“Sometimes I feel like I want to grow up really fast so I can help my mom.” Poverty often robs children like Joseph the chance of just being a kid.
Joseph, a boy in the sixth grade in Zambia, used to go to school some days without any food because his mom couldn’t pay the rent, school fees, and afford to feed her children at the same time.
Joseph lives with his mom, aunt, uncle, and two sisters. His mom works hard as a chef, but she had to take out loans to continue paying school fees, rent, and for new clothes for her children. Her income isn’t enough to consistently feed her family.
“It’s hard, but I keep concentrating on school because I know if I concentrate on school, I will help my mom,” Joseph said.
Joseph goes to one of the schools where Convoy of Hope provides food to every student. Before Convoy started the feeding program, Joseph recalled noticing his friends sleeping in class so they could forget about the hunger they felt. Now, he and all his peers are fed consistent, nutritious meals.
In Zambia, 35% of children have stunted growth. More than half of Zambia’s population lives under the poverty line, and the malnutrition rate is among the highest in the world. Joseph is one of more than 10,000 Zambian children Convoy feeds in an effort to reduce the number of malnourished children.
Convoy’s Children’s Feeding program also increases school attendance. “Most of us won’t stop coming to school,” Joseph said, “because we know at school we are going to find food, we are going to eat, and we are going to be healthy and satisfied. I’m very energetic. I get to think properly when I’m doing class work. It becomes easier … because of the food program I even get to play.”
Because of Convoy’s Children’s Feeding program, Joseph doesn’t have to grow up faster than any other child. He can be a kid because he doesn’t have to think about how to help his mom, make sure his sisters are fed, and get food for himself. He can concentrate on school, play with his friends, and rest knowing where his next meal is coming from.
When you partner with Convoy, your generosity inspires generosity in others. “Like you are helping us, I pray to help others. I want to follow in your footsteps,” Joseph said.
To continue helping Convoy feed kids and inspire them to help others, you can donate to Convoy’s Children’s Feeding program.
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