Hermine’s Story: Overcoming Malnutrition

By CKC Project Manager Cat Knarr

Hermine, her sister, and her mother (left to right)

Hermine, her sister, and her mother (left to right)

hermine-picture-folderMany of you have seen a picture folder like this one on the right. You might have picked up a folder when your church had a Hope Sunday, and you opened it to read about a boy or girl who lives in Congo. That’s how most Covenanters find out about CKC and decide to sponsor a child.

Recently, we at the Covenant offices ordered 50 picture folders for Triennial, each featuring a child who had not yet been sponsored. Much to our surprise, we recognized one of the children! Her name is Hermine, and she’s a 7-year-old girl in the CKC program.

We immediately recognized Hermine because the CKC team interviewed her while in Congo this spring. At the time, we knew that Hermine and her sister were registered in the Covenant Kids Congo powered by World Vision sponsorship program. We didn’t know that, a few months later, Hermine’s picture folder would find its way into our hands. She’s still waiting to be sponsored—and you can sponsor Hermine or a child like her. (UPDATE: Hermine has been sponsored.)

Thousands of you have already opened your hearts to give generously to CKC and to pray for and encourage these sponsored children. But the beautiful thing about the CKC program is that it’s not limited to only helping kids who are sponsored. The program exists to benefit all the children in the city of Gemena in northwest Congo—a city of about 300,000 people! Even before Hermine was sponsored, this program made a great difference in her life.

How Hermine Overcame Malnutrition

When the CKC team met Hermine, she was very shy. While her mother, Mama Fifi, shared her story, Hermine stood in front of her mom, staying still and listening quietly.

“If it were not for these good teachings, you would not see my daughter here standing as healthy as she is,” Mama Fifi said. “I already lost a child to malnutrition.”

When Mama Fifi gave birth to Hermine, she was malnourished like her siblings before her. But this time, Mama Fifi joined a women’s agricultural group, went to trainings, and started preparing more nutritious food, like protein-rich peanuts and dried fish. It made a dramatic difference to Hermine’s health.

Mama Fifi’s women’s agricultural group is one of many such groups started with the help of Covenant Kids Congo powered by World Vision.

“I’m working hard all the time in my gardens here,” Mama Fifi said. “My children are no longer malnourished. You see my daughter standing here in good health before us, all because of the work we’re doing. I’m pressing on.”

Sponsor Hermine or a Child Like Her

Hermine shyly told the CKC team about where she goes to school and what she hopes to do in the future. Her favorite classes are reading and handwriting, she said. And when she grows up, Hermine would like to be a doctor, “to give people shots,” or a teacher, “to get knowledge,” she said. Shots hurt; Hermine remembers getting a shot from the doctor before. But she knows they make you better.

VIDEO: Hermine shows us her garden, where she’s growing matembele (sweet potato leaves) and other plants.

Hermine is learning to garden, too. She and her sister have their own gardens, where they plant vegetables like sweet potato leaves and okra. Hermine walked to the edge of her garden to show how big it is. “I enjoy working in the garden,” she said. “I like to plant greens.”

Hermine is one of many children registered in the CKC program. Each child is created in God’s image and dearly loved by him. You can sponsor a child through Covenant Kids Congo powered by World Vision. In doing so, you’ll walk alongside this child on their journey, while making a great difference to their community.

Sponsor a child now at CovenantKidsCongo.org.

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