Shattering the grip of poverty

One mother’s strength in a fragile world.


Kadzo straps her youngest baby to her back and sets off to the local stone quarry, about 5km away from her home. She leaves early in the morning before the Kenyan heat becomes unbearable, hoping to accomplish more by the time buyers trickle in.

On arrival, she digs out a large limestone boulder and begins the back-breaking work of shattering it into small pieces so the pebbles can be used for construction. For 10 hours a day, seven days a week, local women carry out this work. Many are accompanied by their children because they either cannot afford to send them to school or pay someone to look after them.

 

Breaking rocks

40-year-old Kadzo is the sole wage-earner for her family of 14 children, who range from seven months to 14 years old. Most of her children are school-age, but she cannot afford to keep them all in school.

No mother should ever have to take their baby to such a dangerous workplace. But as Kadzo works, her baby sits on the rough ground, unaware of the hazards of flying debris or the fine dust that surrounds her. This hard-working mother says, “I do not wish to bring her to the quarry with me, but if I miss a day, we all sleep hungry and that breaks my heart.”

In many parts of the world, women are the main breadwinners, as well as the primary carers. Sadly, many women like Kadzo miss out on a decent education when they are younger, preventing them from achieving well-paid employment. This could be because their family cannot afford school fees, or because strong cultural norms favour the education of boys. Inadequate sanitation facilities can also be a barrier for girls to attend school.

But for Kadzo, there is hope. Thanks to Compassion, her 13-year-old daughter Salama is attending school.

Kenyan school girl

Education can empower girls for life. Each year of schooling increases a girl’s individual earning potential by up to 20 percent.* Children – especially girls – born to educated mothers are more likely to attend school themselves, resulting in opportunities that extend across generations, lifting them out of the cycle of poverty.

Salama has been sponsored since 2007, allowing her to pursue her dreams. She says, “I want to become a teacher so that I can be a role model to girls who are not lucky as I am.”

When you sponsor a child, you’re giving them access to an education, and a future free from poverty. That’s why it’s so important to share Compassion this Mother’s Day - every child sponsored is a life changed, and you have the power to change it. We know the difference sponsorship makes. Join us and change the world, one child at a time.

Support a mum this Mother's Day

 

Sources: Unicef

WORDS : Corinna Stubbs, Isaac Ogila

PHOTOS : Isaac Ogila


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