Being a mother is a tough job, especially when you live in one of the poorest regions in Africa.

Meet Mercy Akinyi, who lives in Kenya. She is 22 and raising two young children alone: Brighton, aged 4, and Angel, 18 months. She is also the main carer for her younger siblings and her mother, who recently lost both hands after a terrible fire.

Heavy with responsibility, and suffering from epilepsy, Mercy dropped out of school. She tries desperately each day to provide for her family. They are living in deplorable conditions.

Ever since I was born my life has been a struggle, even when I became sick  my mother would use traditional herbs to treat me because she had no means to take me for better healthcare services.

The family of six all live in one room. The thatched roof on their hut leaks and
has almost fallen down. Their neighbours laugh at them for not having a house.

Mercy depends on 1.5 acre of land and casual labour for food and an income. Unfortunately she lacks the skills and knowledge to make the most of the land, leading to very low yields. They are barely able to eat one meal a deal – Mercy feels truly desperate.   

My dream is to one day be able to support my family and achieve their dreams of a better education. I dream of a day our income and nutrition will improve.

It’s not too late for Mercy: with your support she can give her children the childhood she never had.

In sub-Saharan Africa, one in three children are stunted as a result of poor nutrition. That’s why, on 1st October, we are launching our biggest ever appeal to enable mothers to grow their own nutritious food to feed their families. And the UK Government will match every pound raised in the appeal until 31 December 2017 – so your money will have double the impact!

Donate now

Find out more about the Mother & Child appeal