Joseph and Benjamin are brothers from Kyandoo, a small village near our Mercy Care Site in Mwingi, Kenya. When they were still very young, their mother, who was their only caretaker, sadly passed away. After her death, the boys went to live with their grandmother.
Life with their grandmother was full of happy moments! Joseph and Benjamin remember waking early in the morning to a breakfast of hot corn meal porridge that she had lovingly prepared. The boys would fetch firewood and haul water in from the nearby river for her, and she took special care to make sure they were thriving. The happy family did everything together, and the boys’ doting grandmother loved them deeply.
These happy moments were cut short when Joseph and Benjamin’s grandmother fell ill. She quickly deteriorated, and passed away just a short time after. The death of their grandmother deeply affected the young children.
Sorrowful and lonely, the boys tried to carry on and take care of themselves. They attempted to wake up early for their eight kilometer walk to school, but without anyone to care for them, they were often late. Our site staff and members of Chalice family circles all pitched in to support the brothers, but they were still not receiving the care they needed due to their remote location and the long travel distances.
After careful thought and consideration, a solution was found for Joseph and Benjamin. The Sisters of St. Joseph also operate in Mombasa, Kenya, and have a joint program with Chalice. They manage the Grandsons of Abraham Education Center, an orphanage for children. The center, working in tandem with Chalice sponsorship, offers shelter, food, medical care, recreation, and quality education to orphans and children from very poor backgrounds. The brothers were ideal candidates, and were enrolled in the center together.
Moving to the center would mean a new life with many changes. Joseph and Benjamin would have to leave their home, neighbours, and friends, and start school in a new place.
Adapting to their new routine was difficult, but the friendly and homey atmosphere at the center helps children settle in and become part of the family very easily. By Christmas, the brothers had made many new friends and celebrated a beautiful holiday season filled with love and joy.
Today, Benjamin is in grade four, and Joseph is in grade one. The brothers are thriving and are once again filled with happiness.
Renewed with hope, the brothers now have big dreams for their future. Joseph wants to be a pilot when he grows up, and Benjamin wants to be an engineer! They also hope to one day help their home village fight against the grasp of poverty.