When she applied for the Education course at Kibabi, Lily didn’t know where her school fees would come from. But she had already put off this next stage of her education for two years because the funds were just not available. Her parents, farmers, put most of their money to the secondary school fees of her two younger siblings. While they did their best, education has always been a struggle for them. First primary education for four children, the secondary education for four children took more money than they had on their meager income.
Her primary school years were disrupted by lack of money as well. With multiple children to educate, Lily’s parents found themselves unable to afford her last year of primary school. To assist the family, one of her teachers invited her to live with her for the last year. Secondary school was paid for through her parents leasing their land and selling their livestock. Her parents only made money on what they could produce from the farm. The sale of livestock and leasing of land provided immediate funds, but took away from their ability to make money from farming. With fewer resources to work with, they had less to produce.
To Lily, a post-secondary education was a dream that seemed just out of reach.
With her desire to be a teacher still burning inside her, she spent two years after secondary school working at the market with her cousin to help cover remaining school fees and support her family. The dream refused to die and eventually she applied to the teacher training program with no idea of how she would pay for it. Help came in the form of her older brother. When he left school, he joined the Kiganjo Police Training College. Now, he had finished his training and was working as a police officer. With his first paycheck, he paid for his sister’s first year of school. Unfortunately, this was not something he could do every year. Life circumstances meant that he had to become the main breadwinner in their family. So while she had her first year paid for, she still needed money to finish.
Her brother was the spark that started the journey that would turn her dream into a reality. It was the ACCES Scholarship funds that kept that spark alive. When she came to us, her brother was not just helping to support his oldest sister, but the rest of the family as well. After the death of their father, the income from the family farm was reduced even more. With her school fees now covered by the ACCES Scholarship fund, she can focus on her own education and her own dream. Now Lily can reach toward the goal of helping other children who are facing the same difficulties she faced as a child. She can now gain the skills needed to educate the next generation of young Kenyans.