Syevanda was the eleventh of thirteen children and was living with the rest of her family in a single room. Though she wished to go to high school, the tradition in her village was for girls to drop out of school and immediately get married. In fact, this was the case for both of Syevanda’s older sisters-and since her parents’ farm could not produce enough food for the whole family, there was pressure on her to do the same.
Then, in the eighth grade, Syevanda became part of AmericaShare’s School Sponsorship Programme. She was able to get out of the “chaos, discrimination and stress” and go to school-something she calls a “miracle and a blessing.” Syevanda worked diligently to make her way through high school, where she “got what I had lacked for the last years of my life: food, shelter, clothing, school fees and all the necessities in life.” She was so happy to have somewhere she could call home, a place “full of love, peace and happiness.”
Syevanda is now pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Nairobi. She is the first girl from her village to go to University, and has made her family proud. A whole new world-one beyond her wildest imagination just eight years ago-has opened up to her, and she is making the most of her opportunities.
“It’s really hard to think of my life without AmericaShare.”
Daniel, a child of the Mukuru slum, had no reason to believe that he would go to high school. Despite performing well in primary school, there were simply too many obstacles in the way-most notably, his family’s lack of money for school fees. Like so many of his peers, it seemed that Daniel would not be able to continue his studies.
And yet, he has.
With the help of his sponsor and AmericaShare, Daniel went to high school and graduated with excellent grades. He was accepted at the University of Nairobi, where he is currently studying for a diploma in Business Management. And Daniel doesn’t plan to stop there. He wants to continue his education and reach his goal of becoming a Financial Manager.
Daniel is extremely grateful for his sponsor and the AmericaShare programme. He feels that AmericaShare has allowed him to become more empowered, and he and his fellow AmericaShare students are excited and “ready to change Mukuru for a better tomorrow.”
He is thankful for all the experiences that have come his way through AmericaShare, which he says have “been instrumental in making me what I am today.” And what does Daniel think he is today?
“I have become a better person.”