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ChosenTM | Mary

Sponsored child Mary holds on to a tree near her home.

Mary is a precocious 8-year-old, full of life. Her father, Daniel, describes her as happy, smart and beautiful.

Mary lives with her father, her grandparents, and one brother. Her mother and father have separated. Her father, Daniel has a small nursery from which he sells fruit trees.

Things haven't been easy since Daniel and Mary's mother separated. Daniel supports his children and want the best for them, but times have been tough. Due to drought the last few years, maize production for their community has been stifled. That means they can’t afford to buy the trees from him.

Although Daniel's primary business is selling fruit trees, he's also a construction worker and sells stones to provide for his family.

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The family struggles with food security and also paying school fees for Mary and her brother. Mary can get sent home sometimes up to three times in a 3-month school term. Then the grandparents are in poor health and have to be on medication, which is another financial burden.

Mary wants to be a lawyer. She learned about lawyers in school and understands that lawyers help people solve conflict.

In February 2019, Mary had the opportunity to participate in a sponsorship event in Kenya where she got to choose her own sponsor.

She chose Yinka Owolabi explaining: “I picked the beautiful one.” Unknown to Mary, Yinka is a lawyer.

Mary’s grandmother, Catherine Munyiva (age 60) says that Mary prays for her sponsor—that Yinka will be able to come and visit her one day.

Mary's sponsor, Yinka, holds her photo. Out of all the sponsors that Mary saw, Yinka is the one she chose.

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“I feel that sponsorship will help Mary because if she’s supported through her education, she can be that lawyer that she wants to be.” – Catherine (Mary’s grandmother)

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