Erastus, like many young guys his age, likes football. His love for the game is evidenced by the Manchester United jersey he proudly wears while he plays with some of the children he knows.
Erastus is also the sole caregiver for his brothers and sisters. His parents both died a few years ago, leaving their children to fend for themselves. Often, they had to go to sleep hungry, only to wake up even hungrier than the night before.
With a stroke of luck and a few clucks - or maybe just a stroke of “cluck” - that is starting to change.
Through World Vision’s Cash for Assets program, which provides individuals with the skills and resources to start and manage small business projects, Erastus now has a small clutch of chickens. He shows them off proudly, opening the door to the coop with care. His clutch is small now, just a few chickens and scattered, peeping chicks.
They don’t solve everything; sometimes he and his siblings still are too familiar with the burden of poverty. But their aid is significant, making sure the family has more to eat and income to help pay bills.
Now, Erastus has the freedom and energy to dream.
With an ever-increasing national unemployment rate and a government rife with corruption, stories like Erastus’ help bring a little hope for what Kenya’s future could become. For him and his siblings, making a sustainable living through the chickens business is more appealing than participating in corruption.
Right now, he and his family are crowded into a small, earthen-walled house. On one of those walls he has pinned a drawing of what he hopes to expand the small space to – enough room for everyone. He also wants to be sure to help his brother finish primary school. The chickens will help him get there, providing a way for him to generate income as well as healthy food.
In ten years time, he hopes the chickens will be quite a large project in his life.
In the meantime, Erastus will continue wearing his ManU jersey, playing pickup football games with his friends and siblings, and taking a break from taking care of everyone else to be what he’s rarely had the chance to be - a young guy who just loves football.
You can be part of ending hunger by joining the HungerFree movement. Join us this World Food Day (October 16) by ‘doubling up’ your favourite meal and donating the cost to help fight hunger in Kenya, South Sudan and around the world. Join the movement at hungerfree.org.