When we first met Peter* in 2016, he was living on his own, distressed and struggling to cope. His older brother, who had been earning a small amount of money for the household working in a garden, had been unfairly imprisoned so Peter had no source of income. This meant he had dropped out of school and could not afford to look after himself.


Our local Kids’ Club recognised that Peter needed help. Run by trained volunteers, our clubs provide vulnerable children with emotional and social support through counselling, home visits and mentorship, whilst also giving them the opportunity to play, socialise and enjoy themselves.


Peter joined the Kids’ Club and a network of people are now working together to support him; he is visited at home twice a week by two of the trained community mentors and is back in school.


One of the biggest challenges that children living alone face is the lack of a household income, without which they are often hungry, unsafe and unable to access an education. To help combat these common issues for Peter, we gave him a bicycle, two goats and training in how to keep a food garden. The bicycle has not only enabled him to get around easily but has also given him a source of income as he uses it as a taxi service in his local community. His goats provide him with milk and kids which he can sell on (whilst he is at school, his friendly neighbour takes care of them!) By teaching him how to grow maize, pigeon peas and cassava, Peter can be sure he has a consistent supply of food.


Emotionally, it is still very tough for Peter but now he has the support of his community and the tools to start building a better life for himself; “Before, it was like living on an island all on my own – I still miss my brother and my parents – but I don’t feel on my own anymore.”


*Name has been changed to protect confidentiality