Agnes outside her home
At Kenya Keys, we have met and worked with many talented young people from the Taru region of Kenya. Agnes is a young woman who has thrived even when faced with multiple obstacles in her path. We met Agnes in 2001 when she was recommended by teachers and community members to be a potential recipient of a Kenya Keys Sponsorship. The Sponsorship Program covers tuition costs for young people who have earned top scores on the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education, which qualifies students for high school admission. Agnes performed exceptionally well on the exam, in addition to being a top student in her class. Growing up, her family struggled to make ends meet and her parents did not have the ability to pay for her high school tuition, so this sponsorship was a great blessing.
Agnes and her family suffered a horrible trauma when Agnes was in primary school. Her older sister, whom she loved dearly, was killed while collecting firewood. The loss of her sister was devastating to Agnes and her whole family. Agnes worked hard and was a leader in high school, despite the fact that she suffered greatly from PTSD. Grieving for her sister while completing her high education was not easy but Agnes was determined and received her high school diploma.
After high school Agnes decided she wanted to go to college and study to become a nurse. Her sponsor from Kenya Keys was happy to support her goal and continue sponsoring Agnes’s college education. During this time Agnes became pregnant. She was devastated and feared she would not have the opportunity to become a nurse. Her Kenya Keys sponsor knew of her family tragedy and how hard she had been working towards her dream. With the help of Kenya Keys staff, Agnes was assured that her college sponsorship was secure and waiting for her after she gave birth. Her mother understood the importance of a college education and agreed to care for her grandchild while Agnes went to school. Her family was living in extreme poverty at this time, as her father had abandoned them. They often did not have enough money to buy food and other daily essentials. Agnes wanted to finish her education because a college diploma opened doors to better paying jobs that would allow her to support her growing family.
Agnes is now in college. Her mother, a wonderful grandmother and babysitter, is caring for her child. The support of her family and Kenya Keys has helped Agnes make it through college. Her studies are going well, and she is currently completing an internship that allows her to help prepare for and scrub in on corneal surgeries. She hopes to complete her bachelor’s degree in nursing soon. In her own words, “Thank you so much for letting me acquire knowledge! May God Almighty bless and protect Kenya Keys.”
Agnes speaking to students about Kenya Keys
Agnes at her internship during a corneal surgery