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The Need in Mathare

Kenya Reported by Convoy of Hope

This is the reality for half a million children living in Mathare Valley: They are surviving on their own. There is no one to take care of them. No one to nurture them.

Mathare Valley is one of the largest slums in Africa. In this area more densely populated than Manhattan, trash and waste cover the streets. Residents have little to no access to clean water, food, or medicine. Disease spreads rapidly. And all of this has been made worse by the flash floods pouring into Kenya this spring. 

In a place so destitute, where can you find hope?

Hope in an Unlikely Place

Convoy of Hope is determined to change the lives and futures of the children living in Mathare. And we’ve helped cultivate hope in the hearts of children in an unlikely place: a small school within earshot of an illegal distillery. 

Through a hole in the wall at the back of the school, you can see barrels and barrels of alcohol made from a highly addictive mixture of ethanol and contaminated water from the Mathare River.

Those who buy it use it to numb the constant pain of hunger. 

Despite the devastation, addiction, and danger right outside, there is real hope inside the walls of the school. Children are learning, laughing, and growing. Patrick, the principal, opened the school because he wants to transform his community. 

“I want to do something for those kids,” he said. “Because I believe change starts with us.”

Every school day, students are served hot, nutritious meals provided by Convoy of Hope. 

“[The children] will come [to school] because they know that in school there is food,” said Patrick. “And when they stay at home, there is no food.” 

You Keep Hope Alive

Mathare — along with much of the continent of Africa — is experiencing the worst hunger crisis the world has seen in 50 years. But there is hope. In every meal that fills a child’s hungry belly. In the smile of every girl who learns her inherent worth. And in the brighter future of every kid who stays in school. 

You make it possible for Convoy to provide this hope. While hunger is detrimental to communities, hope empowers them. Food gives people the freedom to think past today and start working toward tomorrow, next week, next year. Because it is hard to work for a better future when you’re focused on surviving day to day.

When it comes to community transformation, it will be families, neighbors, and leaders who do the work. And Convoy is there to give them the help, resources, and hope they need to do it.

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Today, we’re celebrating #Juneteenth! The holiday celebrates African American history and culture, and the end of slavery on June 19, 1865. Juneteenth not only calls us to reflect on history, but also the continued work ahead.
For more on Juneteenth, visit https://h.ope.is/4crJtNM