I was raised in a very humble background whereby I couldn’t afford all the basic needs. At the start of my education journey, I experienced a lot of challenges. It was so discouraging that I wanted to end my life. My dad was a drunkard and my mum suffered a stroke (and was bed ridden) therefore accessing all basic needs was a nightmare to me.
One thing that kept me moving was the encouragement that I used to get from my teachers who believed that I could make it in life.
It was when I finished primary school and passed well that I was drained by the fact that I had no one to take me to high school or even pay my school fees.
Lucky enough I got a scholarship from the Red Rubber Ball Foundation in 2011 which was a project aimed at helping needy students get full access to their education. Much gratitude to Neil Kirby who believed in me and connected me to my sponsors (Simon and Suzie) who paid my full school fees for four years in high school. With this I thanked God for the opportunity and worked to my level best.
I had my vision of becoming a doctor and that really inspired me to work hard and ignore the other challenges that I was going through since at the end success is all that matters.
I finished my high school back in 2014 and attained a B+ grade which qualified me for direct entry to university. I joined campus successfully in 2015.
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE IF YOU PUT YOUR MIND TO IT! This is what I always had at the back of my mind. I went ahead and pursued a bachelor’s degree in public health for four years and lucky enough I graduated with a First Class Honour Degree despite all that I went through for the four years.
I am currently volunteering in a health facility as a Public Health Officer and at the same time I have a side-line of working in a microfinance company.
I am so grateful for the opportunity that the Red Rubber Ball Foundation gave me since it helped me to realise my full potential and follow my vision. I also came to learn that ‘anything is possible if you put your mind to it’. No matter the challenges that you go through, you need to stay strong and stick to your vision. Life itself is challenging and only the tougher will get going.
GETRUDE SHITANDI OKECH
Red Rubber Ball Foundation beneficiary.