In Her Shoes: Tales from Gatanga Furaha Children's Center Founder and Director, Keziah Mwaura

A guest post from Keziah Mwaura, Founder of Gatanga orphanage outside of Nairobi.  You can read more about Keziah here in our Local Heroes section.

Feb. 14, 2013

I have great news concerning Mary, one of our primary national exams candidates!

I have for over a week been on a very rigorous process for her and Christopher, the other primary national exam candidate. They applied for Equity bank scholarships. It has been such a procedure with different activities such as preparing materials, presenting them for interviews, taking application forms to different administrators and church ministers for recommendation etc. The activities ended today.

Christopher did not get it, probably just because they gave Mary and another student from their school a scholarship. There were many children from different schools in our area who had applied and Equity likes to spread them around. They only needed 14 students from the whole district.  Christopher had been locked out of the  scholarship  Mary earned (due to the banks efforts towards fair distribution of slots) and he was so dejected last night.

Mary will now be educated by the bank all the way to university. They will meet her shopping, pocket money and more beautiful–They will put them in a mentorship program throughout. Her time in the program. They as well give her a job as well during the time after high school before she joins university. They are the ones even to take her to the new boarding high school next week. Ours now is only to partner with the bank in the mentorship, to take care of her during school holidays.

Both Christopher and Mary got invitations to some of the best high schools in the country due to good marks. Christopher will actually be joining a national school that is usually top twenties out of many thousands in the country. Mary”s is usually top fifties. Mary leaves tomorrow for a three day mentorship program with the bank before joining school next week.  God is gracious and GO Campaign has really helped in giving them assistance so they bring out their best at that level. This year, we are preparing five and two of them are likely to come out just as well or better. We shall work on each to score their best.

Feb. 17, 2013

Imagine, I picked a  piece of old newspaper  this morning and it had an organization which announced for scholarships a long time ago. I had missed the article before and  interviews were today far from Thika. I was to download application forms, have places signed by the chief, pastor and the children’s former headteacher at Gatanga(all these at different places).Was to pick Christopher from Furaha then get back to Thika and travel to the other town where interviews were. This was 10 a.m and I was not done with Mary who was leaving for three days. All this was done, my brother helped.  They were to take only five children out of ninety who appeared. He has won a school fees scholarship up to form four-all high school so long as he continues doing well! You see he had the marks, invitation letter to a good school and your facilitation now has made them gain confidence to write good essays at the interviews and ability to answer questions before a panel. It is great and beautiful  His may not have all the other packages as Mary, but school fees for national schools are very high. Some schools charges Ksh 120 000 per year ($1,369 USD). Palm House is the organization that gave him the scholarship, and they say they also run a mentorship program for their beneficiaries. Could we ask for more this year? Christopher was the last person interviewed that night and there was even a composition to write on why he thinks he deserved.
I am so so happy tonight.

That is Christopher and I as we did his high school shopping. We fell short of nothing. He and Mary are now settled in some of the best Kenyan High Schools. This as a result of having excelled in their primary school National Exam. They have scholarships for the whole of high school and Mary’s includes shopping, transport ,pocket money and books. Both as well have mentor ship programs during school holidays. All this is courtesy of GO CAMPAIGN,  friends and partners without whom, the two would have dropped out of primary school a long time ago due to being challenged by basic needs. The provisions made by GO have all along created a very good atmosphere for them to learn and do revision. We are very very grateful.