It’s no secret that here at Bread and Water for Africa UK, we believe that education can break the cycle of poverty. By going to school and college, a child from a disadvantaged background will be safer and healthier, with a much greater chance of earning a living and fulfilling their potential in life.

The Living Through Learning Fund is a very special way of bringing hope and opportunity to children and adults across Africa. The fund will support the cost of school fees, classroom or uniforms and books for children who would otherwise not be able to attend school. It will help us repair classrooms and keep schools open in times of war or natural disaster. And it will mean we can develop education and training projects in local communities, giving both children and adults the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty. For children like Millicent, the fund could be vital.

Like so many children in before her, Millicent seemed destined to suffer a life of hardship and misery.

Millicent was born into poverty like millions of children across Africa. Then at just 6 years of age, she was abandoned by her parents. Sleeping rough on the streets is no place for a little girl. Scared and living hand-to-mouth, with nobody to protect her and vulnerable to exploitation by gangs and criminals – it’s tragic to think what could have happened to Millicent.

Thankfully, our programme partners heard about Millicent’s plight and found a place for her at Lewa Children’s Home. Instead of a life of hunger, hopelessness and danger on the streets, Millicent had caring arms around her and was relishing going to school for the first time in her life. Thanks to kind supporters like you she flourished, making new friends and excelling at her favourite subjects: Biology, English and Home Science.

That was 12 years ago. Now aged 18, Millicent has just finished High School and is ready to go out and help others, her future transformed forever by education. I hope it makes you as proud as it does me to think about how your support has helped Millicent change her life.

Sadly, the opportunity that Millicent was given is denied to millions of children across Africa. In my country alone, only a fifth of children complete all eight years of primary education. In Burundi, a quarter of all primary schools were destroyed during the country’s violent civil war, robbing countless children of their future.

Yet even during the current unrest blighting Burundi, there is hope. Our partner  CAPE (Centre for Aid and Protection of Children) runs three vibrant schools bringing education, safe refuge and a sense of normality to some of the most impoverished children in a turbulent region.

For the sake of all those living in poverty, we cannot allow this vital progress to stall. The Living Through Learning Fund will continue this work, giving more children access to the education they crave and helping adults learn, train and develop skills so they can earn a living for their families.

At Lewa, we now have 24 children in High School and, incredibly, a further eight studying at university. It is truly an achievement that our supporters across the UK have helped our partners across Africa transform the lives of these young people.

Like Millicent, all of these children could tell you how education has turned their life around. But there are so many more children in Africa who may never get to tell such inspiring stories. Your support today could help even more children’s dreams of education, hope and a future come true.

“This is the proudest moment of my life – my Form Four school photo, aged 18. I am so grateful to Phyllis for taking me off the streets so young and helping me get a good education. My dream now is to go to university to study Nutrition and Nursing. I want to be a helpful woman and make a real difference in society.”