It’s a warm Wednesday morning of 18th May,2022 and I’m headed to this local Boys Secondary School on behalf of Andgate Foundation; a charitable organization that has rallied together friends and well-wishers from all walks of life to help transform the lives of bright needy students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
I ushered myself to the waiting bench right in front of the Deputy Principal Administration’s office. Within fifteen minutes of waiting, I decided to show face in the DP’s office. My showing face resulted to a young boy and his mother being requested to wait outside for a while. The occupant of the office pleasantly welcomed me to the seat strategically placed to his left side just next to his table. This was not my intention but Mwalimu insisted that the duo was not going anywhere anytime soon; so I may as well deal and be done with it.
After exchanging pleasantries and a brief introduction of Andgate Foundation and its causes; the DP’s curiosity was piqued. He promised to look into the matters I had brought to his attention but stood to his feet and motioned for the Mother and Son to come back to the office. He introduced them and walked me through their agony,and how the mother had given up all hopes of her son ever joining secondary school, most of it is unprintable. She looked frail; having been discharged from the local Hospital the previous day to come and enroll the boy in school at the Ministry of Education’s directive on 100% transition from primary to secondary school . So she showed up with the boy, just as they were; with nothing.
On this day though, I witnessed the most humanitarian gestures ever in my life. The Teachers and support staff at the school were donating in cash and kind to enable the boy join Form 1 upon learning of his predicament that morning. The DP told me sending them away would be an exercise in futility since they had nothing to return to anyway. One male teacher literally removed his belt and handed it to the young man, another was to purchase bed sheets; somebody volunteered to buy padlocks for his ‘suitcase’; an old rusty piece of metal box that had been abandoned by one of those cool kids who cleared his final examinations the previous year. You haven’t seen or heard of kindness yet: the security guard (watchman) volunteered to paint the box for free and repair the locks to secure ‘the nothing’ he would keep inside. And so this mini harambee went on and on as tears welled in the mother’s eyes; because this moment was very humbling.
As a Foundation we undertook preliminary background checks and held conversations with willing partners; thereafter we enrolled one more beneficiary by God’s grace.
‘Madam you arrived in time! Yes, Just in time!’ the DP concluded with joy.
This experience (among many others) brings into perspective the hurdles endured by many hopeful students in their bid to access secondary school education in rural Kenya. The access may be equal but the opportunities are not! As a society we have a responsibility to the future generations. We can support through kindness, moral and material sacrifices.
You too can be part of this humanitarian cause. Visit our website and support us to transform lives through education. One child at a time!