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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sponsorship Program

Today I really feel like sharing my story. The other day, one friend of mine wrote something like “… it is an amazing world out there. Go out and see it.”I agree.

I have been working for GVI for one year and a half now. And I have had the best time of my life.

I met Mpagi Ali last year, around January. He was attending the Al Hanan Orphanage in Mkwiro for the last 8 years. After he finished standard 8, he was given a one year sponsorship to go to a boarding school (Lukore High School).

Mpagi Ali

In January 2008, he came to our office to explain his situation: He had no sponsor for the current year, so he was not allowed to go to school until he pays his fees. He asked for help, as he really likes going to school and to study. He particularly enjoys physics and maths. I told him I would do my best and talk to the right people, but unfortunately, through GVI we had already sponsored a high number of children that year and we had no more available sponsors. He came back the following day. And the next one, saying he does not want to work in his aunt little restaurant, he needs to learn.

I then decided to sponsor him, as I really admired his effort (and something about his eyes!). He was a happy boy. And I was a happy girl too.

The Standart 8 students sit their exams in December and then in January the marks are released. Students with high scores are offered places in secondary schools. The government chooses the secondary school dependent on the marks, and the school is then responsible to send the students a letter stating the fees and necessary equipments needed to start.

Students then spend 4 years at secondary school. Each form has three terms at the end of each term the students sit exams and get a report card. Annual Boarding School fees are currently between 19000-25000 Kenyan Shillings (about 190-250 Euros), covering transportation, equipment, food and accommodation for the whole year.

Since then, I have met Mpagi’s family and he calls me periodically to tell me how he is going and to know how I am doing. In the end of the School Terms he personally comes back to Mkwiro to give me his final report.

Mpage visits Mkwiro Primary Scholl

Last week he came to visit me.
Mpagi, who one day told me he really likes school, is the first in his class (out of 141 students). He had excellent marks in almost every subject and has decided to be an engineer.

And I believe him.