Jacklyne (WISER class of 2013)
Five years ago, we celebrated the first class of graduates from the WISER Girls Secondary School. Four years ago, those graduates became some of the first girls in their communities to go to college.
This year? Those girls are college graduates who are among the top young professionals in Kenya.
Just a few weeks ago, the WISER team was delighted to welcome a group of alumni back to campus for a nostalgia-filled visit. These girls, Jacklyne, Margaret, and Millicent, are all WISER trailblazers – among the first to graduate from WISER and now, among the first WISER alumni to finish their college programs. All three girls are following a similar path, choosing careers in the medical field. Jacklyne is now working as a medical lab technician. Millicent and Margaret are both nurses. All of them have come a long way from where they began.
“It has been challenging,” said Margaret. “But I am not the former Margaret. I am a new Margaret. I have skills, I am well-equipped. I can do great things today, tomorrow, and in the future.”
This kind of confidence is exciting to see from a young nurse, as Kenya’s healthcare sector is woefully understaffed in rural regions. Having young, enthusiastic medical professionals like Margaret, Millicent, and Jacklyne on the horizon offers hope to many people across Kenya.
“You find that patients are many and nurses are few,” says Millicent. “You find that resources are limited, and it’s up to us to use the resources that you have… the community expects a lot from you. But when you prosper, you become a role model.”
This is the core of a WISER success story. These young women come from a region of Kenya where no one expected them to finish eighth grade, let alone high school or college. They have faced countless barriers – poverty, gender-based violence, limited access to clean water, and more. And yet, Margaret, Millicent, and Jacklyne are thriving. And they come back to WISER to visit their old school and to visit their home communities. Because today, in the areas where these girls were raised, they have become heroes.
“In my home area, there’s only one other woman who has done my kind of work,” says Jacklyne. “So when I come through my area, people look at me and they call me daktari (doctor). They say that’s my name. The kids come to me and say ‘I will be a nurse! I will be like Jacklyne!’ There are people that say ‘Jacklyne is my hero.’”
These inspiring young women offer just a few examples of what can happen when you, the members of the Global WISER Family, support WISER on GlobalGiving. Thank you for your dedication and for making these long-term successes possible. You are helping the WISER team change the future for hundreds of girls and their communities!
Millicent and Margaret (both WISER class of 2013)