Last month EdPowerment’s 8 Form Four graduates learned that all had scored either Division I or II on their national exams. These results open the doors for them to continue to Advanced Level (Form 5 & 6) High School on a university track.
We have a strong personal relationship with each of our students. And we think that it is this relationship – all the nurturing, support (non just financial) and encouragement – that has enabled each of them to succeed. Right now they participate in our THRIVE program of classroom and computer instruction at the Kilimahewa Centre for Education and community giveback.
Here are 3 very edited backstories to give you an idea of what their smiles represent!
MW is one of nine children – the only one to survive – a blessing that also has been a “curse.” Her father disappeared from their soil hut compound to escape its misfortune. Her mother, convinced that witchcraft or other evil conspired against her, struggles with mental demons. At times, M has been the victim of her mother’s illness. She is a survivors in every sense. At the time that M gained a sponsorship to Form 1, her grandmother was her source of comfort – but sadly, her “bibi” died when M was in Form 2. Every break M returns home where roles are reversed as she tends to her mother.
RL has endured perhaps the worst of conditions among EdPowerment’s scholar-leaders. Rozina captured a sponsorship in one of EdPowerment’s Discovery Contests. Her mother had died; her father was in prison; a nearby uncle produced no income; and so she lived with her bibi in a flea infested stick and soil hut that also housed a few domestic animals. After R began secondary school, we realized that the upheavals in her childhood had left her struggling psychologically. She was dismissed from one secondary school and thankfully another school agreed to accept her, while we accessed counseling for her when and wherever possible. In Form 3, the hut that R and her bibi shared began to disintegrate from rains. EdPowerment paid local laborers to construct a new one made from soil bricks. R continues to help her bibi and younger stepbrother as she waits to begin A level high school.
NM’s life since beginning his sponsorship in Form 1 has been filled with enough trauma to derail most individuals. To begin with, EdPowerment had to fight against his shiftless father’s wishes just to enroll him in secondary boarding school. His mother, his strongest advocate, constructed (herself) a sturdy soil hut in which she raised N and his two siblings. But in Form 3, N returned home to find that it was no longer his home! His father had traded the plot for one farther away on poor land considered “cursed” in the community. In return the father got a pikipiki (motorcycle). N’s mother left the father and since then, N continues to juggle pressures in a disruptive home life and still succeed in his academics and neighborhood.