Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Keeping Hope Alive in Kenya

Susan Akinyi is not an IDP but her story is equally heartrending. She sat her KCPE exams last year and scored 204 out of a possible 500 marks. Susan’s parents are poor and jobless and she was looking upon her 2 brothers to pay her school fees. Both of them were killed during the post election violence.

A sympathetic auntie however took her in and enrolled her in a local boarding High School. Just when she thought life was finally on the smooth path, her auntie passed away and her education was disrupted once again. Before her Auntie was even buried, her dormitory in school caught fire and she lost everything. Just how much can one girl take?

Her case reminds me of a story I watched on CNN not too long ago. 25 year old Peter Kithene was orphaned at 12 years of age. In the course of his short life, he has also lost six of his nine siblings. After the death of his parents, he went to live with his grandmother who was so poor that they went hungry on most days. As you can imagine, his motivation to carry on schooling was next to zero. But Peter had a dream. He soldiered on and after primary school he was accepted at Starehe Boys Center from where he joined University of Washington.

He now runs Mama Maria Clinic in Muhuru Bay in Nyanza Province which he founded to help the poor in his village access medical help. He won the prestigious CNN Heroes Competition - Medical Marvel Category. His story is such an inspiration and my prayer is that Susan Akinyi and many more Kenyans is situations such as hers will not give up hope. One day the sun will shine in their lives.


Anonymous said...

I know susan and her family. they come from my rural home in rachuonyo. i dont live there but i will ask around how she's doing. Thank you wanjiku for writing about her story.

Anonymous said...

sometimes, we complain about the little annoyances in our lives....people have real problems out there!! my goodness i wonder how they do it? i also hope the sun will shine in susan's life like it did in kithene's.

i think this is also a challenge for me to start focussing on the blessings God has bestowed on my life!!

Taabu said...

We reason best by contrast. You won't know you are tall till you meet a dwarf neither will you know you are a genious until your encounter with a dimwit. Contrasts brings out the light in every dark shadow and that is why man bitting a dog makes news and not vice versa. Do the small bit within your powers to plant a smile in somebody's life. Life is and was never meant to be fair. The faint hearted have no chance. Count your blessing my dears.

Maua said...

How can one get in touch with her? I come across organisations that may help, eg in school fees.

This should be a challenge for us in the diaspora to get together and see how some of these issues can be tackled.

Wanjiku Unlimited said...

Hi Maua. At the moment I don't know how I can get her but I'll try to find out. Her story was highlighted in the local media and they did not leave any contact address. Unfortunately this person who commented here did so as Anonymous. Anon 2.18 if you read this please get in touch.


Taabu said...

Ciku just ignore the anon@2.18 he may be another of those faceless Kenyans in need of cheap attention. Try clling the media house or the reception for the reporter. You never know that call would be save the girl's life. I won't wait for a doner but they can join in if interested. Try and rope me in or tell me which media house, name of reporter and date.