Meet 12-year-old Godfrey Mathenge, a student in grade 5 at Victory Christian primary school. Godfrey is a Deputy Head Boy at the school, which is a position that only a hard-working, responsible child with strong character and good grades can be elected to. This achievement is not common because Godfrey transferred to Victory Christian in the middle of the school year and was able to earn the respect of his classmates in just a few short months. He is an exceptional student. In a recent exam he scored 425 out of 500. “I was targeting for 450 marks”, he stated to his mentor Martin MwanIki of Empower a Child Kenya. Besides being a great student, Godfrey is also talented in running and wants to run in a marathon.
This has not always been the case; Godfrey is one of five siblings raised by a single mother. According to his records, his father is unknown, and his mother had to give him up to his 80-year-old grandmother because she was forced to work two hours away from Nairobi as a home caretaker where her salary was only food and a place to stay. For some time, Godfrey, his brothers, and his cousins lived with their grandmother in the Kibera slums, the largest slum in Africa, which is home to over 1 million people.
While on the waiting list for the Empower a Child program, Godfrey’s life took a turn for the worse when his uncle kicked him out, accusing him of stealing money from his aged grandmother. The team of Empower A Child Kenya investigated and found out that the uncle was jealous that his mother, Godfrey’s grandmother, was taking care of his sister’s children, and decided to take his anger out on his nephew. Out in the cold, Godfrey struggled with hunger, and his performance in school suffered. However, when someone saw Godfrey’s story on the Empower a Child website and decided to make the commitment of sponsorship, his life was changed for the better. No longer would he have to face the trials of hunger and cold, or find ways to pay school fees.
Out of 1 million people in one slum, God saw what Godfrey was going through and used a sponsor to intervene and change his life. We are encouraged by the tremendous progress he is making, and are blessed that God is allowing this leader to go through our hands.
by Martin Mwankli