Brenda's story

My name is Brenda and I want to tell you a short story.

I come from humble beginnings but I’ve learnt that a little support goes a long way. Supporting people gives them hope. Where there is hope, people can dream. And when people freely dream, they have a purpose which gives them a chance to be something.

Many years ago, I was a student at the St Patrick's Primary School in Thika, Kenya.

Like other children my age, I would wake up daily and go to school to - as my mother would put it - search for a better future. My young brain could not fully comprehend what that really meant, but I knew it was something good. If nothing else, it meant a chance to escape poverty.

I was not the only one - my schoolmates were on the same journey. Every morning, we would wake up early and brave the cold weather around June and July to ensure we could get an education. We all had a thirst and a desire to learn, to grow, to be something. All of us were bound together by the dream of a better life.

My school drew most of its student population from neighbouring slums and low-income housing projects. In these places, poverty is a plague that knows no end and it’s not uncommon for people to go without food for a couple of days each week.

Most of my schoolmates would come to school hungry and when it got too much, they would stop coming to school and disappear into the streets to beg for food. When asking didn’t get them anywhere, they would then turn to violence and crime. Unfortunately, I lost too many classmates to a life of drugs, violence and prison.

To provide a solution to this and ensure that my schoolmates stayed in school, African Children’s Fund started running Porridge Clubs for underprivileged students during the morning break.

This was a game changer as it meant those who had gone to bed hungry the previous night or had nothing to eat for breakfast, now had a cup of sweet porridge to look forward to.

Every day, when the bell rang for the 10am break, hundreds of kids would line up with cups ready to get their delicious and nutritious porridge. The smiles on their faces said it all. The students stayed in school and gave education a chance.

The rate of school dropouts fell significantly and, most important of all, children who had a hard start at life felt like somebody finally cared about their quest for a better future.

In my final year, I was in charge of our school’s Porridge Club. Years later, I still remember the anticipation of the cup of porridge, hot and steamy from the pot. I remember the stories we told and fun games we played while enjoying the porridge and how it helped us forget our worries, focus on school and get an education.

When I look back, I realise this project impacted my life and choices in profound ways. I went on to study law and I am now an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya.

Make a difference with a gift in your Will

African Children’s Fund is a charity that helps children like Brenda off the streets and into school, giving them the chance to improve their lives and build a better future.  

Leaving a gift in your Will to African Children’s Fund will make a real difference to children born into poverty, for generations to come.

Find out more

To find out more about leaving a gift in your Will to African Children’s Fund, please visit their website.

Alternatively, you can speak to Dee at African Children's Fund by calling 01865 820570 or emailing

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