Story of Hope and Education

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The following letter is from Kiefa Ontiri, GAD Kenya Executive Director.

George Ogoro is a student at Kenyatta University. He is studying biology and physics. He went through Neema Nuru Primary School (elementary school) in the year 2003 and successfully passed his exam. He had a hard time paying for school fees. I let him study at the school without paying because I knew he was bright and didn’t deserve to be sent home for the fees. He joined Nyakoiba Secondary School (high school) where he sat for his Form 4 exam in 2007 and managed to score a  C+.

On the 3rd of January 2013, there was a person introducing himself as  George Ogoro at my door. He was requesting if I was available because he really wanted to have a talk with me. I immediately invited him in. His home is not far from my own but he doesn’t live at home, hence why meeting him is hard.

He came to my compound, and after greeting my family , I led him to the gazebo where we had our chat. He first gave me a letter of appreciation on how I have positively affected his life and the life of his family by allowing him free primary education and encouraging him to work hard in education.

After getting a C+ grade on his secondary exam,  he was not allowed into university because the score was not high enough. So he went to Nairobi to find a job, he could not get one, so he lived miserably and was forced to come home. After returning home, he started tutoring the students of a distant neighbor. They were not scoring well in school and needed George’s tutoring help. This neighbor realized the potential of George tutoring his two children who were weak in school exam scores. He employed him to tutor them during holidays. While tutoring , they improved and an idea came across George’s mind. He decided to request this neighbor to help him go back to secondary school. He wanted to attend the same school as the children he was tutoring were attending so he could continue tutoring as well as improve his own skills. This man accepted to help George go back to Form 3 (junior year), the same class where his children were. In the year 2010 George did his Form 4 exam and scored an A- and received a government sponsorship to university. The students he was tutoring both received scores of B- which was a good improvement for them.

George is now one of the scholars from the village who appreciates the role of GAD Kenya in trying to fight poverty in Kenya by empowering the youth with education. He told me that he has  already spoken with some GADL sponsored students on the importance of making good use of the Gad Kenya opportunity  in getting education. He has been encouraging the students and parents to ensure that we all work together to empower our community through education.

I make this silent observation, every student and parent is striving to ensure a good education. But those who have had a poor foundation are regretting the mistake now, yet have hope that they can repeat grades. Those given good educational foundations are enthusiastic that they are going to make it to university. At an education seminar for sponsored student, one girl, who has many leadership qualities, bravely told the girls not to shy off speaking their ideas. Traditions that prevented women from speaking as men have been overtaken by time. She said that women and girls should wake up, and get out of the kitchen. This was a pleasant surprise to me. Many parents spoke, and some even shed tears while offering their speeches. It was indeed a good meeting.

Kiefa Ontiri