I was born in the slums of Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya and second largest in Africa. Most of the residents live in extreme poverty. Unemployment and crimes are at a very high rate. Poverty is bigger than most people understand and mostly affects the little ones. I stayed in a one roomed house with my family and the house was not cemented. There was no electricity, muddy floors and when it rained we could not sleep because it could leak and the floors became muddy. My parents were semi illiterate and that meant that they could not get any formal job. Therefore they did any job forthcoming to make ends meet. As a child I didn’t enjoy the privileges accorded to small babies like good food and ended up being malnourished. Hunger was sadly our greatest challenge.
As a small girl in the slum, life was twice difficult because of the absence of security or any form of protection. I remember so vividly walking to school one morning in the narrow dark paths of Kibera and one of the local administrators trying to sexually harass me. I was lucky that a passerby came to my intervention. Going to school was not any better because I wasn’t assured of any meal during lunch hours. I remember so vividly yawning in class and the scrambling of my stomach as I tried to concentrate. I grew knowing that I was hopeless and with very weak self-esteem. I remember sadly when my little brother used to pick food in the litter to eat because he couldn’t stand the hunger. I could not stop him because I couldn’t provide food to him.
The greatest miracle in my life happened when I joined Compassion in the year 1996 when I was 6 years old. That was the start of a brand new life. My life took a positive shift. I found new hope and life gave me a new meaning. I was no longer a statistic of poverty because I had hope for a better tomorrow. Poverty is a cycle and I thank God for Compassion for breaking it! Through Compassion I got food, clean water and health care. I got my first bible in Compassion. I received Bible teaching, education, counseling and emotional support. I got to know the care and love and taught about the greatest of Love which is from God. I got a sponsor from the USA four months after I joined the program and was extremely happy that God used people I did not know until that date, to bring meaning to my life. I will be forever grateful to my sponsor from USA.
I enjoyed school even more because I got all the necessary items for school. I received lovely letters from my sponsor and felt appreciated and worth living. I was able to concentrate and when I did my final exams of primary education after 8 years, I passed well and joined high school. Compassion still assisted through high school and managed to qualify with an entry to university. After my secondary education my sponsors withdrew their assistance. Compassion gives an opportunity for university education to those Compassion students who have performed well in their secondary education and I was among them. Even before I had the opportunity to join the Leadership Development Program (LDP). From Floreijn I received the possibility to get into the LDP. They promised to hold my hand through university education and that was such a humbling experience.
in Jesus name
I graduated from Pan Africa Christian University (PACU) with a first class honors in Business Leadership-Accounting Option. This result would not have been a success without the generous support that Floreijn provided me. I deeply appreciate the willingness that you always had. Compassion indeed works-releasing children from poverty in Jesus name.