Despite the challenges 2020 presented, Convoy of Hope celebrated exciting milestones. Last year, we provided hope and nutritious meals to more than 387,000 children every school day through our strategic feeding programs. We added close to 87,000 kids to our programs since 2019.
Chege’s story represents one of 387,000 remarkable narratives. Like many in need of hope, his quest to find a better future began when he was very young.
Chege ran with desperation in his eyes. Sweat poured down the 8-year-old boy’s face as he took in another panicky, dust-filled breath. He sprinted through fields of brittle grass and down the winding roads that surrounded his Kenyan neighborhood. He had to find help.
His mother was dying.
The night before, his father — an abusive, violent alcoholic — had beaten Chege’s mother during a drunken rage.
The next morning, she called to Chege, saying, “I want you to run and find your father, because I feel like I’m going to die.”
The boy ran as fast as he could, but his mother passed before they returned. Chege thought his future died with his mother. But, his life was far from over. He was enrolled in a school where Convoy of Hope fed hungry children like him. It was there that he received his first pair of shoes and hope for the future.
He started studying diligently, and his teachers saw a difference in his performance. With a nutritious meal in his stomach and determination in his soul, he excelled. Incredibly, he advanced three grade levels in one year.
Eventually, he finished school and was accepted into university to study chemistry.
Today, Chege understands that what happened to him can happen to others. He makes time to tutor students in the same school he attended as a child — the place where Convoy of Hope continues to feed children every school day. Chege’s message is one of empowerment, encouragement, and hope.
“I’m telling them they are valuable,” he said. “I tell them I was like them. Hungry in my body and in my mind, and people like Convoy of Hope came along and fed me. And now, because of them, I will never be the same. I will accomplish my vision. And nothing can stop me.”