Silpo is struggling to feed her grandchildren.

Silpo is struggling to feed her grandchildren.

Grandmother, Silpo (centre) with grandson John (age 8, left) and her daughter-in-law (right).

Hunger is taking school off the table for children in Alito.

Silpo tries her hardest to provide for her grandchildren, but every day is a struggle to survive.

She lives in a small mud hut with four of her grandchildren, her son and her daughter-in-law.

Most days, they don’t have enough food for more than one meal. There just isn’t enough.

“My grandchildren and I earn our daily food by digging other people’s gardens,” Silpo says. “They pay us with food or sometimes cash. But because I am sick and often weak, I can only manage to dig a small area each day.

“It’s not enough to feed all of us. It gets worse during the dry season when we cannot till any land. We struggle. Sometimes we go to bed without eating any meal since we eat porridge.”

The struggle to put food on the table has forced three of Silpo’s grandchildren to drop out of school and help with garden work so the family survive.

“I am taking care of four grandchildren, one who is orphaned and another whose parents left home because of our situation,” says Silpo.

“Only one of these children is able to attend school. I use my small savings to buy his school uniform and pay for his school fees. The rest remain home because I cannot afford to feed them and buy schoollastic materials or pay school fees for all of them.”

Silpo’s grandson John is only 8 years old but already he feels hopeless watching his peers go off to school while he has to stay home to help garden.

“When I am going to the garden to work or going to fetch water in the morning and I see other children going to school, I feel sad that I cannot go to school like them,” says John.

“But some days we have no food to eat, especially when grandmother is sick, so she tells us to go and look for food instead of going to school. We feel bad, but we have no option.

Many families in Alito are facing the same struggles as Silpo and John. Parents can’t earn enough to feed their children and farming families don’t have the right skills and tools, meaning their harvests are never enough to provide three meals a day.

“I keep praying that no one falls sick, because it pushes me to borrow money for treatment and then struggle with the debt,” says Silpo.

“I wish I could do better for my grandchildren.”

Right now, your kindness is reaching families like Silpo’s in Alito. Your generosity will help set up savings groups so caregivers like Silpo can start and grow small businesses and earn more income. And you’ll help train farmers on new ways to grow crops and work together so they can increase their harvests, and profits, feed their families. With your love and care, kids like John will be able to stay in school and sleep at night with food in their bellies.

Thank you for helping children and families in Alito build brighter future.