The graduating class of 2020 was a special one. Due to the COVID-19 disruption, these students had to wait a prolonged period to take their Kenyan Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams. For 9 months, these students eagerly anticipated their return to school in order to finish preparing for and eventually take these important exams. Finally, in March 2021, the moment everyone had been waiting for arrived. It was time to take the KCSEs.
A handful of Moja Tu students finished the KCSE exams this year; among these students was Agnes, who has been a student in our program since 2016. As she waited for her exam results, Agnes talked with us about her past, and how far she had come since joining our program:
“When I first joined Moja Tu, I was at my lowest. I had just finished primary school, and though I had performed well, there was little to no chance of me proceeding to high school. I come from a dysfunctional family, and throughout my primary schooling, I watched as my parents fought almost daily.
To forget the incessant quarrels, I buried myself in books, and that is how I managed to perform well in my primary exit examinations. Just as I was about to join high school, my parents separated. My younger brother and I moved in with my mum, and we had to start life anew. She had no stable source of income, and the best she could offer was food and shelter. When Moja Tu realized my plight, they took me in, and I can say for sure that life changed for the better.
The organization took care of my every need. I was emotionally and psychologically affected by what was happening in our home. I had low self-esteem and hated myself. There were moments I blamed myself for the situation in our home. Moja Tu linked me with a counselor, and together we rebuilt my self-esteem. I can confidently say that I am in a much better place than I was when I first joined the program.”
When the KCSE results were released in May 2021, Agnes emerged as one of the top scorers in our program for the year, with an impressive B average. This score guarantees her a spot at a good Kenyan university in the near future. Agnes told us more about how she managed to score this grade, and what she’s looking forward to in the future:
“When schools closed to rein in the coronavirus, our school organized online classes. There were hitches here and there, but I was able to attend most of the classes. Moja Tu had also furnished us with extra study materials, and I put these to good use. When schools reopened months later, the teachers were very empathetic. They guided us through the remaining months till we sat for the exams. I scored a B grade, and I am happy with it. I thank my alma mater – Graceland Girls Senior School –for ensuring that I was well prepared to undertake the crucial exams.
I want to pursue a course in the medical field and, more specifically, clinical medicine at the acclaimed Kenya Medical Training College. The COVID-19 pandemic opened my eyes to the shortage of healthcare workers in Kenya and the world. I want to leave my mark globally, and I think this is the best way to do so. I was a member of the St. John Ambulance Club in high school, and I believe this will give me an upper hand as I pursue a career in this field.
I am looking forward to the next steps of my life, and I am walking into it confidently because I know that Moja Tu and my sponsor will be making the journey with me. Thank you for your support!”