Irene is the last born in a family of 11 siblings. Her mother passed on while she was about to sit for her end of primary exams and that was the beginning of her tribulations. Her older siblings were not able to pay for her secondary education but instead forced her into early marriage at the age of 16 years. She had no choice but to start a family at a tender age but unfortunately just four years in to marriage, the husband passed away leaving her with two children. Her in-laws tormented her since she had no secondary education or training and they eventually sent her packing. Her brother came to her rescue and brought her to Nairobi so she could look for employment and be able to cater for her children. She got a casual job in a local hotel where she worked for 3 months. Eventually she got another job as a house help and through her employers Irene got an opportunity to join Seed of Hope and take a course in Dressmaking and Fashion Design.
Being a young mother, Irene could miss classes to attend to her children’s need but this did not stop her from working hard to acquire the skills. She says that through the Amuka programmes, she was able to build her confidence and realise the potential within herself. That made her become more aggressive to learn new things each day. During her time at Seed of Hope, Irene was among the few students who were courageous enough to take visitors around explaining to them what Seed of Hope Programme and the impact it has had on them. On one occasion she was heard to tell a group of international visitors “Through Seed of Hope, I know that I am someone. Before, people told me I was nobody but now I know I am someone and I can hold my head high.”
Irene is still in her part time job as a house manager but is planning to go for attachment so she can utilize her dressmaking skills. Her plan is to establish a small business so that she can provide the best for her children. In her parting shot, Irene said “Seed of Hope is the best programme for young people as it has enabled me to acquire skills, build confidence and realise my self- worth. I was sent away just because I had basic education but now with my skills, I will be able to earn good income and give my children the best.”
POST BY SHERRY WAWERU, IMPACT ASSESSMENT OFFICER
If you’re inspired by how Seed of Hope has helped Irene, Donate today to support the programme so that other young women can benefit.