Normally a child in 1st grade would be six years old. Bekemu is nine . “Normal” is not a good word when thinking about the children of Bwindi.
The school cannot take in the many children whose families have no money. Sometimes a child must wait and start when he or she is older – if at all.
Although Bekemu’s father has a job carrying supplies, bricks, etc. to construction sites, his income is meager. His mother does what she can to grow a few vegetables in their tiny yard, but there is not enough for Bekemu, his three step brothers and one step sister.
At school, Bekemu is a confident child who looks everyone straight in the eye. He likes speaking up in class and playing soccer with his friends. He also likes working hard in school. Grades don’t mean a lot in 1st grade, but Bekemu is 4th in his class.
Normal is not good for a child who needs a sponsor.