Scholarship stories are necessarily sad. They are sad because the kids we sponsor are often in dire straits. What is sadder is that out of every 10 students sponsored, another 100 or so are left behind, some will never get to continue their education, many will end up in relatively worse schools. The selection is gut wrenching and no matter how hard we try; we leave the majority of our applicants disappointed. However, each year, we try to increase our scholarships and celebrate and encourage those lucky enough to get the few available. This year, we picked 10 students, all who have one thing in common; they passed their primary school exam under extreme conditions. Some had to walk long distances to school and others had no family support, among the girls, there are those that only barely escaped forced marriage to older men. Despite all these odds, the kids are determined to make it and change their lives and those of their community. This year, PA-MOJA through the Ol Pejeta Conservancy’s community department awarded 10 scholarships
It’s a joy to present our 2016 bursary students in the first segment of Bursary 2016 stories.
John Wachira Thuranira
John lives with his single Mum and he has 7 brothers and sisters. His mother who suffers from sporadic episodes of mental illness is expecting another child. From the onset, the children have been supported by their community and well wishers. However, the support is sketchy at best and John has had a tumulus childhood, denied many basic experiences of a growing child. The community nominated him for the bursary based on the fact that he was a top student in his final exam that his mother may not have afforded him an education at all. John wants to become a Doctor because he has seen first hand, the gaps in his community, which lacks this and other essential services.
Ann Namnyak Ranah
Ann is from Ereri Village, one of the pastrolist communities where for many years, history and culture have conspired to make a girl’s dream less valid than any boy’s. However, thanks to her Mom’s aggressive stance and Ann’s own determination to get an education, she successfully went through primary school and managed to escape the negative cultural practices such as early Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). In her final primary school exams, her performance was outstanding and she managed to cash in the promise PA-MOJA volunteers had made to sponsor her if she passed her exams. She is now a student of Gatero Girls Highschool in Nyahururu town. Ann is a great example of someone who struggles against impossible odds to attain an education. While boys in her community have it easy by comparison many girls have to prove they are deserving or an education despite its being a basic right. While we cannot change the culture overnight, we believe that by educating the few we can afford to, we are sowing the seed for a gradual revolution and creating role models who will in the next few years change the community from within. Hopefully, along with the other –PA-MOJA Bursary girls from Ereri and other schools, Ann’s education will open doors for many marginalized girls.
Lucy Wachera Wairimu
Lucy Wachera Wairimu comes from Riachu on the South East Region of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. She lives with her single mom on a strip of land owned by her grandmother. None of her family has a formal job and they mostly get by through providing casual labor at minimum wage. When she graduated primary school, she got an admission letter to St Augustine High School. However, since her parents would not have afforded to pay the fee, she knew her education dream may come to an end prematurely. When, she was selected for the Ol Pejeta Conservancy– PA-MOJA bursary, she was ecstatic and she promised to work as hard as she could to make her parents and sponsors proud.
To be continued…..
If you would like to support these and the other needy students, please visit our Donations Page.
by Ian Mungai