This year, Florence should have been in her third year of high school and preparing to start her senior year, but she is not. She started her first year of high school just this January after she received a scholarship from Rehema Education Fund. Before Florence heard of and applied to Rehema for an education scholarship, she feared that she would be repeating the last grade in primary school and sitting again for the national exam she had already aced in 2016 and in 2017. Florence had come to regard this situation as the norm for her family. Her older siblings before her had repeated this last grade of primary school at least once. With her high test scores, she could have enrolled at any high school of her choice but she despaired; her parents did not have enough money to send her to high school, let alone the school of her choice.
High school in Kenya is not free and is a privilege for most poor families. By the time this bright young lady applied for the Rehema scholarship, she had lost all hope. She felt that because of her family's financial difficulties she had wasted years of her life. When we read her application our hearts broke for her. Florence could have gotten married like so many girls her age do when they lack a way forward, but she did not. It took so much courage and resilience to stay her course at such a young age and with so much against her. Florence says now that she is a Rehema Scholar, she will work hard without worrying about how to pay her school tuition and fees. The scholarship will enable her to finish high school. She is happy that she will now be on par with her peers and will be well placed to have equally available opportunities, that she did not have access to before.
Florence plans to be an accountant when she grows up. Rehema would love to see this dream fulfilled. She has three more years of high school but unlike her years in primary school, she does not have to worry about missing school. Florence has a very supportive community around her. A mother who would do anything to see her children excel; an older sibling who went through the same difficulties as Florence but persevered and is now in college; wonderful teachers who see the best in her and want her to succeed; and very supportive friends who have given her hope for a better future. Now, through your support, she also has Rehema. We not only plan to support Florence with a scholarship for her high school years, but we also intend to mentor and advice her on multiple resources and opportunities that are available to her when she is ready for college. To read more about our other scholars click here.