November saw me go across seven counties interacting with the stakeholders in the projects that Vision Africa partners with in its mission of protecting, providing and preparing children and youth to give them a Future full of Dignity, Opportunity and Hope.
These visits saw me spend hours in meetings between the project management, the beneficiaries and other stakeholders in setting their goals for the coming year 2017 as well as prepare budgets to work around the set goals.
It also gave me an opportunity to be part of three Seed of Hope graduations in Kisii County, Kitui County and Murang’a county, an experience I will live to remember and use it to pick myself up to go to work in the blue days when I’ll be down.
I had come home sick from the travelling and fatigue from the Seed of Graduation in Kitui County and was expected to be there to represent Vision Africa the next day in a similar occasion in Muranga County at Kariti Seed of Hope. My day started at the hospital and quite frankly I was not looking forward to meeting a hundred plus people when I felt like my whole system was on fire.
What started at a very low key though was the climax of my visits to the projects and by far extended to be one of the best moments of my work in 2016!
The success stories at the Seed of Hope graduation in Murang’a gave me a spiritual healing that day from my physical pain.
Phyllis, a seventeen year old graduate who had just completed her hair and beauty therapy course at Kariti gave her story to the audience which moved me to tears. At form two, she had had to sacrifice her secondary education to allow her parents to cater for her ailing sister’s medical bills. She narrated how she had felt lost staying at home mourning her loss for a whole year until when a former student at Seed of Hope told her of the Opportunity at Seed of Hope Kariti and she immediately made the decision to join. The smiles and pride on her mother’s and sister’s face when they came to receive the certificate with her was to me an assurance enough that her sacrifice had been appreciated.
The other story was that of Silas, a former Seed of Hope graduate and who is an active alumni in Kariti. When he finished his form four in 2011 and there was nothing much to do as he was not admitted to the university and neither did he have money to join a parallel course or get sponsored to college, he gave into peer pressure and started doing cheap drugs and local brews.
In 2012, he was informed of the existence of free computer and Business skills course at Seed of Hope Kariti and he decide that since there was nothing to lose, he could join. After one year in Kariti, he was a totally reformed person! The mentoring, guidance and counselling, life skills, business skills and the computer training turned his life around for good. He stopped abusing drugs, had a focus in his life was set to achieve great things.
Currently a teacher at a local primary school, he also does mentoring and is specifically attached to 13 primary schools by the ACK church to do mentoring/ counselling. He also extends the same services to Seed of Hope Kariti! His next move? A diploma student! Isn’t it amazing how Seed of Hope has transformed him?
One thing I witnessed through all the graduations is the confidence that the graduates had gained in their stay at Seed of Hope, their teachers’ dedication to their excellence and the benefits to the community at large who came in their numbers to witness the graduations.
A hundred plus student who graduated from our Four Seed of Hope centres in Nairobi, Kisii, Kitui and Murang’a were sent to the job market with skills, empowerment, Hope and Dignity to go and do what pertained to their skills and courses! For me, witnessing that was the best Christmas gift I received this year!
Am now looking forward to 2017 where we continue to give the children and youth a Future through the different partnerships we have in Vision Africa with their projects!
(Partner Projects Officer)