“It Takes A Village to Raise a Child": Timothy’s Story
Providing a healthy and safe environment for a child can sometimes take a village of caretakers, mentors and community leaders. For four-year-old Timothy, he found his village of support in Zambia at the Bill and Betty Bryant Center.
A less than two weeks old, Timothy was taken to the House of Moses where he lived until his second birthday. He was transferred to the Bill and Betty Bryant Center, which would soon become his home for years to come. The Bill and Betty Bryant Center is an orphanage that provides care, education and support for children in the community.
The orphanage partners with the Alliance for Children Everywhere to receive Rise Against Hunger meals. Before receiving the meals, Timothy usually only ate porridge with ground nuts, plain rice or nshima, which is cooked from maize meal. Now, he eats daily Rise Against Hunger meals packed with the proper nutrients to help him grow become healthy. In addition to the meals, the orphanage also receives soap from Rise Against Hunger partners, which Timothy says he likes because of its pleasant smell. He and the other children have learned to use the soap for bathing, washing hands after using the bathroom and before and after having meals.
Most days, Timothy spends his time at the center with his favorite caregiver, Jane. During lunch, he likes to sit next to her. Jane’s nurturing support has given Timothy the dream of helping and caring for others one day just as she does for him. Along with Jane, Florence is another caretaker that works at the center. As a house mother, Florence works directly with the children to make sure they are always cared for and well fed. In her 15 years of service with the Alliance for Children Everywhere, Florence has lived and worked at the center, and also receives Rise Against Hunger meals. She’s been able to see the change in her own health. She explains that the meals are nutritious compared to what she is able to buy in the supermarket, and that the meals help to feed the malnourished children at the orphanage like Timothy.
The orphanage is very fortunate to have caretakers like Jane and Florence who both love what they do. Timothy, along with the other children, have not only benefited from the nutritious meals, but also the love and support from the staff.
The manager of the Family Preservation Program, Chiala, has the opportunity to work directly with partners to coordinate various programs at the orphanage. Chiala credits Rise Against Hunger for helping the children at the center having healthier lives.
“As an organization, we are really grateful for the help received from Rise Against Hunger, which has benefited our children and our programs at large, because without this help many children would have been malnourished and it wouldn’t have been easy to achieve our goals,” Chiala said.
In all, Jane, Florence and Chiala play an important role in Timothy’s life. With their support and mentorship, Timothy has the proper hygiene, nutrition and care that he needs. For Timothy, his support system at the Billy and Betty Bryant Center provided him with a home and a lifetime village of hope.