Like many young Kenyans, John was raised by a single parent in a rural village in western Kenya.  John explains the effect this had on his schooling:

“I remember sitting KCPE three times due to lack of school fees since my family was humble and could not raise my secondary school fees”

It’s not uncommon for children to re-sit at primary school if they cannot afford the fees, books and uniform needed to move on to secondary.

John persevered and achieved a score of 382 out of 500 in his primary school exams, and a Red Rubber Ball scholarship allowed him to finally take up his place at Namasoli Secondary School, thanks to the support of his sponsors Anna and Richard.

He was selected to be part of the group to climb Kilimanjaro and he displayed a quiet determination to succeed.  With a local county government grant, he enrolled at Busia Teachers Training College and graduated as a primary school teacher.

John is having an impact on the pupils he teaches, and he talks about one in particular:

“Esther is a mother of 7 sons.  She is in standard 8, this year eagerly awaiting to sit for her KCPE soon.

(Standard 8 is the final year of primary school and KCPE the exams taken at the end of primary school).

I am proud of myself at this age of mine mentoring such a person in my life.  Sometimes she reminds me of Maruge and teacher Obinchu in early 1980s and I become strengthened.

(Maruge was an 84-year-old when he started primary school and later went on to speak to the UN on the importance of education.  We show his story to our sponsored students to show just what is possible when you put your mind to it).

I asked her why she left her husband early in the morning.  She keeps on telling me of the better side of education, ‘I only need a certificate of standard 8 to secure a job.  It’s so painful that I was called for a job, but I lost the chance because I didn’t have even a single document to prove that I had gone to school’.

I am impressed with her ‘coz she always outperformed threequarters of the class in the exams they have been doing.   I love my job”.

Hearing stories of students that we’ve sponsored like John is reward itself – I love my job too.

Hands up

if you can help 

a child like John