• Arap Chito

The Inspiration: Grant Birthday born.

Updated: Mar 19, 2019


I have a unique birthday in that it falls on an extraordinary day; Christmas! The sad part is that I never really had a birthday party until I moved to the USA and realized how big people celebrate their birthdays. They deserve it, absolutely, but let me give you a sneak peek of why I never really celebrated my birthday before.

I remember this ‘birthday’ vividly because I had to make a choice that no kid that age should make. I was only 15 years, but I had to put my fear of the dark, my fear of wild animals, my fear of monsters, my fear of stray dogs, my fear of robbers, and my fear of drowning in either of the four rivers I had to cross to get home. It was 6 p.m., and I knew darkness would definitely ‘meet’ me on the way home since it usually took me 2 hours to trek the 20 miles without any load; that day I had a mid-sized banana bunch with me. Eventually, I decided to put my fears aside and walk home, getting there shortly past 9 pm. It got pitch dark at on the way, but fortunately I met no dangerous animals but had to content with slipping in the mud and carrying my massive bunch of bananas to save the Christmas.

Earlier on that day, it was not different from other Christmas, with mum having no money or food, except the promise of ‘waiting for some money from somewhere’ which we had all grown to know was a code to put our worries at ease. Late in the afternoon, she decided to send me to her sister who lived 20 miles away to borrow some money for food, which would have been a routine dash to-and-fro. I had made that journey many times before, but unfortunately for me, she was not home when I got there, hence the delay. When she got back, she gave me the money and the option to carry a punch of bananas with me since she had some to spare; I had no choice but to go back that late, otherwise my family would sleep hungry and could not pass on carrying the bananas.

This story has stayed with me over the years, and every time my wife organizes a birthday party for me, I can’t help but think of the many children in Africa who have no choice but to go hungry on their birthdays. I can’t help but think of the many who would ‘give up’ their future birthday parties in order to get a slice of bread. For the past three birthdays, my wife and I have been making a budget for our birthdays then donating a portion of it to those kids who need it more. We find a lot more fulfillment in doing this, with the help of a few people who partner with us to identify different kids in need every year.

What if you ‘granted’ a portion of your birthday this year? What if you changed someone’s life for good, what if your birthday could sponsor someone through school? What if you got a letter in the mail telling you that they now have a cow, a calf, and an assured supply of milk for the whole year? Would that make your birthday worthwhile?

If this is something that interests you or if you are curious to hear stories of how others, less fortunate than you and I celebrate their birthdays, follow this page and let's begin the journey.


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