Personal Story: Melinda 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. Like millions of children across Africa, Melinda seemed destined to suffer a life of hardship and misery. At just 6 years of age, she had been 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 Melinda. Thankfully, our programme partners heard about Melinda'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, Melinda 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 14 years ago. Now aged 20, Melinda has finished school and is ready to go out and help others, her future transformed forever by education. Sadly, the opportunity that Melinda was given is denied to millions of children across Africa. In Kenya, 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 a vibrant school 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 Back to School Appeal will help us to 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. Like Melinda, 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. By supporting the Back to School Appeal today, you could help even more children’s dreams of education, hope and a future come true. *For their privacy, we may change the details of the children we support.