education

Aspiring for a Better Life

I’m from Busia in Nyanza. I was raised in the shanty in Kangemi. There’s the village part of it called Kibagare. I’m not usually afraid to say where I came from because that is the place that influenced who I am today.

I started school in the same village. There’s a big school there called St. Martin’s. The sisters used to take in the poor or orphaned children and sponsor them. Orphans were boarders and children with parents like me however from disadvantaged backgrounds, were day scholars and we paid some little school fees. We used to pay from KES. 200 or KES. 100 per term. When I reached form one, I received a sponsorship availed for those pupils who were performing well and I was lucky to be among them.

My father is a bicycle repairman with 13 children. My mother is a housewife. When my sponsor pulled out when I was in form two, I stayed at home. It was a humiliating experience then to be chased from school because I was the head girl.

I stayed home for one year without going to school, then the following year –that I was supposed to now join form three, I was called by a friend at home and was told, “You’re needed by sister.” When I went to school I was told that I was one of the lucky students to be taken up for sponsorship by GGBC. That was in 2011.

It was a relief to be back to school. I never had to worry about school fees. I finished my form four and got a C+ and joined the IT college inside the school supported by GGBC. There I learnt basic IT skills which I will always be grateful for. It was just like a miracle to me because I had not seen a computer in my life. I took the opportunity to apply to various colleges and I was admitted at Kenya School of Monetary Studies pursuing Finance.

My journey since my childhood has been somewhat a miracle. When I go back to Kibagare village where I come from, people look at me like an angel, a miracle because many girls my age never amount to much. The environment does not allow them to thrive.

I have a mentor, she’s called Lizzy Lahey and she’s the Assistant Program Manager at GGBC. She’s has journeyed with me since I was in form three, sharing my struggles and influencing me. I am fortunate to talk to her every day, even on WhatsApp! Having finished my studies, I am currently working at an insurance company. Of course, I’m giving back after all GGBC has given me. Together with some girls from my former school, we formed a group that frequently visits slum children in Deep Sea, Westlands. We often do this on Saturdays and have formed a WhatsApp group called ‘Human for Humanity’ for this kind of humanitarian works. The whole point of these visits is to talk to the children and encourage them to be hopeful of a different life.

My father is still in the village. He managed to build a house there and lives with my mother and two of my siblings whom I help send to school. The rest of us have transitioned out of the home. To be honest, I’m like a jewel to my father. He prays for me constantly in everything I do. He tells me often. I am 23 years old and try to encourage the girls in the village to aspire for a better life. That it’s possible.

May 16, 2018

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