Empowering 37 Orphans Through Education in Kenya

 
$30,255
$47,445
Raised
Remaining
Norah and her grandmother
Norah and her grandmother

The life I am living today would have no meaning, in fact it could be worthless if I had no account of what I have gone through, where I came from and who I am today. What I hope to become will be greatly influenced by this account.

My life with mum,

I can only say very little about my mother because she passed away when I was in Class two. However, I do recall her voice saying to me “You have never stressed me, whenever I send you to do something you never complain.“ She used to repeat these words until some neighbors thought that I was her favorite child. Some neighbors as times asked me why my mum liked sending me and not the other children. I always answered them by saying, “she says I never waste time.”

My life in school and Nyumbani Village,

I had great expectations about my life and envisioned success in academics and life in general. I saw a bright future on the horizon. My father worked in Mombasa and supported his family to the best of his ability. He came home monthly and if for some reason he didn’t come he sent shopping and money with his colleague who came from a nearby village. I hoped to work hard in school so that I could get good marks which would encourage him to pay my secondary education. I was a bright child and my dad was always happy to reward me my good performance whenever he came.

August 13th, 2003 will forever remain a dark day because it is the day we received sad news that my father had passed away. It was a very painful experience because we did not know what to do next. My elder sister who was taking a tailoring course at the time was now the head of the family. I was in class six and two of my siblings were in primary school.

We all experienced great difficult trying to cope with life without parents and no source of support. The remaining two years of my primary school were a living hell because of biting poverty and lack of parental care. At times neighbors would drop by with baskets of food to check on us. My distant uncle at the time came to see us, but he had very little to offer because he was equally poor. As time went by my uncle and the neighbours no longer came to see us. We tried to survive by looking for manual jobs in order to get a few coins for food. My youngest brother would be left at home because he was too young to perform any job. I tried to work hard in my studies even though it was under very difficulty circumstances. Sometimes we did not have food and had to go to school on an empty stomach. When I did my class eight exams I got admission to a good Provincial school. However, since I knew we did not have money I quickly forgot about the admission letter and concentrated on getting manual jobs to earn money for food.

Through interaction with Father Julius, a priest who was stationed at Nyumbani Village, he came to learn about our plight. A social worker from Nyumbani Village came to visit and was moved by our situation. We were admitted at Nyumbani Village. Our being at Nyumbani Village was like a dream come true. I could not believe we had enough to eat, we had shoes for the first time in a very long time, attended school and we did not need to do manual jobs anymore. We were placed under the care of a grandmother, Syokau Mutisya who took care of us. I was admitted at St. Ursula Girls secondary school. I worked very hard and at the end of four years I was admitted at Amani Counselling Centre and Training College where I undertook a course in Social Work and Community Development. I chose this course because I would like to help other children that are going through difficulties. It is my way of giving back to society. I hope to start my degree course as soon as funds become available.

I am eternally grateful to all the people who fund Global Giving because your funding has made possible for people like me to have a second chance in life.

Ezekiel
Ezekiel

Ezekiel almost despaired before he joined Nyumbani Village.  He narrates the story of his life:  My name is Ezekiel and I come from a family of seven children.  Before my siblings and I were rescued and brought to Nyumbani Village we had suffered so much to the point of despair.  Our parents died when I was in class eight leaving us destitute.  Things took a turn for the worse because with no one else to turn to, my siblings looked up to me to provide for them.  Our grandmother who would have taken care for us did not have the means because she also depended on our parents for support.  Basic needs like food were hard to come by because the well-wishers who supported us immediately after our parents died went away shortly after, leaving us alone.  The extended family members were not interested in our plight.  It was a very difficult time for me because I did not have the means nor capability to care for my family and at the same was trying to attend classes.  My grades dropped drastically because of the burden I was carrying in my mind and heart not knowing what tomorrow would hold for us.   I later joined Form One at a school nearby but I was sent home now and then because of lack of school fees.  The year that followed my younger sister called Agatha also joined secondary school but she suffered the same plight and spent most time at home because of lack of school fees.  To say we were miserable is an understatement.

In 2009, We joined Nyumbani Village which was a huge blessing that changed our lives.  Whenever I look back, I always wonder what would have happened to my family had Nyumbani Village not come knocking when they did.   At Nyumbani Village we felt like we were in heaven.  We were fed, clothed and all our basic needs were met.  I re-joined secondary school and continued uninterrupted because my school fees were fully paid.  For the first time since our parents died, I could concentrate on my studies without worrying about basic needs.  I am not ashamed to say that after a little while there was a noticeable difference in our health, we actually put on weight. 

Upon completing my secondary school education I joined tertiary college where I pursued a course in Business Administration.  I successfully completed my studies in May, 2014.  At the moment I am busy sending out applications for employment to different organizations.  It is my hope and prayer that someone will reply to my application and offer me employment.  

I would like to thank all the donors who supported me through Global Giving because through your generosity you gave me a second chance in life.  If things had remained the way they were, it would have been hard to survive.  It is because of your assistance that I can now happily look towards the future with a lot of hope. 

Links:

Alex
Alex

We would like to take this opportunity thank you for your support and generous contributions toward our project “Empowering 37 orphans through education in Kenya.”  Your generosity has enabled the youth in our program to acquire the much needed training that will open many new opportunities for them.  In addition, once the students become self-reliant, they are also able to assist their families.  Yours is a GIFT that keeps on giving and in the end many lives will be touched.

Education continues to be our top priority in Kenya, and especially in Nyumbani Village.  The results for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education were released on 3rd March, 2014.  Our secondary school, Lawson High School (LHS) came 2nd in Lower Yatta district with only a 0.025 mean grade difference behind the school ranked 1st.  Four of the top five students in the district came from our school, and 21 received a University entrance grade.

Alex almost lost hope before he was admitted to Nyumbani Village.  Alex was the second to last born in his family.  He explains “before I was admitted in Nyumbani Village, I went through so many challenges; lack of food, fees and torture from some of my neighbors." His mother passed away when he was in class eight.  Following her death, life took a turn for the worse.  He elaborates “my mother had spent all the money she had and even sold off assets to pay for her treatment.  When she finally passed away we were left destitute.  Having no one to look up to, my siblings and I had to fend for ourselves.”  During his last school term in class eight he had to work as a house boy to earn money for food. Luckily, Alex managed to sit for his end of year examination but he could not join a secondary school due to lack of school fees.  Alex says that “I was admitted in Nyumbani Village after one and a quarter year of struggle. My admission changed my life.  I could not have been happier because for the first time in a long time I had plenty of food, decent shelter, parental care, medical care and education.  I felt as if I was in paradise.”

Alex completed High School and while awaiting the results of his Form Four examination, he was engaged in activities at the Village.  “I wanted to give back to the community, so before joining college I volunteered in the livestock unit”, Alex says. He was always ready to learn and when an opportunity was offered for him to learn to use a computer he was very happy.   When the exams results were released, Alex chose to go into the field of electrical engineering.  He explains, “I identified a problem of power outages in my country and decided to pursue electrical engineering as a way of helping my country achieve one of its vision 2030 goals of providing electricity to all Kenyans.”  Alex has completed the five month attachment which is a requirement for his course and he was recently trained on the maintenance of a solar power station in order to help maintain the solar system installed at Nyumbani Village. 

Alex concludes “I thank all the donors who supported me through the Global Giving umbrella because without your help I could not have been able to acquire the knowledge and skills that I have.  This has opened up many opportunities for me now and in the future." 

We couldn't agree more!  With a security net from our donors, students like Alex are a shining example of what hard work, determination, and resilience can achieve.  Thank you!!

solar power station
solar power station
training
training
Nicholas
Nicholas

As always, we wish to start our report by sincerely thanking our generous donors all over the world who have been supporting this project!  So many of you are monthly donors, which emphasizes your ongoing commitment to higher education for these at-risk young adults.  Through their hard work and your support, their dreams for a better future can be realized.

Education is a top priority in Kenya, and especially in Nyumbani Village.  There are 3 schools on the Village grounds, including Hotcourses Primary School, Lawson High School, and the Polytechnic.  The students who live in and around the Village know how lucky they are to have access to such good schools, and they are working hard.  Happily, Hotcourses Primary School was recently ranked 4th in its educational zone.  In addition, eight of the top ten performing students in the zone were from Nyumbani Village!  This is a wonderful testament to the students' dedication and eagerness to learn.  Of the students graduating from Hotcourses Primary, 82 joined Lawson High School and 23 joined the Polytechnic. 

Once these students graduate from secondary school, however, access to education becomes more limited, as well as increasingly challenging due to the costs. One student in particular, Nicholas, has benefited greatly from the Village.  Nicholas lost his last remaining parent while in nursery school, and he and his sister went to live with their elderly grandfather.  Nicholas' extended family together paid for his elementary school fees, up to class six.  After that, he was admitted to Nyumbani Village, where he felt as though he had received an amazing gift.  He now had a roof over his head, food at every meal, and was able to go to school.  Nicholas has now graduated from secondary school, and he and his classmates patiently await the results of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam.  Nicholas is so grateful for the nurturing the Village has afforded him up to this point and for the amazing opportunity he has ahead for tertiary level training!  On behalf of everyone at Nyumbani Village, thank you for your support!

Agatha
Agatha

During this season of thanks giving, we are pleased to provide this update on our project and express our deep appreciation to donors all over the world who have helped us raise 20% of our total monetary goal.  We could not have done this without your confidence and generous support!

It has been one year since we first launched our higher education project for the Nyumbani Village graduates, and the stories of lives changing for the better are slowly beginning to emerge.

This past week, the most recent class of high school graduates sat for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam.  Results of this test are released in February 2014, when students will learn to which tertiary level schools they become eligible to apply.  This group in particular has witnessed the opportunities of the first group of graduates from Nyumbani Village, and seen the results of students working hard to better their lives.  Having access to funds for higher education is critical for the motivated student with determination to keep him or herself out of poverty.

Agatha’s life was very challenging before she came to Nyumbani Village.  “After my parents passed away, we had financial problems.  I had been sent home for [lack of] school fees several times within a term, while the other students were in school taking their studies as usual.”  Agatha did not have reliable access to the provision of her basic needs once she lost her parents, and as a result, Nyumbani Village took her in.  “My life changed completely,” says Agatha. “Not only were my basic needs met and my high school fees paid, but I also got to meet other children who were orphaned from different tribes and backgrounds like me.”  At Nyumbani, Agatha had found a peer group sharing similar life circumstances and her hope for the future began to grow.  “I learned how to express myself confidently and feel proud” of who I am now, says Agatha. She goes on to say that “after completing my KSCE examination in 2012, I was able to join one of the public universities where I am pursuing a bachelor of science in Human Resource Management.  Nyumbani Village changed my life.”

We wish the very best to Agatha and her classmates as they travel this journey into adulthood, armed with an education that will enhance their lives and future opportunities.  Without our very generous friends around the globe, Nyumbani could not provide this opportunity for Agatha and her classmates.  There is no greater gift than education!  Thank you for your confidence in our mission.

Wishing you and yours every blessing for the holiday season!

Agatha with classmate
Agatha with classmate

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Organization

Nyumbani

Nairobi, Karen, Kenya
http://www.nyumbani.org

Project Leader

Mary Owens

Nairobi, Kenya

Where is this project located?

Map of Empowering 37 Orphans Through Education in Kenya