Years ago, primary education in Kenya was not free and mandatory. Many children from poor backgrounds were unable to receive an education. Many problems forced these children out of school—broken families, hunger, poverty, and lack of money to pay school fees.
One of our sponsored children frequently hung out with a very jovial boy in tattered clothes. This boy, a smiling kid named Kivua Kiilu, appeared very comfortable in the streets. He did not have anywhere to go, anywhere to sleep or any one to depend on.
But Kivua looked healthy and kept smiling. Mandi Musyimi, one of Jitegemee’s former street children, introduced Kivua to the program. Kivua had been kicked out of the house by his mother before he was even eight years old. His mother, a single parent with other children, is a casual worker who often spends her meager earnings on a traditional brew. With no monetary or emotional support for his education, Kivua was unable to continue in primary school. Kivua stayed in the streets for four years before Jitegemee identified him.
Despite his circumstances, each time Mike Kimeu met him, Kivua shouted loudly “all I want is to go back to school. I left school many years ago but I am sure there is fun in school and a good future.”
Today, Jitegemee has sponsored Kivua and identified a guardian, who is not even a relative, for him to stay with. Kivua is now in class six at St. Mary’s Mixed Primary School. In the beginning, Kivua experienced a lot of problems learning the English language which he did not understand at all. But he adjusted quickly and within a year is performing quite well in school. Now, Kivua can both write and speak in English. Despite his earlier difficulties, Kivua is always among the top 20 in his class.
By Kivua Kiilu (through Michael Kimeu)