Seed of Hope has been transforming the lives of young people in Kenya since 2002. The impact is clear when you meet graduates from the programme and see them running their own businesses, supporting their families and talking with confidence about their plans for the future.
This month sees another round of graduations and another group of young people going out into the world equipped for employment or self-employment. Students are graduating in a wide variety of vocational skills including fashion design, hair and beauty therapy, home care management, welding and metalwork, carpentry and joinery and computer packages. On top of this, every student has gained essential life skills to prepare them for the harsh realities of life after graduation. Enterprise skills such as marketing, business planning, record keeping and customer service have also been taught.
You can see the impact of Seed of Hope in this speech made at the recent graduation ceremony at Kariti Seed of Hope in Murang’a:
“My name is Trizah. I come from a humble family and am the fifth born in a family of nine siblings. Although my parents are alive, my mother is the sole breadwinner who has struggled to cater for family as my father is a drunkard who consumes everything my mother has worked for on our small farm. I was lucky to go to primary school but most days without breakfast and we also could go without dinner and survived on school lunch of ‘Githeri’( Boiled maize and beans). That did not stop me from working hard in school as I wanted to get good grades at the end of my primary education so that I can go to high school. I passed my KCPE (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education) and got a calling letter to a provincial school but unfortunately my mother could not raise my school fees hence I ended up losing that chance. I was hopeless and depressed as my dreams were now shattered as most of my friends had gone to school. Luckily, a well-wisher came in to my life and she took me to a boarding secondary school where I studied for only one year and then dropped out after she was involved in an accident.
My life changed drastically as I left my home to go to Nairobi to look for employment. I worked as a house help in the city for two years but it was worst decision as I was young and naïve and my employer took advantage of that to enslave me. I decided to run away and lived on the street for three months. With the harsh life as a street girl, I was harassed and abused by the big boys hence became pregnant and this made me to contemplate committing suicide as I felt like this life has no meaning. Heaven came in form of a woman whom I had approached to ask for handout and she asked me several questions of which I narrated my story to her. She took me to her house and took care of me until I gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. She later took me back to my village where I met a Seed of Hope graduate who encouraged me to join the programme so that I can get some skills. Today I am standing before you with confidence believing that the decision to join Seed of Hope was the best ever. I met very good teachers who encouraged me to put more effort and do a lot of practice even although I am a slow leaner. I am proud for what I have become and where my future is heading now that my hope has been restored and I can walk with confidence knowing am a professional hair and beauty girl. I thank everybody for their support especially my mother for taking care of my child while I go to school, my teachers for giving me hope and helping me to believe in myself, to my friends for their encouragement and to our sponsors Vision Africa for bringing this programme to us. May God continue to bless you.”
Sadly, the graduation for Nairobi Seed of Hope has been postponed until January and the centre closed early due to the recent outbreaks of violence in Nairobi caused by political unrest. Many of the areas affected are where Seed of Hope students live. The reason for early closure was twofold – a large number of students had been sent back to their rural homes for safety and the staff did not want to put the remaining students at risk as they traveled to and from school. This situation has really emphasized the need for Seed of Hope because many of the young people participating in the trouble are unemployed youths with no skills.
The appeal launches on Giving Tuesday, 28th November at 12pm (GMT) and will run until the 5th December.
Whatever amount you can spare, we would really appreciate your support to make this happen. To make your contribution, click on this -> link https://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/projects/view/28381/ and your donation will be doubled by our matching funds. If you are in Kenya and would like to contribute towards this appeal, please contact us.
As Motor Vehicle Mechanic student Thomas says “When money comes to Seed of Hope it is being used in the right way to help Kenyan youth achieve their dreams and to change the face of youths in the country as they are seen as idle and causing trouble. Seed of Hope has helped me get out of the box. It opened the lid and now I can see far.”
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!