Charles’ Story

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Charles is a thirteen year old boy living in Kibera, the largest urban slum in Africa. There is a large open sewer running outside of Charles’ home. Charles has four younger brothers and sisters, and his mother has just given birth to another child. His father suffers with depression and alcoholism, and hides himself behind a curtain in their home, often not getting up for days at a time.

But, there is hope for Charles. Three years ago, Charles met a volunteer called Lisa. Lisa works with the Lunchbowl Network and Kings Rugby Development Academy (KRDA), a project supported by The Atlas Foundation. The Saturday feeding programme meant that Charles had at least one nutritious meal every week, whilst being encouraged to join the rugby academy. Charles is now a keen rugby player and loves the sessions put on by KRDA. The programme also provides fresh, clean drinking water, hot showers and regular health check-ups. Reusable sanitary pads are also provided to the girls taking part.

Charles is now picked up every day in a yellow bus and, along with hundreds of his Kibera neighbours, is taken to school. The children are given a uniform, learning materials, food, water and plenty of rugby! Charles’ life remains tough, but he now eats a proper meal every day and rugby has given him confidence and joy. Charles has access to a high quality education, meaning one day he has the chance of leaving Kibera behind and thriving in a very different future.

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