Abu simply wanted to attend high school, but Jenneh couldn’t afford the fees to send him — something not uncommon in their home country of Sierra Leone. There, about three-fourths of children attend primary school, but only 40 percent of boys go on to attend high school.
Her husband left to find work in another village and never came back, leaving Jenneh to raise Abu and his four siblings on her own. Finances were tight, just providing the basics for her children, so high school wasn’t an option.
“For the children to live well in the house, we need chickens and eggs,” Jenneh says.
She couldn’t afford these, and the little vegetable farming she did wasn’t enough. Abu and his siblings were malnourished, lacking protein in their diet.
Then in 2010, World Vision began a livestock project in their community. In conjunction with the organization’s Gift Catalog, World Vision was able to provide animal for the most vulnerable families — single mothers and orphans — before others in the village. The animals helped provide not only nourishing food for the families but also supplied extra income when they sold offspring at the market.
Jenneh’s family received its first goat in the initial 2010 distribution. Now her children have the nourishment they need to grow strong and healthy. They also bred the goat, which produced kids that the family sold — giving Jenneh the money for Abu’s school fees. He wants to be a carpenter when he grows up because he’s strong, he says with a grin as he flexes his arm.
Abu also helps care for the family’s growing herd of goats, feeding them and keeping them out of other people’s gardens. The goats produce kids about every six months, so they have plenty to tend. Now, because Jenneh wants to help others in the same way World Vision helped her, she gives baby goats away to other families in need.
“I feel kindness is reciprocal,” Jenneh says. “If you receive kindness, you share.”
Help families in need like Jenneh’s by donating to the Strong Women, Strong World initiative.