Over the last 16 years, Seed of Hope has continued to equip and empower disadvantaged young people across the country so they can have dignity, opportunity and hope for a better life. There is this quote that comes up every time I ask former students what they can say about their time at Seed of Hope. Many of them have said “Seed of Hope is the best place to be!” This statement is not far from the truth as we have been able to see real transformation in our young people who came in with low self-esteem, little or no confidence and more so hopelessness written on their faces.
Victor, a graduate from Seed of Hope’s Clayton’s Mechanics programme, is among the young people who found himself in such circumstances. He joined Seed of Hope in 2016 having been idle for a whole year after completing his secondary education. He had lost hope in life as his parents could not afford to pay for his college to pursue his childhood career to become an electrical engineer. Having been born and raised in Kibera, Victor has had good, bad and the worst life experiences of living in the slum. For the one year he was idle, he joined a group of 8 boys with whom he had grown up with since primary school. Some had dropped out of school and become members of a rowdy gang that caused disturbances around the city of Nairobi. Although he never joined the gang, they introduced him to alcohol and other substance abuse so that he could fit in their group. His family got worried and decided to seek help from friends so that Victor could be separated from the group.
Luckily, one of their family friends heard about the Seed of Hope programme and took the initiative to inquire about it so that their son could get enrolled. According to Victor, this was the best thing that happened to him because from 2016 to date he has already lost five of his friends who were gunned down by the police. These incidents shook him and his friend hence they decided to reform so that they don’t fall into the hands of the police or mob justice.
In January 2018, Victor graduated from Seed of Hope with a certificate in Motor Vehicle Mechanics, Business Skills and Life Skills. This is after successfully completing three months internship and another three months on the job training which has enabled him to earn income hence support his parents. As though luck was on his side, one of his childhood friends who works in Dubai has committed to support him and two of his reformed friends to pursue courses of their choice. They have all gone through driving school and have now joined the Technical University of Kenya to acquire skills that will give them opportunity to get jobs in Kenya and abroad.
Victor believes that this is a lifetime opportunity for him to advance his skills in the same course at the Technical school. He says that him being at Seed of Hope was very significant as it has made his college life much easier as he is ahead of all the students in his class since whatever is being taught in the motor vehicle mechanic class is similar to what he has already learned at Seed of Hope as the syllabus is almost the same. The added advantage about the technical university is that they have advanced technology and equipment which will enable him to improve his practical skills as he pursues his diploma in motor vehicle mechanics and electrical engineering.
In his parting shot, Victor says that Seed of Hope programme has turned his life around now that he is hopeful and determined to accomplish his childhood dreams as he advances his course. He believes that he would not be there to share the story of his life and celebrate what he has been able to achieve in the last two years were it not for the support from the teachers, his family and friends he met at Seed of Hope. He also appreciates the fact that he has additional business skills and life skills which are not taught at the technical university and says the mentorship and empowerment programme that he participated in also played a major role in shaping him to be responsible, focused and confident.
We congratulate Victor on turning his life around and wish him every success for the future.
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Post by Sherry Waweru, Impact Assessment Officer