In Samson’s remote village in rural Kenya, illiteracy is common and poverty is the norm. His mother died when he was in second grade. His father remarried, but his stepmother was unkind, vowed that no school fees would be paid by his father, and kicked him out of the house. Samson moved in with his aunt. For a time, all seemed well. Samson said of that time, “Life was simple”. Then everything changed.
Just before high school, all Kenyan students take a standardized test that determines where they will be accepted to secondary school. Samson’s score was one of the highest in the whole region. Instead of being cause for celebration, Samson’s exceptional success seemed to infuriate his adopted family. In Samson’s words:
At that dreadful day, my aunt warned me with terror that she was going to drop me. I didn’t know if she was jealous or not but I just remained quiet…Those days seemed not to be good to me. My aunt decided to give me a tough labor but I still remained quiet. Sometimes I would even receive a thorough beating from her husband.
Just at that time, Kenya Keys was responding to the increased need in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic by increasing the number of students sponsored in 2021, and Samson was the among the first chosen. He was matched with a sponsor who was eager to support this patient, polite, and disciplined boy. “Thank you for the support which you gave me,” Samson wrote to his sponsor. “May God bless you and the work of your hands.”
With the help of Kenya Keys staff and his sponsor, Samson is now attending Ngoto Boys, a boarding school, and is working toward his goal of becoming a medical doctor.
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