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  Shiru's story: Being a grown-up at 15
Updated 07 July 2004, 14.37
Shiru and Ellie chatting in Kenya
It's Sport Relief Saturday on July 10.

As people here limber up to 'go the extra mile', Newsround's Ellie wanted to see where the money raised from sporting fun goes.

She visited the KANCO project in Kenya to see how funds raised here help kids over there.

Shiru is fifteen. Like lots of children in Kenya, her mother and father are both dead.

Poverty, disease and fighting have left over 860,000 children in the country without parents.

The KANCO project regularly provides food parcels and aid to her and her sisters. It has been running for four years, initially funded by Comic Relief.

It gives Shiru training in how to look after herself and her sisters.

She took time out of her busy day to tell Ellie what life is like for her and her family.

Tell me what your average day is like, what do you do.

On a typical morning I get up go to school, I sometimes go without lunch, or come home and cook for myself and my sisters so it's hard.

After lunch I go back to school and then I come home after school and see what we can find to eat in the evening.

How easy is it to juggle school and the housework?

Life is hard for these kids in Kenya: Sport Relief projects help them.
Life is hard for these kids in Kenya: Sport Relief projects help them.
It's hard sometimes, I come from school the first thing I do is wash my sisters or bathe them. If we have money I buy some food and cook.

If we have no money I try and find a neighbour who will give us food but it's usually very hard.

Sometimes I come home from school and I'm really tired but I have to go and look for work. I wash people's clothes for money - that's how I make my money.

But sometimes I just am so tired I have no energy to wash.

How do you look after your sisters as well as looking after yourself?

It's not really hard because I'm used to it now - even when my mum was alive she would work and drink, so I was looking after my sisters from back then anyway. It's no different now than it was then.

How hard is life for you? Do you get to have fun or is just a lot of hard work?

Waiting patiently for dinner
Waiting patiently for dinner

I play at school at break time - usually I take walks around the estates with my friends. I like watching movies - I like Jackie Chan and Rambo but there is rarely any free time for myself - I don't have any free time.

How different do you feel to other girls your age?

Life is very different - I don't see myself like the other girls. Other girls have everything taken care of by their mum. I have to depend on myself.

If you could change your life what would you do, how would you live differently?

I wish I had more time to read because I enjoy reading and I want to read more - anything that would get me out of this place and get me into somewhere else.

What do you see in your future?

I don't see much difference in the future. Sometimes we eat once a day or sometimes we go without food- and that's not very good - so I don't see the future.

How happy are you?

I am happy - this is what life is and there is not much I can change now - So I am happy - I try and be happy about life

How important is it for you for charities like Sport Relief to come and help you and bring you food parcels?

Yes, they help me, they help me a lot.

How does having the KANCO community centre here help you?

The centre helps me with school uniform - if I don't have uniform they will get it for me. If I am sick they find me treatment or medicine - they are here for me. If I need anything they will find a way - people here will help me.

The site tells you all about how you can help kids here and abroad and have fun and get fit while doing it!

More InfoBORDER=0
WorldCountry profile: Kenya
PicturesCelebs launch Sport Relief 2004
Find OutLife for kids in Africa
QuizAfrica quiz


Past StoriesBORDER=0
Celebs support huge charity run
Celebs launch Sport Relief 2004
Sport Relief raises 10m for children


Web Links
Sport Relief website
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