Wednesday, October 19, 2016

I remember the first time I met Lindah. It was early 2012 and I was in Kenya to meet with our partners, Uzimatele Ministries, who help to deliver the scholarship programme that we had just launched. We had set aside a couple of hours to shoot a short video about the programme and Lindah was one of the students selected to share their stories.

She was timid and didn’t want to look into the camera. Eventually, slowly, she began to share her story. It is similar to so many that we hear from the young people we work with. She is an orphan and was living living with an aunt. Despite working incredibly long and hard hours, Lindah’s aunt was unable to earn enough to keep Lindah in school. We met her after she had completed the first year of secondary school but unable to continue her studies.

If we needed just one reason to develop a scholarship programme – here it is. No young person should have to experience what Lindah had; every young person should have access to education. We welcomed Lindah onto the scholarship programme and she picked up where she had left-off starting her second grade.

That was three and a half years ago. At the end of last year Lindah graduated with some great results. She is now studying nutrition at one of Kenya’s leading universities!

The beginning of Lindah’s story is tragically similar to that of many young people who, by virtue of being born into poverty, lack the opportunity to receive an education. But the next chapter will be her own. She has broken the mould of local illiteracy and low aspirations. She will break the mould of unskilled work and low income. And she is free to define who she is by exploring her skills and interests, stretching out to reach the very edges of her potential. She is divergent.