By Judy Makori; Senior Writer MOHI on Nov 22, 2019 10:00:00 AM
The primary school exit exam, also known as Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), is a national exam that is done once a year. This year, the exam was done from October 29th to 31st and the results were released on 18th November.
Thousands across the country are now looking to transition to high school including the over 1,050 grade eight students from Missions of Hope International (MOHI) who sat for this exam.
In October, just before these students did this exam, we toured some of our centers. We had opportunity to interact with some of them and in today’s post, we highlight the transformation stories of three young men that we had an opportunity to talk to.
Evanson Mwangi - 13yrs, (Kosovo center, 2010)
I am the second born in a family of three boys. We live in Mathare Valley slums with our mother. My father has never been a constant figure in our lives since he comes and goes at will.
It has been my mother who has supported us from as far back as I can remember. She has always been a hardworking woman and does her best to take care of us with the little she makes. We are not well off but we are definitely not where we used to be.
Back then, we would go without food for days and we were not always certain of having a roof over our heads. It got to the point where my older brother and I would accompany my mother when she went to look for casual work. Many times we would sit outside a hotel and wait for whatever left-over food was available and that would be our meal for the day.
It was around this time that a neighbor told my mother about MOHI. She approached the school and I was enrolled as a kindergarten student. Being in school was a new experience for me and I was especially happy to know that I was guaranteed two meals per day. I also looked forward to receiving a food basket when schools closed.
A painful experience
It was also while in MOHI that I gave my life to Christ and became born again. Being exposed to all the spiritual programs available has caused me to grow spiritually. It has grounded me and also helped me deal with the tough times we have faced as a family.
My faith came in especially handy on the night of 24th December 2017 after fire broke out where we were living. Our home was one of those that was along the path the fire used and we ended up losing everything. We barely made it out of the house before it was engulfed by flames.
This day is also significant to me because it was the last day I saw my father. He left after this fire incident and has never been back. He basically abandoned his family at our hour of need.
It is very hurting but God has helped me to forgive him.
After the fire, we went to live with my grandmother for a while until we were able to get back on our feet. We are now doing much better.
I always thank God for MOHI because of all the things my mother has had to worry about, school fees for my younger brother and I, has not been one of them.
When I look at the life we have lived, I want to work extra hard and become a pilot in the future. I plan to uplift my mother’s economic status and ensure she no longer has to work as hard as she does. I believe with the foundation I have received at MOHI, my family and I will have a brighter future.
Beckham Joseph Odienge - 16yrs, (Mabatini and Ndovoini center, 2016)
I come from a polygamous home and my mother is the second wife. My father’s first wife has three children - two boys and a girl while I have two younger siblings.
We live in Mathare with my father while the other family lives in our rural home. My father is a tailor and my mother a stay-at-home mum. Ours is a typical home with the usual ups and downs but all this changed when my half-brother - my father’s eldest son - came to live with us.
As far back as I can remember, I have always known my brother to be an alcoholic who brings trouble wherever he goes.
He in fact, came to live with us because he was causing his mother a lot of grief and she was having a hard time managing him.
He was being a nuisance even to the neighbours; had been accused of stealing from them and had been jailed severally. She thought my father’s firm hand would contain him but he proved to be a headache even for him.
My brother would go to cause chaos at my father’s place of business. Stealing from him and generally being a nuisance. There was a time he came demanding for money and my father refused to give in to his demands. In a fit of rage, he burnt down my father's stall - effectively rendering him unable to provide for his family.
I get very angry when I remember this. When I remember how this affected us all; we slept hungry, had to miss school and were almost thrown out of our home. Yet my brother was unmoved. He became so unruly that we were forced to move out of where we were living. We had lived there for almost 20 years, I had so many friends there but I lost them because of him.
We also had to change schools and this is when I joined MOHI’s Mabatini center. This was in 2016 and I was in grade five. It soon became apparent to the social worker at the school that everything was not okay at home.
We were living without peace, my brother had denied us peace and made it very difficult for me to concentrate on my studies. My younger brother was also very affected and wanted to drop out of school.
The social workers talked to my parents over a period of time and some decisions were arrived at.
For me, it was determined that they should take me to the MOHI boarding school at Ndovoini. It was felt that this would help me focus on my education without any distractions. My parents agreed and I came to Ndovoini in 2017.
Initially, my parents were having a hard time raising the required commitment fee and it looked like I would have to leave this school. I thank God because of, my then, Swahili teacher who cared enough to find out what was going on and who took it upon himself to pay my school fees.
This year, I got a sponsor and I am so grateful to MOHI who have made it possible for me to stay in school despite my family’s financial constraints.
A safe place
Being here has meant I have more time to focus on my studies. I do not have to worry about food because here I am assured of having nutritious meals. I feel safe and have a lot of peace.
Being here has also changed me. I gave my life to Christ during a weekend challenge held in 2018. Since then, I have taken it upon myself to pray for my family and especially my brother. I want Jesus to save him so he will stop being a source of sorrow for all of us.
My dream is to be a professional footballer. Football is a game I love to play and to watch. I am part of the school’s team and I hope to continue playing this game even when I go to high school.
Eugene Owino - 16yrs, (Gitathuru center, 2013)
I am the second born in a family of five children and we live in Mathare with our parents. My mother is a cleaner and my father a cobbler, they try their best to meet our needs as a family but it is still a struggle.
I would often be chased away from school due to lack of school fees but all this changed after I joined MOHI as a grade two student.
Their fees was affordable and even when my parents had challenges, I was allowed to continue with my studies as they were given additional time to raise the required amount.
I am really thankful to MOHI for this and also for how they have helped nurture my faith. I was born into a Christian home and have always been active in church but being exposed to the daily devotions and various other spiritual programs has been a great experience for me.
I also like how our teachers encourage us to know God for ourselves and also how, after they discovered I could preach, they gave me a platform to do so. I now preach regularly during the school’s assembly and even during events such as Ignite.
Another talent that has been nurtured during my time in MOHI is that of leadership. The teachers must have seen something in me because they appointed me into the school’s prefect body immediately I joined the school. I served in this capacity until I got to grade four then I decided to step aside.
This year however, I decided to get back into the school’s leadership and declared my interest in the post of school captain. After much campaigning to win over student votes, the election was done and I emerged the overall winner.
Being given such a huge responsibility has further strengthened my resolve to be a Godly leader even in the future. I also want to keep preaching the word of God at every opportunity I get and I trust God to help me realise my dream of becoming a civil engineer.
We invite you to join us as we pray for these young men, and all our students, that the Lord shall grant them the desires of their hearts according to His will for their lives.
Partner also with us in the work God has called us to do among children and families living in disadvantaged communities to transform their lives through hope in Christ.