Rebecca at Seed of Hope Kitui
It is unbelievable how fast the year has gone by. At Seed of Hope, it has been a busy year full of activities and engaging the students and community in decision making for projects that affect them. It is the end of the school calendar year and all the students at Seed of Hope centres are preparing for their internal and external exams before breaking for the Christmas holiday. The homecare management course students at Kariti Seed of Hope centre have been released to go for work experience placements after completing their syllabus to get a hands-on experience in what they have been trained on in the last eleven months. The rest of the students will be starting their internal exams next week and those who have registered for the government grade test with National Industrial and Technical Authority (NITA) will have another week to sit for grade 3 test before the centres close on the 11th December 2019.
One of the girls who has been the best in her course of study and is not afraid of sitting for two exams is Rebecca from Kangweni Seed of Hope centre in Kitui County. Rebecca joined the training centre in 2018 after going through a rough patch in life having taken the decision to get married at a tender age with the belief that she will escape poverty that robbed her of the opportunity to advance in her education. After three years of marriage and blessed with a child, Rebecca was still not happy with life as there was a missing piece that she needed to find in order to fill the gap, yet her options were thinning out! She felt hopeless and desperate to change her family's living condition, particularly for her parents.
Rebecca suggested to her husband that she go back to the village to find work in order to contribute to meeting their daily expenses, and to be able to support her parents. Instead, Rebecca's husband suggested she finds a course she is interested to train on so that she can have better chance to earn a living through employment or self-employment. Rebecca had heard about Kangweni Seed of Hope which is not very far from her parents’ home and when she walked in to inquire about the skills training, she did not hesitate to register herself in fashion and fabric design course and was excited to get started!
Being a young mother, Rebecca was initially shy to interact with the other students as she joined a class of very young girls who had just come out of primary school or high school. But through empowerment programmes like Amuka, mentorship, guidance and counselling, Rebecca was imparted with knowledge and skills that changed her personality and more so brought out her natural leadership traits. Her self-esteem and confidence blossomed and she became the star of the school hence being elected the school captain towards the end of her first year.
Rebecca’s husband and parents have been very supportive since she joined the training and she has never missed classes which has helped her to concentrate and become one of the top students in her course of study. What is more exciting is that Rebecca is now ready to sit for her grade test and then join her sister-in-law who runs a dressmaking business in Kitui town. Her star continues to shine bright now that she has completed her final project before graduating in January 2020, and I believe she will be earning a good income that will enable her to alleviate poverty in her family.
As we end our interview, Rebecca had this to say and I quote “I finally found the missing piece which took so many years of desperation and unfulfilled dreams and shame to find. I am now empowered with knowledge and skills thanks to Seed of Hope for this opportunity that has changed me to a better daughter, wife and mother. I am ready to go out and compete in the market place and achieve my dreams.” What a way to end a conversation! We wish Rebecca all the best in her forthcoming exams and her future plans.
In other news, the Seed of Hope graduation will be happening in January instead of the usual December. This will give the students more time in December on the new syllabus course work, ensuring all topics are well covered in preparation for their exams and that they're ready for working in a competitive market. I believe this was a good move as it has created an opportunity for new enrolment of students especially at the Nairobi Seed of Hope centre who will be joining the class of 2020. There are at least 5 girls like Violet who already joined in October and more are coming to register themselves for the coming year.
On behalf of Seed of Hope, I would like to say thank you for being our greatest supporters and cheerleaders in transforming the lives of needy and hopeless girls like Rebecca who had dreams of being able to change her future which she is now fulfilling. Your generous giving towards this programme has been instrumental in providing the teaching, lunch programme, learning materials and other essentials. We look forward to another year of positive impact and transformation as we continue to equip and empower more girls with skills and knowledge that will open doors to brighter future.
On behalf of everyone at Raising Futures Kenya - thank you and best wishes for the holiday season.
Rebecca working on her graduation outfit
Violet, showing off the first mat she has made