“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
If it weren’t for Moja Tu, Samuel Wachira and Johnstone Mbondo’s paths might not have crossed. The two friends, who were strangers before joining the huge Moja Tu family, have found the proverbial ‘brother from another mother’ in each other.
Coming from diverse backgrounds did not stand in the way of this great friendship. Samuel hails from Nakuru county while Johnstone comes from Kenya’s western region. This means that they speak different mother tongues and their socio-cultural upbringings are dissimilar. That’s not all, they are in different high schools. The only time the two meet is during the holiday tuition program that is held at the end of every term at Dreams Children’s Home.
Be that as it may be, they make the most out of their time together to build a strong bond. They like studying, playing football and basketball and listening to music. In fact, if you are looking for Samuel, you are most likely to find him with Johnstone. Theirs is just one example of the numerous friendships that have been formed within the Moja Tu family.
Contrary to the popular belief that three is a crowd, at Moja Tu, one can form multiple friendships. Magdalene, Tabitha and Immaculate are what you would call the three musketeers. Coming from different backgrounds did not stop them from forming a strong bond and they use their friendship to develop and build each other in virtually all aspects of their lives. They all excelled in their studies to earn themselves spots in local universities.
The three, who liked hanging out together during school holidays, would spend their days studying, playing and dancing. Now pursuing different career paths, their bond is a formidable one and you can tell theirs will last a lifetime.
As these examples attest, friendship is one of the binding cords of Moja Tu. It is this friendship, which transcends tribe, distance, race, gender and culture, that has contributed to the success of the organization. For how else could people who were once strangers come together for a common goal, that is, empowering young Kenyans through education and excel at it?
To get a feel of this friendship, you only need to read the heartwarming communication between the students and their sponsors. Over time, the student-sponsor relationship grows into a guardian-child relationship and many of the students look up to their sponsors. The students fondly refer to our founder, Kathy Kempff, as ‘Mama Yao’ – such a befitting title to a woman who has unreservedly extended her helping hands to them.
At Moja Tu, we are committed to the wholesome development of our students and seeing them create meaningful relationships and networks within and without the organization is fulfilling. We will continue creating platforms for new and existing friendships to grow and flourish.
One of the highlights of being in the program is the holiday tuition program and the students will tell you that they always look forward to the two-week program so that they can reunite with their friends. The first few days are always about the students catching up with each other while rekindling their friendship. Sigh! We can’t wait for this COVID-19 season to be over so as to be reunited. But, until then, we will keep the flames of our friendship burning.