A Sponsor's Gift: One Student's Story
Allenken Bati Olango felt his life was over when he dropped out of school in 2009. He had attended primary school in Nairobi's Kibera slums, where the family was living. At the top of his class in primary, he continued into high school. But in his second year, the family's world was turned upside down during Kenya's post-election violence.
Bati's mother died and their home was burned to the ground during the civil strife. Shortly thereafter, his father had a stroke, which left him disabled and unable to work.
Without shelter or income, the family returned "home" to Kendu Bay, where a local church built them a primitive two-room house to shelter an extended family of thirteen. Bati, the eldest of ten children, took whatever menial jobs he could find, including garden work at the home of a local teacher. The teacher noticed Bati's work ethic and strong command of English. Hearing his story, she encouraged him to return to school and re-sit his exams in hopes he could qualify for a KSHP scholarship this year.
Bati's home in Kendu Bay
So, at age 16, Bati enrolled again in primary school to repeat grade eight. The headmaster also saw Bati's potential and mentored his progress.
Bati excelled on his year-end exams and was invited to attend Maranda Boys High, the top high school in Nyanza Province; a 'Princeton' among Kenya's high schools. Thanks to a sponsor's support, Bati entered Maranda Boys in February; a proud freshman at age 17.
Every student applying for a KSHP scholarship grows up in unsettled life situations. As children, they cope with family tragedy and daunting challenges. Yet, their young hearts burn with a desire to learn. Like Bati, they believe that through hard work and personal commitment, life will be better.
More than 60 students applied for scholarships this year. Only TEN were chosen - to match with available sponsors. For these ten, life holds promise. For those turned away, some will marry, some will work in the stone quarry for $2/day - and some, like Bati, may return to school and repeat grade 8, hoping to improve his/her chances next year. PLEASE BE THERE FOR THEM. Children like Bati really need you.
We have an opportunity to make a difference in this world. Join us today with your contribution to help students like Bati who are waiting for their chance to get an education.
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