Epur and her friends walking to school

Double The Love

Karen Gray, Director of Communications, writes about an inspiring girl from Kenya, named Epur

Published on

It is with great joy that I share some exciting news with you – until 31 January 2023, every donation made to our Double The Love appeal will be matched, up to £1.5 million!

Thanks to a group of generous supporters, your kindness will go even further at this critical time. In a world devastated by conflict, food insecurity and the cost of living, bringing new hope to desperately hungry children with our life-changing school meals has never been more important.

I recently travelled to Turkana in the north of Kenya, where people are experiencing the country’s worst drought in 40 years. This means the livestock people rely on for their livelihoods are dying, families are hungry and water can barely be found – I even witnessed people digging deep wells into the heart of a riverbed.

And yet, although Turkana may not have seen consistent rainfall for too long, a river of hope runs through this dry place in the form of Mary’s Meals. I saw this hope in action from the minute I arrived at Kakore nursery school.

Epur from Turkana, Kenya

Here the children learn under a tree, with a huge rock face used as a makeshift chalkboard. Epur, 12, is singing along with the other children. She’s much older because many hardships have interrupted her education.

Epur learns in class

Her father, Ezekiel, tells me cattle raiders attacked their home – his son was killed and animals stolen. They had to leave. He says: “Epur’s two older sisters got married so she was the only one left at home. She had to look after what was left of the animals.”

Epur's parents in Turkana

It was only when the school opened in 2021 and Mary’s Meals began to serve our daily meal of maize and beans, that the family could return and send Epur back to class. Her parents say Mary’s Meals is their only support.

Today Epur laughs as she plays with her friends. Her father hopes she will become a doctor or a politician, but she has other ideas. She says: “I want to be a teacher. I want to work in a school like this, and help children like me to learn.”

Epur plays with her friends

The family know that education is the best route out of poverty. One of Epur’s sisters has become an engineer and the determination that Epur can also carve out a better life is clear, despite the challenges they face. “I pray we can find a way, and she will succeed like her sister,” Ezekiel says.

Thank you for helping us to fuel the learning and dreams of more than two million children like Epur, each school day.

Your incredible generosity is changing children’s futures. Together, through Double The Love, let’s transform the lives of so many more desperately hungry children waiting for Mary’s Meals.

Karen Gray
Director of Communications

Epur from Kenya

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