After the positive response to Alex’s story that I shared a couple of weeks back, I was inspired to share more of my encounters with the young people whose lives have been impacted by the work of Vision Africa. One of the huge privileges of working with Vision Africa is the opportunity to interact with these living testimonies of transformation every day – by sharing more of these stories, I hope not to take that for granted but to be consistently thankful for what Vision Africa achieves with the support of people like you!
As I sat at home a few days ago, I was surprised by another one of these encounters. There was a knock at the door and as I opened it Wahu’s bright smile was waiting to greet me. Wahu is in the final months of her studies at Seed of Hope Nairobi. She is coming to the end of her Fabric and Fashion Design Course and as she delivered some bag samples that she had made herself, she was beaming with pride. To understand the significance of this, I need to give a bit of background. When we first meet many of our Seed of Hope students they are extremely shy – making conversation is a huge struggle, camera-shy is an understatement and the confidence just to imagine their own future, never mind set goals and dream of what they might aspire to is almost impossible. Yet, here was this bright young woman confidently knocking at my door to show off her work!
As we chatted, I asked her permission to share her story and this is how she told it.
“Before I joined Seed of Hope my dreams were shattered. I had no options in life as my parents could not afford to pay my school fees.
I had to stay at home and help with the house chores which became so boring because it was just a routine waking up in the morning and doing the same things everyday. I had some basic needs which I could not ask from my parents and due to this I realized I needed to do something to earn money. I thought about this seriously but later realised I did not have any skills, I thought of starting a business but did not know which one, at some point I thought I was becoming slow in thinking and this sent a lot of fear in the whole of my body and mind since I saw myself not being successful in any business as I had no business skills too.
I was so discouraged and felt very hopeless in life, I felt I had nothing at all, I lost confidence in myself and my self-esteem became very low as I could compare myself with my schoolmates who’s parents were able to take them to further their education whilst me I became a hopeless Wahu doing house chores and nothing else. I started hiding away from my friends and keeping to myself which ended up making me hopeless as the best as I could do was to speak to myself, the only thing I could not loose was my God whom I talked to every now and then and at long last my prayers were answered when I joined Seed of Hope.
The greatest thing that I achieved when I joined seed of hope was restoration of hope, I now had hope in life, hope of becoming the woman I dreamt of, a fashion designer! Through this I will be able to join other professionals in this line of business and I will soon be rocking the world of fashion with unique designs, I will be my own boss!
Through Seed of Hope I have managed to meet different high profile people (local and international), an example that I’ll never forget is Bob Collymore of Safaricom. I have meet high profile people whom I didn’t know I would ever meet and they have mentored me, and this has taken me to another level, my self-esteem is very high, I feel so successful, my confidence restored back and I am fully determined to succeed. In whatever situation I must achieve my goal and dream. I have also learned that nothing is impossible to achieve provided you focus and be determined on whatever you want, I have also learned how to solve problems in personal life and business, whom to involve, where and when to consult and the kind of discussions to have with different people.
Seed of Hope has changed me for a better person with dignity, opportunity and hope. I can make decisions well and I do not regret the decision I made of joining Seed of Hope which if I did not, right now I would not have grown physically, emotionally and spiritually,
I aspire to be a great business lady in Africa, a mentor to other teenagers, and a support giver to the disadvantaged. After graduation I will go for a three month attachment then get employed for two years which will help me with experience and capital for my business in fashion design.”
What more can I say – Wahu has already achieved so much and I am so excited to see what lies ahead of her! If you would like to support Wahu and her classmates by ordering some of her bags, please do get in touch. Thank you Wahu for your courage to share your story!
And, once again, if you’d like to get involved and make a difference in the lives of young people like Wahu with amazing potential please do let us know!