Nerious is a lot like most 12-year-old girls you’ve met. She is full of life. She’s trying to figure out who she is, and what her place in the world is. She can be really shy, and easily embarrassed. Nerious loves a good story – her favorite subject is English. And she wants to be a doctor when she grows up.

But Nerious lives in Kenya and her family is poor.

That means her life is so much harder than most 12-year-olds’. You see, Nerious’ dad died two years ago. Even when both her parents were alive they were struggling to make ends meet, but now her mom has to struggle on her own.

Her mom finds occasional work gardening for the neighbors. The little bit of money she earns is barely enough to keep a roof over their heads. But their biggest problem is finding enough to eat!

On many days, Nerious has no lunch to take to school. On other days, Nerious is deeply embarrassed by the little amount of food she has – she doesn’t want her friends to see how much their family is struggling. “I felt bad for my friends to see what I had brought,” she says. “So it was better to go home.”

So, every day, she makes the long walk home for lunch. On good days, she has ugali when she gets there, which is a type of cornmeal porridge common throughout East Africa. On great days, she has a little kale to go with her ugali. On bad days, she has nothing to eat at all.

Whatever her lunch looks like, she then trudges back to school. Her walk is so long she’s often late returning, missing precious time in class.

Her mom is heartbroken every day she has to send Nerious back to school hungry. She knows that’s no way to help her daughter succeed. But she has no options.

No other options, that is, until donors like you stepped up to help start a school lunch program at Nerious’ school.

Now, Nerious has a healthy lunch at school every day! She eats with her friends, and she eats until she’s full! Her school lunch is a welcome change from ugali. More importantly, it’s better for her. It’s packed with the protein and other nutrients she needs so badly.

Both Nerious and her mom were so relieved when the lunch program started. Nerious is much healthier now, and the family finances are slowing improving.

Most importantly, for the first time in years, probably since her dad died, Nerious now has hope! The world always looks brighter on a full belly, and for Nerious, that changes everything.

Childcare Worldwide is grateful to partner with generous people all over the world to build a better life for kids in need. If you’re interested in feeding hungry children like Nerious, click here.