I had been looking forward to the day I would get to meet Rita. She is the newest child in our school and our latest child to be sponsored. A few weeks ago, Davis (our Kenyan Director) called me in the U.S. to ask if he could put a little girl in school and in the dorm. He went on to say that she was in a desperate situation. After I heard her story and the pleading in his voice, I told him to put her into the dorm and back into school at once and we would try to find a sponsor for her.
Rita comes from our neighborhood in Likuyani. Her family lives in the thatched house at our corner and they are very poor. Rita would often appear at our gate and Davis’s mother would give her food and avocados from the tree in our yard. A few weeks ago, Davis passed by Rita’s home on his way to Eldoret and greeted her grandmother as he went on his way. It was a day like any other day—except that this day turned out to be different. Within hours, and before Davis returned from his business, Rita’s grandmother suddenly died. For Rita, real trouble had just begun.
Immediately after the funeral, Rita’s grandfather took her out of school to do the housework and chores. She had become almost like a slave girl without her grandmother to care for her. There was not enough food. There was no soap to keep clean. There was little clothing, and the thatched roof did not keep them dry. Life became even more difficult for Rita.
The neighbors noticed and one of them took Rita in temporarily. Because this neighbor had so many other children to care for, she could not keep Rita for long. She came to Davis and asked if his family would take care of Rita. For a night or two, Davis and his family took her in, but they knew it would be difficult to keep her long term. Davis wanted to help Rita, and he dreamed of a brighter future for her. He hoped she could become a part of Heritage Academy where she would be loved, fed, clothed, and cared for. His dream came true when a sponsor came forward to help Rita.
She is a darling little girl with lots of charm. Whenever you mention her name, people smile. We are thankful that Rita has bright hope for tomorrow thanks to her new sponsor and Heritage Academy leaders. When I saw Rita, she was so very happy. Her joy is contagious to all who know her. Thank you, dear sponsors, for your generosity. And thank you, Davis, for your compassion for the least of these.