CLASS OF 2022
Gracious would like to be a journalist when she grows up. She plans to work hard in this dynamic and competitive world in order to lift her family from poverty. Gracious comes from a single parent household. Her mom is a casual laborer in Nairobi and could barely afford to pay for Gracious’ school fees when she was in elementary school. A few years ago, Gracious was forced to drop out of elementary school to find work that would help supplement her mom’s income and keep them afloat. Gracious is lucky to have wonderful teachers who looked out for her in her time of need, and helped her get back to school. They not only helped pay for her school fees but also tutored her and provided her with basic school supplies. When she graduated from elementary school last year, she was one of the top students in the Kenya national exam (KCPE). Gracious is now a freshman in high school. She has officially embarked on her journey of becoming a journalist.
Immaculate is the last born in a family of five. Her father, who had been supporting the family financially, is currently sick and on dialysis. What this means is that most of her family’s income is being spent on his health. Immaculate’s family struggled with paying her school fees through middle school. She is now in high school on a Rehema scholarship. Immaculate would like to be a doctor. When she grows up, she plans to build an orphanage to help the many helpless and homeless children in Kenya.
None of Susan’s siblings has gone beyond middle school. Her parents were unable to pay for her older siblings to go to high school and so they dropped out. Her dad is a herdsman and her mom makes mats for a living. Susan has a physical disability and cannot physically assist her mom with household chores or her mat making business. Despite this, she has been able to do well in school and in KCPE, the national exam for students matriculating into high school. When Susan wrote to us, she was worried that because of her family’s socio-economic status, she would be forced to dropout of school as well. Susan fretted about her disability because she worried that if she stopped her education, she would not be able to find a vocation that required physical exertion as her siblings had (one is a fisherman and the other works as a house maid). She now has a dedicated sponsor through Rehema. When Susan graduates high school in four years, she will be the first member of her family to achieve this dream. She not only intends to finish high school, but also plans to go to college for her nursing degree.
Alfred’s father passed away when Alfred was only eight years old and left behind a pregnant wife and three young children. Soon after his dad’s death, his grandfather and extended family disowned them and evicted them from their father’s property. They were left destitute and with no choice but to move to the Mkuru kwa Njenga slums in Nairobi. Here, they depended on well wishers for their upkeep and basic needs until Alfred’s mom could find work to sustain her young family. A few years ago, Alfred's grandfather had a change of heart and took his son’s family back in and helped raise Alfred and his siblings. Unfortunately, the hope for a more stable life was short lived as his grandfather was diagnosed with cancer last year. He is currently seeking treatment which is very costly and he has therefore been unable to continue helping his son’s widow and family. Alfred is a strong and confident young man with a bright future ahead of him. We are happy that Rehema is able to offer him a scholarship to continue with his education and be a beacon of hope for his family.
Samuel began his education at Viwandani slums in Nairobi. When his family was displaced from the slums, Samuel moved in with his head teacher to continue with his schooling. His kind and education minded principal provided him with support including: school supplies, school uniform, and his middle school fees and tuition money. Samuel wants to be an engineer. He says that he would love to focus on electronics and become an entrepreneur when he grows up. Samuel has been repairing people’s cell phones, radios and other electronics in order to earn a small allowance. Samuel says he wants to be part of the new world order - which he believes is the world of electronics.
When Zablon was three years old, his family fell victim to the Kenyan post election violence in 2007 and 2008. His family was evicted from their home, and were internally displaced for several years even after the violence had ended. This disruption resulted in a life full of challenges for his family and a struggle to meet their basic needs. As he got older, this young man had to work as a casual farm laborer to get enough money to buy food. When life became unbearable Zablon’s parents sent him away from their new home in rural Kisii, to live with his aunt in the city. The hope was that he could get a better education at a city school and that his aunt would help care for him and alleviate the financial burden for his parents. Unfortunately, his circumstances only got worse while at his aunt’s place. Zablon did not attend school for a whole year at some point. With no future in sight, Zablon moved in with his brother in Kibera slums in Nairobi city. At that time, his brother was a first year bachelor of commerce student and barely making ends meet himself. Knowing that life in the slums could turn into illegal drugs, sex trade and gang groups, his brother decided to suspend his own undergraduate studies (and lost his financial backing and sponsorship as a result), in order to take care of Zablon. These two brothers have worked hard to stay afloat and to stay in school. With the help of his brother, and now Rehema, Zablon is back in school and is a freshman in high school.
Mwandume lost his parents at a young age and was left in the hands of his elderly 83 year old grandmother. Mwandume is from a poor background that even getting food to eat has been extremely difficult. He had to work to take himself through primary school which cost Kshs. 70 per month (less than US $ 1). To make matters worse, during this time, Mwandume’s primary school did not have enough teachers and so they would only have three lessons a day. This meant that he had to do a lot of studying on his own and with sparse supplies. When he is not at school studying, Mwandume works as a cow herder at a salary of Kshs. 500 per month (USD $ 5). He uses this money to help pay for his 83 year old grandmother’s needs. Apart from herding cows, he also grows vegetables to help with their daily needs. Despite these obstacles and difficulties, Mwandume excelled in his KCPE exams. When we offered Mwandume one of Rehema’s scholarship, he impressed his interviewer by saying that all he needed was help paying his school fees and tuition, and that he would handle the rest himself because he was a hard-working person and would not let his family down. Mwandume now has Rehema and we have complete faith in his abilities to succeed in his chosen path.
CLASS OF 2021
Jafari is an orphan. His parents passed away and left him in the care of his uncle. Jafari has many dreams for his future! With this scholarship, Jafari says he will be able to achieve one of his biggest dreams, which is to finish high school. Finishing high school will then enable him to accomplish his other dreams. Jafari wants to be an accountant and this, he believes, will help him uplift the living standards of his family and community. His goal is to be a responsible citizen of the world and to serve his society. He is now a sophomore Rehema Scholar and has done exceptionally well in his studies thus far.
Victor is the forth born in a family of five children. His dad lost his job several years ago and has been unemployed since. Over the years since he lost his job, Victor’s dad has been forced to sell all of his cattle in order to pay for his children’s school fees. Victor’s mom is sickly but helps support the family by selling food on makeshift stand by the road. By the time he was old enough to start high school in 2018, Victor’s parents had run out of money that would facilitate his education. He did well in his first year of high school considering that he was constantly sent home due to lack of fees. Victor found out about Rehema through a friend. Without this financial aid, he would have been forced to dropout of school. He is now in his sophomore year of high school, and his worry of money for his school fees is no more. He would like to be a lawyer to help the less fortunate with their legal matters. He hopes to also get involved in stumping out corruption in Kenya.
Sandra is being raised by a single mother, who is a casual laborer. They live in a single room home, and have gone without food on several occasions. In Primary school, Sandra would wear torn and worn-out uniforms and sole-less shoes to school, but her family’s socio-economic status did not discourage her from focusing on her education. She emerged at the top of her class in her school in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams. Sandra plans to be a pediatric neurosurgeon when she grows up. She dreams of Kenya as a top destination for medical tourism. We at Rehema are excited to be a part of this dream.
Ekaru lost his parents at a young age and had to move in with his nomadic uncle. In Kenya, most nomadic communities move from place to place in search of pasture for their cattle. This meant that Ekaru missed school on several occasions and sometimes for months. Even with these obstacles, he emerged at the top of his class and is now in one of the top national schools in Kenya. When we connected with Ekaru, he was at his wits end trying to figure out where his school fees for his second year of high school would come from. He is now at peace knowing that Rehema will be by his side as he strives to achieve his dream of becoming a social worker, and a community organizer.
Wilson was born in to a poor family of rural farmers. A few year ago, he survived a famine that left many of his fellow villagers dead including his brother. Last year, Wilson scored 405 out of 500 points in the Kenya national primary (elementary/middle) school exam. He was among the top students in the nation but his mom could not afford to pay for his high school education. When Wilson reported to high school with no money to pay his school fees, he was turned away. He did not let this deter him. He and his mom kept looking for ways to raise the money. They finally came across our scholarship through the help of social media and good Samaritans. We are happy to report that at 15 years old, Wilson is now attending one of the top national high schools in Kenya as a Rehema Scholar. Wilson wants to be a surgeon.
This year, Florence could have been in her third year of high school and preparing to start her senior year, but she is not. She scored highly in her national primary school exams, and could have enrolled at any high school of her choice but her parents did not have enough money to send her to high school. Florence started her first year of high school just this January after she received a scholarship from Rehema Education Fund. She plans to be an accountant when she grows up. Rehema would love to see this dream fulfilled (read more).
At 12 years old, Alice is a freshman (Form 1) student in high school. She lost her mother while in primary school which was really heartbreaking. She lost hope, as her only support system was taken away. Alice’s aunt who is a single parent with 3 children of her own, took her in and has since been her guardian. Rehema Education Fund was a welcome sigh of relief for this young lady. When she grows up, she plans to be a doctor and help Kenyan families lacking access to health care. Her dream is to open her own hospital to make this happen. We at Rehema, are proud to be part of this dream and hope to make it come true. The sky's the limit Alice!
Redempta’s parents live below the poverty line and have struggled to pay for their family’s basic needs. Over the years, they also struggled to pay for her education but she did not see this as a drawback but as a reason to work hard. She wants to be a doctor. Redempta is also passionate about giving back to her community and one of her dreams is to establish a charitable foundation.
Nancy is part of our 2022 cohort. Her mother abandoned her when she was little and she never knew her father. She was raised by her aunt but unfortunately her aunt passed away a few years ago. Nancy now lives with her late aunt’s mother-in-law. She is a strong young lady and we know she will achieve whatever she sets her mind to.
Born in a family of 9 kids, Faith is the second of her siblings to go to high school. At 16, she joined high school on a Rehema Education Fund scholarship. Her parents live under the poverty line in a semi-arid part of Kenya. They are farmers but struggle to provide for the family as drought is a common occurrence in her village. They have had to go to bed hungry on several occasions. Despite these obstacles, Faith has excelled in her studies. We at Rehema believe in her and we are here to support her as she works towards her goals.
CLASS of 2020
Jackson will be starting his junior year (Form 3) of high school in January, 2019.
Jackson's family is part of the internally displaced people (IDPs), who were affected by the 2007 - 2008 post-election violence in Kenya. Jackson's father works as a security guard and earns a monthly salary of $25 (Kshs. 2,500). Imagine trying to feed a family of five using $25, it is incredibly difficult. The cost of yearly high school education is about $546, there is absolutely no way that his father would be able to finance his education.
CLASS of 2019
Cherry is a junior in high school. She lost her father at a very young age. She and her brother depend on her widowed mother’s meager earnings from casual jobs, and help from well wishers. During her first and second year in high school, Cherry was sent home from school numerous times because her family could not afford to pay her tuition. Even though being sent home interrupted her school work, it did not dampen her spirits. Cherry now has Rehema! She will be a senior (Form 4) next year. She plans to sit for her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam in November of 2019. Cherry wants to be a doctor.