International US