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But Your Support Helps This Young Boy Go On

April 25, 2016

Death is all around Kingsley — a quiet, polite 15-year-old boy in Nigeria. He’s seen so much of it in a short time.

To find his remote village, we travel for hours in our 4-wheel-drive truck on rutted dirt roads. Finally, we reach the house. It’s made of cinder blocks and mud. It has a tin roof. There are only two windows, merely openings cut into the wall — no panes of glass.

Inside, there’s a dirt floor under our feet.

A cooking pit is dug into a corner. No running water, no electricity. There are two beds — one for Kingsley, and one for his younger brother and sister. A small wooden table and a couple stools stand in the center, and that’s it. Poverty hangs in the air.

I ask Kingsley where his father is, and he points to a mound of dirt a short distance away. “There is my father,” he says, lowering his eyes, sad and ashamed. We learn, to our horror, that Kingsley had to dig a shallow grave in the red clay and bury his own dad.

Just a few months earlier, he lost his mom, too. Since then, without parents, Kingsley has been taking care of his little brother and sister.

He’s a somber, serious boy … thrust into adulthood with the weight of grown-up responsibilities. He says little. He looks worried — but grateful we’re there.

These children are at risk. Killer diseases like diphtheria, dengue fever, meningitis and malaria circle outside their door. Even the water they drink threatens them. It can carry sicknesses like cholera and diarrhea that can kill them in a few days.

But thanks to your generous gifts, these children will now have treatment and care from health workers with medicine and medical supplies. When they get sick, they’ll have health care. They’ll have help. Now, they have a chance. Now, they have hope.

To support his family, Kingsley swings a machete, lopping off palm fronds from a native tree. He sells them to workers who weave them into fans, placemats and other items. With the few dollars he earns, Kingsley can buy food and pay for school for his brother and sister.

It’s a struggle, but thanks to you, these three children aren’t alone anymore. They’re getting help. They’re getting care. And with your continued support, we can do even more for Kingsley. This boy, who’s just a child himself, is both mother and father to his little brother and sister. Together, we can keep protecting them. We can keep saving their lives.

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