Daniel Nangirod, a 17-year-old sponsored boy, would have had a different future if it were not for his sponsorship through OCM. When he was young, both his parents died, so he moved in with his grandmother. When she died, his aunt and uncle, who care for 11 children, adopted him. Daniel’s uncle John is a pastor and says they didn’t hesitate to take in another child. “It is an honor to care for children who need us” he says. He and his wife are thankful for OCM’s help, which has ensured that Daniel get healthcare and stay in school.
Daniel says, “if I wouldn’t have been sponsored by OCM, life would have been hard. [My parent’s earnings are] used for basic needs and divided among all of us. But because OCM sponsored me, there is more to go around for the others. So being sponsored is a double blessing. I am grateful for this. For so many things. So I can just say being sponsored is good.”
Daniel says many kids who aren’t in OCM’s program don’t graduate or go on to university. Instead, they steal, drink, and raid cattle.
Daniel is taking a different path. He’s attending his Hope Center church and benefitting from the good influences he sees there. He says, “I like going to the church and participating there … They are teaching us so many things.”
Daniel also enjoys school. His favorite subject is chemistry, and he is working hard to make sure he can go to university. He has seen sickness and death in his community and wants to do something about it.
Stanley Emanikor, Daniel’s Hope Center Director, says that health issues are some of the biggest challenges in Turkana. The average life expectancy is just 50 years old. There is a government-run health clinic in the community, but the attendants mainly dispense medicines and are not equipped to deal with emergencies. People die from treatable illnesses and infections, and without hospital care for births, mortality rates are high for infants and mothers.
Daniel wants to change these stark realities. “I want to be a doctor” he says, “to attend to my family and community, to make sure they are well.”