Growing with MOHI
In a world where dreams often seem out of reach, Ismael's story is a reminder that taking a leap of faith can transform lives in unimaginable ways. From his humble beginnings in Mumias (a town in Western Kenya), Ismael yearned for a better future for his family. Ismael, a father of five children ranging from 1 to 16 years old, worked as a casual laborer alongside his wife in Mumias.
Ismael heard about an opening to be a security guard at a security company. He applied and got a position. He was then deployed to MOHI's Pangani Center in Nairobi. Ismael saw this as an opportunity for change. This marked the beginning of a significant shift in Ismael's life. "The new job gave me the opportunity to pay my children's school fees and provide them with a better life," Ismael reflects with a smile on his face. Although the job provided stability for him and his family, Ismael yearned for something more fulfilling.
For three years, Ismael worked diligently as a security guard, being posted in different MOHI centers such as Madoya, Pangani, and Kosovo. Over time, Ismael found himself increasingly drawn to the bustling kitchen at MOHI, where he admired the meaningful work being done. "My wife was a great source of encouragement for me to take the leap and change careers. She urged me to be brave and pursue my dream," Ismael shares. With his wife's unwavering support, Ismael applied to become a cook at MOHI when a position became available. To his joy, Ismael passed the interview and was posted to Ndovoini Boys School.
Transitioning from one career to another is never an easy feat. This was so even for Ismael. However, undeterred by the many challenges, Ismael sought guidance from his colleagues. "The teamwork in the kitchen was amazing. My colleagues helped me learn everything I needed to know!" Ismael exclaimed, filled with gratitude for the support he received.
Ismael's determination and willingness to learn allowed him to grow as a cook. He soaked up knowledge from his experienced colleagues, absorbing their expertise and refining his culinary skills. With each passing day, Ismael's passion for cooking blossomed, and he discovered a natural talent for creating delicious dishes that brought joy to those who tasted them.
Ismael's transition from a security guard to a skilled cook at MOHI is a testament to his resilience and unwavering belief in pursuing his dreams. Through his commitment to personal growth and the support of his wife and colleagues, Ismael defied the odds and found fulfillment in a profession that ignited his soul.
Today, Ismael continues to showcase his culinary talents at Ndovoini Boys School, creating nourishing meals that not only satisfy hunger but also inspire hope and dreams in the young lives he serves. His story serves as a reminder that with determination, support, and the willingness to embrace change, anyone can overcome obstacles and achieve their aspirations.
In addition to being a cook, Ismael also helps out with gardening and groundskeeping. While living in Mumias, Ismael was a casual laborer in a sugarcane farm. “I have always had a green thumb, so when the head teacher said that we needed some help to make the grounds look beautiful I was excited to lend a hand,” says Ismael.
Ismael doing some groundskeeping.
Ismael's journey is an inspiration to all those who dare to chase their dreams at and outside MOHI, reminding us that it's never too late to better our lives, pursue our passions, and create a better future for ourselves and our loved ones.