Hope Stories

With their parents gone, six siblings in Kenya go from struggling to thriving

The Komu children had each other and little more, until a providential meeting with Ruth Kyatha changed everything.
Published December 12, 2023, 2 min read.
Kenya
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Ruth Kyatha is a lay member of the Africa Inland Church of Kenya, and over the past decade she has spearheaded a community outreach called Creation of Hope.

Ruth’s focus is singular: to help children and youth who have been impacted by HIV/AIDS. And it wasn’t long ago that she encountered a child-headed household with kids ranging in age from 3-14 years old. The father was dead, presumably from HIV/AIDS, and the mother had abandoned the children. 

The six siblings were living day to day on odd jobs and the pity of neighbors. Some days they ate. Others they didn’t. If that wasn’t bad enough, the older girls were starting to be abused by men in town who would let themselves in through the broken door after dark. 

For the Komu kids, keeping each other safe was a daily struggle. When Ruth encountered this family, the boys were literally trying to build themselves a stronger home — slapping sticks and tin together. They were trying to be men, trying to keep real-life predators at bay.

The world can be an incredibly dark place. Most of us can’t imagine what it means to experience vulnerability in such stark terms. But the local church in Kikima is in the community. They know this darkness all too well. And instead of averting their eyes, they took responsibility for this family. 

On a recent trip to Kenya, Ruth showed me photos of the Komu family when they first arrived at the church. The kids’ expressions are drawn and disinterested. Their clothing is tattered, and their bodies are thin. And yet — And yet! — in spite of these horrific circumstances, the Komu children have been thriving at school, succeeding academically and socially. They now have a home, they eat three meals a day, they’re at school, and will even have a shot at university. 

“Mary, the eldest, is a born leader,” says Ruth. And indeed, she is! One evening I saw Mary lead the younger children in song and scripture readings during Sunday school. She is beloved by her church family. 

What a difference love makes!

Champion hope for vulnerable children like the Komu family!