Recently we spent three weeks in Oyugis and had the chance to meet with many of our sponsored students. Unfortunately, soon after arriving we came down with a severe upper respiratory illness that kept us from venturing out too much into the community. Although we did make a trip out to visit our students at Omboga Secondary.
During the weeks we spent getting over our illness, several of our sponsored students stopped by the house to greet us. Some of them I had not had the pleasure of meeting in person before and was thrilled they came by to say hello.
One afternoon, a young man who was in his final year of Secondary School arrived. This was the 4th year Olalo sponsored his education. Over the years we had exchanged a few letters, but like many of the others, this was our first in-person meeting.
There was a time in the past when things got a little rocky for him and we weren’t sure we would continue sponsoring him. Wanting all our kids to succeed we stepped in and got things on track.
On this day, he sat down beside me on this small loveseat and we talked for an hour. For the first 40 minutes he continually expressed his gratitude and thankfulness to Olalo for giving him this life-changing opportunity to get an education and impact his life. He talked about his past struggles in school and how he now had a plan for his life that he is working hard to achieve.
He wants to succeed for himself, his family and his community. He wants to succeed so he can help others succeed as well and break this cycle of poverty.
I have to admit there are times when trying to keep our education program going is frustrating when trying to meet tuition payments on time and as the list grows with more kids needing financial help to attend school.
But this one hour spent with this sincere young man who finally sees a future for himself was both humbling and tearful for me and reminded me what it’s really all about. The frustrations fade away as the focus moves more to what we are achieving by giving kids an opportunity to change the cycle of poverty into a new cycle of hope and direction through education.
Thank you to every one of you who have invested into the lives of these young people. Know that you are appreciated so much not only by Olalo, but by the children you are sponsoring.
Olalo of Hope-Kenya