This year we are happy to celebrate two additional high school graduates, Edward and Ellis. Both boys are extremely smart and talented and true examples that life circumstances do not define who you were created to be. This fall we are very proud of how hard each of the boys have worked to maintain high marks and we pray that the results of their final exams (results will be released in February) will be high enough to give both boys the opportunity for a University Education.
Ellis came into the care of our Kenyan partners, Fred and Alice, in 2009 after the riots that ensued during the 2007 Kenyan Election Violence. Edward started his life in the slums of Nairobi working odd jobs during the day and scrounging for food at night to help care for his younger brother, Joseph. He wanted nothing more than to attend school. Here is Edward’s story in his own words –
Hi, my name is Edward.
My parents are among the leading people who brought light into my life. This light almost went off when they divorced and my father fell into drinking. I joined school at an old age and I had no time to go through lower classes, I started in class two, by then I had tasted a bit of life… hard life.
In Nairobi are the street that showed me to live a hard life. It is the place I used to earn my living every evening after school. I could go there looking for a job; collecting rubbish and sometimes selling charcoal. Most of the times I could wait until late in the evening when the restaurants were closing. I would then go and borrow the remains of the food and carry them home for me and my brother.
My father came home late and very drunk. He would wake us and tell us many stories throughout the night. On many occasions he had nothing to give us for food. He would spend the money on alcohol and after drinking his friends robbed him the rest of the money. At times I even gave him my own savings to assist him to buy cigarettes. When he got sick I had to sacrifice a school day and go find food for him and my younger brother.
Despite going to the streets looking for jobs and spending sleepless nights, I used to perform well in school. The headmaster kept on encouraging me, many times I was taken to him for having slept in class but he always understood my conditions and never punished me.
In class 8 (my final year in primary school) I had to put much effort for I wanted success. The school director saw this passion in me and requested me to go and stay in Hands With Hope Safe House (later changed to Hope Children’s Home) where I could settle my mind and focus on education.
I am now in High School, St. Ignatius Mukumu Boys School. I am finishing my fourth year in 2014. I still live at the Hope Children’s Home situated in Kitale. I thank God for having enabled me to reach this far. I have faced many challenges in life, but I have never given up. Through your help, I have seen my future brighter than the moon and the stars.