Benard, 12, lives with his grandmother because both his parents died from HIV/AIDS. Benard’s grandmother looks after him, but she is old so farming the land is difficult, and there is no money to spare for things like shoes.
Benard tries to help her. He wakes up at 6am to take the cattle to where they can find grass to eat, before he runs to school. When he comes home, he has to do the milking and fetch water before he can do his homework.
At school Benard learns about things like how to stay healthy. Even though primary school is free in Kenya, it is still a struggle to go because he has to pay for books and a uniform. If he had one wish, Benard would hope to be able to stay on at school.
Benard’s grandmother formed a group with other women so that they can help each other look after the orphans. The group is called 'Hera', which means 'Love', in the local language, Luha. They say that if you take care of children you must have love.
With the help of IPCCS, Christian Aid’s partner in Western Kenya, these women have learned how to grow rice and make ropes out of a plant called sisal, to sell for a bit of extra money. With this extra money they buy uniform, shoes, and soap for the children.
Every day benard eats ugali, whcih his grandmother makes. Ugali is made from maize meal. It can be eaten with soups or stews or just on its own