Forever Grateful: A letter from Simalo

I am Abigail Simalo, and I want to share my heartfelt gratitude with you. I am currently in Form 2 at Kajiado Adventist Rescue Centre, and I am 16 years old. I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your incredible support and kindness.

I want to tell you a bit about my life. I am an orphan, the third of six siblings—three boys and three girls. In 2017, my world turned upside down when I lost both my parents. They fell ill in the same week and passed away within a week. It was a devastating time for me. My mother passed away first, and just one day later, my father left us as well. They were both buried on the same day. At that time, I was young and still in primary school. We were left under the care of our stepmother, who has been caring for us ever since.

I completed my Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in 2021, and I am proud to say that I passed with a mean grade of B. That achievement opened doors for me, and I was admitted to Narok Girls High School in Narok County, which is in my hometown. It felt amazing to join such a prestigious secondary school where girls from all over Kenya attend. As an orphan, I had to wait and see what my family would decide about my education. I prayed for a chance to leave home for a change. Fortunately, word had spread that I had performed well in school, and that’s when Light Up Hope Director in Kenya heard about deserving girls like me. That opportunity became mine, thanks to the school principal who was aware of my situation.

The scholarship I received is truly exceptional; it covers everything for the entire year! From shopping to transportation, books, fees, pocket money, holiday support, remedial classes, and even a full school uniform. I thank God for having such a loving and caring sponsor like you.

While in Form 2, I faced a challenging situation. Growing up without both parents is tough, and I got involved in a relationship with a relative of my stepmother. He convinced me that I could be a good wife at my age, which our Maasai culture allows but is against government regulations on early marriages. My friend occupied my thoughts so much that I realized I was expecting a child. I was terrified of how my family would react, and I had no choice but to hide and live with him. It was a life I cannot put into words.

However, one fateful day, while living in constant fear, I saw a group of security personnel, and to my amazement, I recognized the leader of the group—it was none other than the Director of Light Up Hope Kenya. Tears of joy streamed down my face because I knew I would be saved from the life I was leading. Now, I am a free Kenyan girl who continues to receive the incredible support of Light Up Hope.

I receive all the necessary support, including attending maternity clinics and counseling. The rescue center also has a secondary school, and I immediately enrolled in Form 2. I have done well in my end-term exams, and I am working very hard. I have made a firm decision to aim high and aspire to join one of Kenya’s prestigious universities. With my current teachers and the unwavering moral support from my family, I am determined to stay disciplined and excel in my studies.

I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to you, my sponsor, and to Light Up Hope. You rescued me from a difficult situation, and I promise that I will not let you down. I am grateful beyond words.

God bless you and all those who have made this possible.

With heartfelt thanks,

Abigail Simalo

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