Five-year-old Nabore lives in the scenic highlands of northern Kenya. Her name means “my cup is full,” or as her father, Paulo, says, “full of peace, full of blessings.” However, for many years, Nabore’s family struggled to meet their most basic needs.
How Hunger Can Lead to Crime
Nabore’s older sister, Mecca, remembers what life used to be like before her sister’s sponsorship.
“We only had one meal of maize porridge in the day,” Mecca says.
Desperate to feed their children, Nabore’s parents resorted to illegally brewing alcohol in their home and selling it locally in secret.
Hunger often drives desperation like this for families all over the world, making parents feel forced to choose between following the law and filling their children’s empty bellies.
“I was in a terrible place,” says Mbakiras, Nabore's mother. “We used to brew alcohol to earn enough to feed our children. Life was difficult; I felt conflicted and was living in fear of being arrested.”
Mbakiras had her first child 14 years ago when she was 16 years old and Paulo was 21. Neither completed their education, and both have struggled to find legitimate employment. Working as casual farm assistants, they earned only $1 per day, placing their family well below the extreme poverty line, which World Bank defines as $2.15 per person per day. This income was never enough to feed Nabore’s family.
Wanting to find an alternative to illegally brewing and selling alcohol, Mbakiras would go into the forest to collect firewood, selling it for $2 per bundle. This venture led to her sell firewood to the local Compassion child development center, where she was quickly identified as a vulnerable family and offered support.