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The 10th of a family of 12, parents divorced, mother without a job, no money – for Martha it is coming close to a miracle that beyond all odds, she managed to pass her KCPE exams and to even score 334 marks, a result she would never ever have expected to achieve. But as a beneficiary of the WWW project she got support that helped her to succeed. Now she has transited to St. Johns secondary school despite experiencing all those family challenges.

Selling local brew to cater for family

WWW evaluation in the Mnazi pub

Unfortunately for her, her dad and mum separated as she was in her sixth grade and this demoralized her as she thought that was the end of her education journey. Being a tenth born of twelve siblings, she was left with her mother together with her younger sister as the other siblings left with their father. By then the mother did not have a job.

To enable her look after her family, Martha’s mom started selling local brew so as to bring in income and enable her cater for her family. The money she raised was barely enough to put food on the table. Martha felt life had taken a different turn on them and there was no coming back from it. They could not even afford one meal a day forcing them to sleep hungry. She was then schooling at Viriko Primary school.

Students from project schools benefit from WWW interventions

Viriko is a Wasichana Wetu Wafaulu (WWW) project and they benefit from various interventions the project implements. For instance, they have the mentor-mentee clubs where girls have been divided into groups of five and each assigned a mentor who is in the next level of education, most being secondary school. The mentor gets to help the younger girls (mentees) succeed in various subjects, prepare time tables that give time for house chores and to play to ensure the girls remain in school.

Support when all hope is lost

“My mentor helped me.”

“My mentor helped me when I thought all hope was lost for me to remain in school especially after my parents separated. She would constantly advise me to attend classes, work harder, score high marks which will enable me to join a good secondary school.” She utters. She continues to explain that holiday mentorships which would be conducted over school holidays greatly helped her as they were constantly advised on taking interest in science and maths subjects which according to her has helped her in her form one where most subjects involve calculations and have science knowledge.

Learning how to take care of yourself

“I even learnt how to set goals from the holiday mentorship which I initially did not have any idea about.” She states. She adds that the group discussions they would have during the sessions were of great essence to her as an individual as they discussed life challenges they were experiencing and how to curb them. “Topics such as sexual reproductive health which most people normally shun from speaking about them have helped me to know my rights, how to take care of myself and avoiding bad company which could result in using drugs.”

Hoping to benefit from the WWW bursaries

“I am more than grateful”

Currently, Martha awaits to receive bursary which she applied for and hopes she will be among those who will benefit from it. She states that it was very difficult for her to enroll into form one as her mother could not afford to even purchase items required. “I am very much thankful to our Community Health Volunteer (CHV) who is always checking up on me to ensure I have basic needs, encourages me to maintain good behavior, focus on my studies and not let my family challenges get to me to an extent of affecting my studies. I adhere to her advice since I know my current status does not define my tomorrow. I aspire to be a doctor when I grow up and I understand to attain this I need to work harder in sciences to enable me get good grades to take me to university to pursue medicine.”

“I’ m more than grateful to Wasichana Wetu Wafaulu project and what they did for me and my school mates at Viriko Primary. I have friends who benefitted from solar lamps, others from school uniform and I have seen how it changed their lives in so many ways. I would just ask that they help pay up my school fee so as to ensure I stay in school since secondary school requires one to pay so much school fees that my mother cannot afford.”

 

WWW background Wasichana Wetu Wafaulu (Let our girls succeed) project has the aim to enable 14,445 girls in Kilifi County who are in primary school to complete their current phase of education, achieve improved learning outcome and transition successfully to a productive and positive next phase. The girls will gain skills, qualification and confidence required to take control of their lives. To achieve these objectives, the project is working together with 55 primary schools and four TVET institutions in Kilifi County.