Written by Carol Meja, CFK Africa Communications Manager
Twenty-year-old Elkhana Mboya Akoko is a brilliant young man who was born and raised in the Olympic area in Kibera. He is an CFK Africa Scholarship alumnus, having received his scholarship in 2017. The scholarship serves as a stepping-stone to post-high-school education for many youth who come from vulnerable backgrounds. He tells us more about the impact the scholarship and CFK Africa have had on his life.
How did you get the CFK Africa Scholarship?
After scoring an equivalent of a B+ (3.5 GPA) in class 8 in 2016 from Olympic Primary School, my parents expressed their fear of not being able to pay for my high school education. They said that they were overwhelmed with the financial demands that came with raising my 5 siblings and I, and they felt that the younger ones deserved to at least get to my level of education. I was crestfallen, but I had already seen it coming, judging from the kind of life we lived back in the day. Just as I was giving up, I got wind of crucial information as I was making my daily strolls in Kibera. I heard that there was a call for applications for CFK Africa and Shofco scholarships. I applied for both, and the CFK Africa one came through for me.
How did that make you feel?
To say that I was elated would be a great understatement. I couldn’t believe that I could finally go through 4 years of my high school education without any hitches.
How was the 4 years of high school under the CFK Africa Scholarship?
I initially thought that once I got the scholarship, that would be it. Apart from the financial support through the scholarship, CFK Africa supported all scholarship recipients in many more ways, as every so often CFK Africa would come to our school for assessments and to encourage us. During the school break, I got a chance to work with CFK in the community as part of community service, which did a lot to shape me into the person I am today. There is nothing quite like serving other people; it’s a source of strength and gratification.
How did high school pan out?
It was so hard to keep my grades up throughout the 4 years, but I didn’t have a choice because I knew my parents were overwhelmed. If I lost the scholarship, I would lose my future, so I kept praying and working very hard. That determination, despite its challenges, was for the good; I got a B+ in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education.
How did you feel after scoring a B+?
I was overjoyed, and I thank God that the CFK scholarship came through for me. I honestly don’t think I would have performed that well without it. It kept me on my toes, and I can now achieve my dream with my grade. I was called to pursue Occupational Therapy in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Nairobi, but I will be proceeding to the United States for the same course.
What are your dreams and hobbies?
I have been accepted to Elmhurst University in the United States to pursue Nursing as a major and Occupational Therapy as a minor, a course I have always wanted to do since I started doing community service with CFK Africa. I believe that my CFK Africa Scholarship played a big part in securing my admission to the University. I also have had a liking for basketball since 2012, and I have won many medals and certificates for being the best player.
Why did you choose to study nursing?
I chose nursing because I want to serve the community of Kibera just like CFK Africa does and help improve the health of the community in Kibera. This is because the environment in Kibera has poor sanitation, making people sick every so often.
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