Look What One Motivated Child Can Do
It was Sunday and I was in church with my granddaughter Emma, age 11 (on the right in the photo). We heard the alert of an incoming text on my phone. Ever curious, she reached for it and read. It was from Joseph, the Kenyan director of our program. He was notifying me that one of our sponsored students, one of our brightest and most capable, was actually suffering from starvation.
No matter how long I work in Kenya, I am still shocked by such things—the vast disparity between my world and theirs.
On reading the text, Emma was instantly bursting with questions. She’s in college and she’s starving? How much would it cost for food for a month? How do we get money to her? I want to help her, Mumzy! I can do this!
And she did. She “flew into action,” as we say in our family. That very afternoon she and her cousin, Olivia, pulled out recipes and all manner of baking necessities. The kitchen was soon covered in flour as they knocked out sugar cookies and coconut bars. Carmel Corn followed, packaged in bags ready to sell.
Her whole family rallied for the cause and they set up a table on the street. We gave her posters that told about the girls in Kenya that were so desperately trying to stay in school. And she printed out a small flyer telling about Cate Mshame, the girl she was helping. (See flyer below.) I held my breath, not wanting her to be disappointed in people’s response to her enthusiasm. We stood back and watched. Something magical happened. Emma’s little sisters were approaching total strangers with the flyers. People were actually stopping to look (it’s amazing how children can accomplish what adults can’t).
One young man bought a cookie and then returned with $40 after reading about Cate.
In three short hours Emma had raised enough to feed Cate for a year, making it possible for her to focus on her university studies. The $387.53 dollars she raised was also enough to help other girls as well.
Beaming with pride, she told me about all the kind people that cared enough to stop. “I want to do it again!” she said. “It felt so good!”
Do you ever wonder how to pull children out of their lethargy? Ignite their minds with a cause that matters to them. Give them the tools to ignite others. And just watch what one child can do!