By Lydia Hollister-Jones, Communications Intern

Lydia in Kenya with her friend Blessing

When planning for our Live Below the Line journey a few months ago, I thought it would be powerful to share some stories of children who live below the extreme poverty line on a daily basis. So I prepared questions for our partner countries, wrote up a brief, and clicked send. I then went about my day with several cups of tea, two too many cupcakes, and a piece of pie to enjoy in the warmth of the lunchroom. I had no idea that what I’d just done would so drastically shift my perspective. When I received responses from our partner countries I found myself pretending to have something in my eye and tousling my fringe across my face in the hope that no one would catch me crying. It really hit home that the stories of these children came from so close to me; all I had done was ask someone to talk to them, and this is what they had come back with.

I realised that I am only one degree of separation from extreme poverty, and it really shook me. I realised how easily I can disregard its harsh reality from the comfort of my heat pump hot water household, and it gave me the wake up call that I think we all need. Needless to say, it had me signing up for Live Below the Line as soon as I could.

What I want to share with you over the next few weeks are stories of real children. Not just some kids you flip the channel on or see stacked on your Auntie’s pin board, these are kids that are now only two degrees of separation from you. So as I share with you the stories of Moses, Ayah, Huong, and Jovita, I simply ask that you recognise that you are closer to them than you thought.  Acknowledge that they aren’t that far removed and that they can’t change the channel, and then be encouraged, because we can change their lives. Join me on the Live Below the Line journey today. Meet my friend Moses:

Eight year old Moses

Eight year old Moses can only be described by one word: jovial. He’s praying that his goat (who also happens to be his best friend) will give birth to two kids. What does he hope for the future? Well, some milk from his goat would be nice, but when he grows up a little more he’d like to be a doctor. Moses has missed too many of his friends at recess when they’ve been too ill to be there, and he’s seen too many sick days himself. He really loves school, unlike students who live in first world countries; Moses counts it a joy to read over his notes in his spare time.

What makes Moses happiest in the world is knowing that his grandmother Grace loves him. His mother died when he was only two weeks old, and he has never met his father, but he knows what it is to love and be loved because of Grace. I don’t know if I’ve ever come across a child so aware of what love is and what its hands look like.

Life is not easy; Grace explains that there are many hardships. She says that the biggest struggle for them is food; some nights, there is nothing to put on the table.

Put something on the table for Grace and Moses by taking something off yours. Join Live Below the Line with ChildFund, click here to get started.

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