Written by Miraj Ahmed.
I grew up in Makina, one of the villages in Kibra, Africa’s largest informal settlement. My life was shaped by my connections to the Nubian community and the economic challenges my family faced. My mother had to work odd jobs for long hours to sustain me and my sibling. Travel with me through my journey, from the stress of completing primary school to being awarded a life-changing scholarship, and the transformative experiences that came with it.
Connecting with CFK Africa
Uncertainty loomed as I approached my final year of studies at Ayany Primary School due to my family’s financial status. Education is everything, yet it would have been an uphill task to pursue secondary school education without support due to the school fees.
With hopes pinned on securing a scholarship, I poured my heart and soul into my studies, aiming to score at least 350 and above in my Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examinations. Due to my hard work, I scored 361 out of 500 marks (an equivalent of 3.5 GPA). After applying to several scholarships, I was overjoyed when I received a response from CFK Africa inviting me for an interview. Following the interview, my mother received news of a house visit by CFK Africa’s project officers. Their visit confirmed my selection as a scholarship recipient, and with overwhelming joy, I embraced the opportunity to continue my education journey.
CFK Africa’s Scholarship
In 2016, I joined Kaimosi Girls Friends School, thanks to the support of CFK Africa. During these four years of secondary schooling, the scholarship not only covered my school fees, but also provided a range of additional activities that shaped my personal growth such as participation in community service, holiday study camps, learning excursions, and mentorship sessions. Community service was a way to connect with and give back to the community, nurturing a sense of responsibility and gratitude.
The mentorship sessions were my favourite part of the holidays. The mentors played a crucial role in my personal development, helping me overcome setbacks, build self-esteem and develop confidence. The learning trips provided me with educational experiences beyond the classroom. One particular trip that left a lasting impression was the National Museums of Kenya visit in 2016. Exploring new perspectives and gaining knowledge outside my immediate environment broadened my horizons and fueled my thirst for learning.
Beyond High School
Upon the completion of my high school education, I leveraged CFK Africa’s additional interventions to identify and build upon my skills. I attended work readiness trainings and basic information and communication technology (ICT) classes. These sessions equipped me with essential skills for today’s business world. With the skills I learned, I was able to establish and successfully manage henna and hair braiding businesses. Furthermore, as an alumnus of CFK Africa, I now contribute to coaching and mentoring current students in the scholarship program, with guidance from the project officers. This way, I maintain a strong connection with the organization while giving back to my community.
Pursuing a Passion
Currently, I am pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Purchasing and Supplies Management at the Cooperative University of Kenya. I find mathematical aspects challenging but exciting. I am also a student attaché with CFK Africa’s Operations department, continually learning within my area of specialization. Additionally, my passion for media remains strong, and I aspire to be a competent media personality one day, giving voices to people’s stories. Through a short course on Media studies, I have already produced three documentaries that are being broadcasted.
Continuing Community Engagement
Community service has always been close to my heart, and I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to engage with various organizations, including CFK Africa. Recently, I was privileged to participate in “vita vya taka taka” (war against trash), a meaningful activity aimed at promoting environmental conservation and cleanliness in Kibra.
My journey has been filled with hope, determination and transformative experiences. Thanks to the support of CFK Africa, I have soared high, excelling academically, gaining valuable skills and finding my passion. My story is a testament to the power of education, resilience and the impact of CFK Africa’s interventions in shaping lives and communities.
Thank you, CFK Africa, for making my dreams a reality.