Fenike Vihenda Lugalia was born on June 17, 2011. Five months later, Fenike lost her mother, Joyce Lugalia. Fenike’s grandfather, Edward Lugalia, and grandmother, Judith Lugalia took Fenike under their care.
At four years old, when girls her age usually play with toys, Fenike walked a long journey by herself to fetch water and collect firewood.
Our encounter with Fenike happened on July 29, 2016. Youthful Faces (YF) volunteers were traveling for work in Eldoret when they noticed a child who seemed to be by herself walking on a roadside. The volunteers stopped their car and talked to Fenike. She said that her aunt had sent her to collect firewood.
Stories of children under the care of their family members do not always equal a happy ending. Often, family members – this case is Fenike’s uncle and aunt – see them as a liability because it means another mouth to feed.
Since Fenike joined YF, her health and wellbeing have improved significantly. She is a happy, playful and intelligent girl. Fenike recently started Kindergarten, and we are confident she will achieve great things.