they were forced to get married at an early age of 12 years to get dowry due to poverty. As I saw girls go through FGM and getting married at an early age, I knew that education was the only way to overcome it. I was determined more than ever to pursue my education to the highest level and come back to champion
eradication of poverty, illiteracy, insecurity and FGM. Due to poverty in my family, education was a challenge from day one since my siblings were also attending school. In 1993, I joined a rural primary school in my village. New uniform leave alone shoes was not in my mother’s priorities. Going to school without food for days was a normal thing to my siblings and I.
I was only grateful that was able to attend school. I did my KCPE in the year in 1999 and joined Loreto High School, Matunda courtesy of well-wishers. Though I still faced a lot of challenges, I managed to join Egerton University in the year 2005 courtesy of Higher Education loans board to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in education science (Mathematics and Chemistry). I graduated in the year 2010
Again going to the next level of education was a dream to me. In 2010, I got a job at Equity bank at the Equity Group Foundation scholarship program in Kenya. It is a program that offers scholarships to children from poor
backgrounds. From my experience and that of the children I was working with, I envied a society where there is self-sufficiency, a society where there is no rich or poor, where all people will be equal. Driven by all this experience, I wanted to pursue a Masters course that will enable me gain knowledge and skills in the eradication of poverty. Lucky enough, the Lalji Programme for African Leadership Foundation offered me a full scholarship for an MSc in Development Management at London School of Economics and Political Science where I am currently.
My inspiration to participate in the Face of Kenya UK 2014.
As a beneficiary of charities and well-wishers for major part of my education, I feel I owe a lot to a poor/vulnerable child who is living a kind of life that I lived in my younger age. I believe they have a right to education and good life as everyone else. Therefore, I am funding a Kapchesewes Childrens
home for one/two children to pursue their secondary education in the next year. The Face of Kenya UK 2014 was launched on 12th April, 2014 with 20 participants funding different charities. By the end of this contest, I don’t want to be judged by my beauty but by the beauty of the smile that I will have put in a poor/vulnerable child’s face. Whether I win or not, I will be happy that I will have brought a smile into a Kenyan poor child’s face.
My Charity of Choice-Kapchesewes Children Home.
Kapchesewes Childrens home is located in the Marakwet-West District, Rift Valley Province in Kenya. It is run by AIC (African Inland Church). It is a home
of 39 kids, 27 in Primary and 12 in Secondary School. They range from an age of 6-18 years. Majority of these children are partial or total orphans while others are there because their families cannot afford to care for them. They have two volunteers, Rose and her husband, who act as their parents at the same time run the orphanage with no pay at all seven days a week. Over the years, the children’s home has faced a lot of challenges form lack of guardians to a lack of supplies and funds. There exist incomplete buildings and the children live in very bad conditions including lack of electricity and a small farm for
self-sustaining. The children sleep two to a bed in beds that most of us would complain about sleeping in by ourselves. The mattresses are thin and worn and
sag in the middle. The blankets they have are thin and have holes given that the up hills in Kenya can get pretty cold at night .They also cannot all eat at the
same time, because they don’t have enough bowls, plates and cups. Amidst these difficulties, however, they work hard to succeed. They are almost entirely
self-supported, growing and cooking their own food as well as maintaining a small number of livestock as sheep and cows. These children love the lord and
most of the times they are taught scripture and worship songs. They are goal focused and many of them have ambitions as to be doctors, teachers, pilots in
There is a tie between the orphanage and Kapsowar Mission Hospital. Laura Rhodes, the wife of the long-term missionary surgeon at Kapsowar Mission
Hospital, has established an education fund which allows these children to go to secondary school (high school) as well as to college if they qualify. She
doesn't do any massive fundraising. Medical students come through the hospital, visit the kids and donate. Friends from her home country send some money. Total strangers hear the story of the orphanage and send cash. The community members and extended families help them get shoes, transport to school, and other necessities, which will in turn be repaid once those children grow up and return the favour, with interest. This strengthens the cultural and community bonds.
Because of this bridge of secondary education, one of the orphans from Kapchesewes is now a federal attorney. Currently, there are three students in
nursing school, two in teacher's college, one pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce, one enrolled in a theological seminary, and one in an accounting program. In the past, students have gone on to courses in biomedicine and airplane mechanics. A former recipient is a skilled nurse at KapsowarHospital.
On the other hand, these children face medical problems. There is a worrying case of one boys epilepsy and another girls need for heart surgery. There is no
budget for medical and the community has to figure out how they can settle such bills e.g in the past they planned harambee to pay for the hospital bills for
the girl undergoing heart surgery.
Join me in giving a poor child a bright future through sponsoring their secondary education. My facebook Page if JESCA KIPLAGAT FACE OF KENYA UK 2014 CONTESTANT for my updates and DON’T FORGET TO VOTE JESCA KIPLAGAT