I am proud of the impressive girl that my daughter has become. She is performing well in school and got an opportunity to attend the Yale Young African Scholars conference in Ghana. She has also started community initiatives like a fishpond and a poultry project that has brought new business opportunities for women in the area. Valentine is also very confident and speaks in different gatherings. She is a global leader in the making.

We celebrated when my daughter, Valentine got an admission letter to Maryhill Girls High School but at the back of my mind, I was apprehensive. Secondary school education in Kenya, especially in national schools, meant money, a lot of money that my family did not have. My husband was terminally ill and Valentine’s older siblings were in and out of school for lack of school fees. We had sold our family property to keep them in school and many nights we slept hungry.

After the initial excitement, I asked my daughter to consider joining a nearby day school, which was tens of thousands cheaper than a national school. She was adamant that she had worked hard to join a national school and would take nothing less.  I sold the family’s only cow to raise a part of her fees. I took loans left, right, centre but I couldn’t raise enough money as I was still taking care of my ailing husband.

My life changed the day I received a call from Akili Dada that Valentine had been awarded a scholarship. A huge burden has since then been taken off my shoulders. Due to the scholarship, the standard of living in the family has greatly improved over the four years. We now have a decent place to live and can afford a few amenities like running water and electricity, an unheard of feat for a widowed woman in my community.

Sarah Wanjira.

Change families in Kenya by investing in our girls and young women who are steadily changing the planet.