15 year old Kenneth lives on a tiny farm outside Nakuru, Kenya with his mom and his sister. Looking at their little garden and small hut, you wouldn’t think there would be anything on their property worth stealing. So why is Kenneth terrified of thieves?

Kenneth sits in front of a black board wearing a slightly-worse-for-wear blue school uniform, but grinning at the camera.

Kenneth’s dad abandoned the family – they don’t even know where he is now. His mom struggles to keep her little family alive. They have 5 goats – Kenneth is hoping he can raise them into a whole herd. If they had enough goats to start selling some, they’d be in great shape. But in the meantime they’re surviving on the beans, peas and kale they grow in their small garden.

Those vegetables are their entire income. They eat many of them, and the rest they sell to their neighbors for a little cash.

Somehow, despite how hard they work to get their crops to grow, there is never quite enough food. Kenneth used to go to school without any lunch. Sometimes even without any breakfast!

But their troubles don’t end there.

Despite barely having enough vegetables to feed themselves, their garden has been targeted by thieves. Their precious crops have disappeared in the night, picked right off the vines. When the thieves come, Kenneth and his family are left with nothing.

Imagine lying awake at night, listening, wondering if the noises you’re hearing outside are thugs taking your dinner. Wondering if you’ll get to eat tomorrow, or if it will be another hungry day. Or worrying that this time they’ll take the goats, your hope for the future. The worst is that Kenneth can’t do anything about it. With just his mom, his sister and him in the house, he doesn’t dare confront the thieves. No wonder Kenneth is terrified of them.

Despite the fear, Kenneth has one thing that keeps him going. With gifts like yours, Childcare Worldwide started a free lunch program at his school! Even if times are particularly hard at home, even if their whole crop gets stolen, Kenneth knows he’ll get a big, healthy lunch at school.Kenneth smiles as someone out of the frame spoons beans onto his plate.

Without it, Kenneth rarely got any lunch. And sometimes nothing to eat all day. But with it, he has at least one good meal every day! And that one meal a day makes all the difference! Now, instead of being listless in class, Kenneth has the energy to focus and thrive.

Unfortunately we can’t do anything about the thieves. Hopefully the police will catch them soon! But in the meantime, we can make sure that Kenneth and his family survive, and that Kenneth has the food he needs to grow into a healthy adult.

Childcare Worldwide is grateful to partner with generous people all over the world to build a better life for kids in need. If you believe that Every Meal Matters for hungry kids like Kenneth, click here to see how you can help.

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