Education is the Hope for Generations
Blog post by Peter King'ori, a member of EFAC's Kenyan Team.
Education and empowerment provide hope for countless generations who live in abject poverty in both arid and semi-arid areas. Transforming lives in these regions requires various stakeholders who collaboratively work together to instill hope, dreams and change to the younger generations. Sylvester, an EFAC student attending Rongai Boys School, is an example of a student who is optimistic about the future as a result of such collaboration. Sylvester wanted an scholarship to secondary school so badly that he repeated class eight even after having sat for his Kenya Certificate for Primary Education (K.C.P.E.) and passed with high marks. He said recently, “I repeated standard eight with 353 marks since my mother had no money to take me to secondary school.”
Sylvester is among the 28 scholars who are benefiting from EFAC education scholarship in Kitui County. These students live with their parents, siblings and guardians in areas such as Katulani, Ikanga, Matinyani and Ikutha. A recent home visit by the EFAC team found that small scale subsistence farming is the main source of income for most peasant farmers in these regions. The climate is characterized by dry seasons with minimal short rainfall seasons. Rivers are seasonal and farmers depend on borehole water for drinking and washing. They must pay for their water and 5 liters of water costs 2 Kenyan Shillings. Most of the houses are built with local bricks and either an iron sheet or a grass thatched roof. Illiteracy is common among older parents/guardians and they only speak the local Akamba language. Despite these levels of poverty, these parents/guardians are hopeful for the success of their children.
Education is the vehicle that drives change in this region. It is the hope for generations. Every parent/guardian the EFAC team met stressed the importance of education and its impact in ending the cycle of illiteracy and poverty. Students could not hide their joy as they narrated the events which transpired before they acquired an education scholarship. Ishmael Mother asserted that “You instilled hope and bright future to my family, it’s only God who can repay and bless you.” Antony Mulwa, an EFAC scholar who also acted as the team interpreter testified that “I had to repeat standard eight in order to get good marks which guaranteed me an education scholarship.” Through the support of sponsors, Anthony recently completed his Kenya Certificate for Secondary Education (K.C.S.E) last year and is eager to learn his results and what his options are for university or diploma programs. He is currently growing green vegetables and Moringa trees in his father’s farm. He sells the vegetables in a nearby market. He puts a smile as he says “I learnt about the benefits of Moringa trees during the EFAC mentorship workshop. I was given a reference book by the facilitator and when I came back home I planted some seeds in our farm.”
Empowering one student at a time brings joy and hope to families struggling with illiteracy and poverty. Educating younger generations translates to a great future. Students are determined to accomplish their dream and transform their entire trajectory of life in a positive way. Together, let us empower one student at a time with the knowledge that education is the hope for generations.