Titus hit a brick wall after he finished school. His parents, like many others in his home town, relied on subsistence farming and casual work and so didn't have the means to pay for further education. He would have to come up with funds himself.
Our Kenyan colleagues first met Titus at Mogonjet (his former school) in an interview for sponsorship. His story of perseverance and gumption moved them. Identifying an undeniable passion for cooking, they enrolled him onto our Stand in the Gap sponsorship programme and subsequently onto a catering course at the Nakuru Training Institute.
We can't stress how much Titus has flourished during his studies. A rigorous schedule of study and support from mentors has boosted his faith, his self-esteem and given him hope for the future. Last time we spoke to him, he told us he was still getting up in the early hours to cook chapatis and sell them to students on campus.
The journey to stand independently doesn't end when our young people finish school. Gainful employment, with a salary good enough to support a family, is more achievable through higher education or vocational training.
However, access to this is a massive obstacle for our young people.
Firstly, it is still a rare feat for students, even from an ideal background, to score well enough in their final school year exams to get into university. Even then most of our students wouldn’t be able to afford even the most rudimentary of courses.
That is why our supporters are dedicated to sponsoring as many of our young people into training as possible. Along with proper mentorship, we consider gaining a useful skill one of the last stops on the journey to economic independence.
Similar to our approach to education, we support recognised training institutes (like NTI) and sponsor individuals directly.
As places on our training programme are very limited, students must currently undergo an interview process where they must meet the criteria set by us. Furthermore, we only consider teenagers from the various children's homes and schools we are partnered with. The types of courses our students enrol onto follow their passion and ability.