On a day to day basis, a breadwinner is mostly a grown-up person. We mostly depend on our parents, elder siblings, extended family members, and well-wishers. It is rare to get a child as a breadwinner. However, in Elgeyo Marakwet County, a twelve-year-old boy is the family’s provider. The young child daily provides for his family.
Brian Kiplagat who is apparently a grade four student has seen it all. He should be concentrating on his education however, that is not the case. Earlier on, schools resumed for grade four, class eight, and form four students but the young boy could not. Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, Brian has to alternate a number of roles. He has to take care of his younger siblings and also pay a visit to his ailing mom. The child daily provides for his mother. Kapsowar Mission Hospital has now become their mother’s new home.
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Family Struggles. Child Provides For Them.
With the Covid-19 crisis, it is hard for one to survive. The 12-year-old fetches firewood and charcoal pieces in the forest. He later hawks them so as to get money to feed his family. In addition, he is a student at Kapsowar Primary School. He takes care of his family that lives in Kambi Swahili Slums located on the outskirts of Kapsowar town.
When giving his narration Brian takes us through the struggling ordeal. “Ever since our mother fell ill we have been struggling. Food is a rare option for us. I have to take care of my two younger siblings and also check on our mother in the hospital. We mostly live from hand to mouth. The little I get we share and hope for a better day” narrates Brian to a local news outlet.
Every day, he wanders into the forest in pursuit of charcoal. The moment he gets them that is his lucky day because selling them brings food to the table. “At times I end up fetching firewood and selling it. On a lucky day filling a debe of charcoal is an advantage. I hawk it within people’s compounds and homes. Depending on how good the quality is I can make up to three hundred shillings per sale. This keeps us going every day,” narrates the twelve-year-old. Whenever he makes a sale, he is able to provide food for the family. However, it is not always that the ride is smooth. In most instances, they end up begging from the neighbors.
Brian’s Sick Mother.
Philarise Komen, Brian’s mother has spent a huge part of this in the mission hospital. Apparently, it is located three kilometers away from where they reside. Earlier this year she was diagnosed with a mild stroke. In addition to her pain, she has on and off abdominal pains, depression and her left leg is paralyzed. “My parents and siblings are all dead. I have no other family member who is left apart from my three children. They are who I depend on even though they are young children. My husband disappeared the moment we came out of Embobut forest where we were squatters,” disclosed Philarise while in bed.
She further points out that the cause of her depression is seeing her children suffer and struggle. “I require a CT scan but Kapsowar Hospital does not have the facility. The hospital has been so kind to me to a point of them waiving all my medical bills. I am requesting for help from any well-wishers out there,” said Brian’s mother. Kapsowar Primary headteacher says Brian is a bright, hardworking boy of good character. He is a child worth emulating and prays that well-wishers will help the boy’s ailing mother.