Determination, hard work and your giving = lives changed
An unlucky start
Life for Janet seems like something you would read in fiction books or watch in a movie. A life filled with a series of unfortunate circumstances that no child should ever have to experience. Such a background has the potential to birth bitterness, hate, envy and a desire for revenge. Contrary to what many would expect, Janet is a vibrant, jovial and very out spoken young lady. You may easily be deceived that she has it all together until you walk a few steps in her shoes.
A fourth born in a family of 9, Janet found herself in daily fights for existence. After her mother passed on in the year 2004, her father remarried. A last born to the first wife and having lost the mother at the age of 7 years, Janet’s life took a drastic turn for the worst and her childhood became a very painful experience.
A glimpse of hope
Janet always topped her classes and a well-wisher saw noticed her potential. The well-wisher recommended that she be admitted to a Primary School that was sponsoring both partial and total orphans. This was such a blessing for young Janet as the father, who was working as a casual labourer in construction sites was struggling to support his family with the very low income he was getting. Though the school was a far off from home, she did not mind the trek as she looked forward to the tea and lunch offered there. Every day she would walk for 40 minutes to and from school. This became her life for four years.
Against all odds
Sadly back home her step mother made life difficult for her and study at home became almost impossible. Her determination and hard work though paid off. On sitting for her K.C.P.E (end of primary exam) in the year 2011, Janet scored an impressive 346 marks out of 500. Her joy was short-lived though as the school could not continue supporting her to high school education due to limited resources. Sadly the family could only support one child into High school and a step brother was chosen. Janet was told that the family had found her a job as a house girl (maid) as she gets ready to be married. And so it was. This made her so sad given that she had performed better than the step brother yet she was denied opportunity because she was a girl.
By God’s grace and after a number of interviews Janet was given an opportunity through Daylove under The Hand in Hand Foundation ( HIHF) sponsorship program in 2012. Janet had to work very hard to catch up with the rest of her classmates as she joined a school in June during the 2nd term. On completion of her high school education, Janet managed a B Minus grade, which was very impressive given her circumstances. Janet’s desire was to purse a Bachelors Degree in commerce but due to her grade, she could not qualify to enrol as a government sponsored student. After much discussion with her, she was offered a sponsorship to study accounting in one of The HiHF partner institutions, TIBS (Thika Institute of Business Study). She shares that this was closely related to what she intended to study and feels that she is pursuing her dreams. Now aged 23 years old, Janet is in her final year of College. It is unclear how the effects of Covid-19 will affect her school calendar but she remains confident that she will clear with her CPA (Certified Public Account) by the end of the year. She shares that each day she walks to her class room she is grateful for such a golden opportunity to study and bring her closer to achieving her ambitions. Now that schools are closed, Janet is staying with her sister who is now a single mother of two children aged 5 years and 3 years. With no finances to pay for a housegirl, Janet helps take care of her niece and nephew while her sister works to put food on the table. Since Covid-19 epidemic, hit the country, her sister has not been able to work at her previous job and relies on menial jobs to earn a living. Life has not been easy with the government partial lockdown due to the Corona virus pandemic.
Janet is creative and ambitious. She shares that she detests borrowing for her basic needs. Armed with her CPA 4 and her qualification in computerized accounting, she approached her aunty to give her a job. She negotiated an arrangement where she reports for work in the afternoon, does the aunt’s books for the day, closes the shop and banks the days sales. For this, she is paid just a little, equivalent to £3.50 but this is what she, the sister and her two children have survived on for the last two months.
Janet desires to eventually open her own business. She plans to offer her sister’s children the kind of life that both Janet and her sister were denied.
Given her tragic history, Janet has a heart to fight for the rights of the girl child. Her eyes light up when she talks of the change she desires to see in the society. She explains that though girls have much to offer to the community, their dreams are often not realised. Janet considers opening an organisation to support girls who have been denied an opportunity. Hopefully she will make a difference for many such girls the same way The Hand In Hand foundation has impacted her life through Daylove Children's project. She confidently says that girls have a lot of potential and her organisation would be out to help them unleash such potential.
She is disappointed that in this day and age, people would still think that a girl’s place is only in the kitchen or that the highlight of a girl’s life is getting married.
Janet is so thankful for everyone that has played a role in her life. She continually prays for God to bless them. From such a grateful heart, she commits to be part of The HiHF and where possible play a part in supporting their mission of supporting children like herself.
She is particularly appreciating the mentorship program run by HiHF as it has helped her address her past and learned to forgive all who did her harm. She shares that through it she has found her purpose and has become more focused in life.
Hand in Hand are proud of the strong, determined and focused lady that she has become. She is a student leader who has shown exemplary leadership qualities. We wish her well in all her endeavours.