Moja Tu

Meet Grace Ngugi

Adapting to the “New Normal”

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted virtually all aspects of life around the world. At the beginning of the pandemic, everyone was hopeful that things would go back to normal in a month or two. However, as time dragged on, we’ve realized that things will be different for a while yet. The best we can do in times such as this is to adapt to the “new normal”, just as one Moja Tu student, Grace, has done.

Grace is a first-year student at Egerton University, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture. One of her goals this year was to finish her first year with impressive grades and then proceed to second year. “It has always been my dream to go to university and so you can imagine my excitement when I was enrolled. Besides my academics, I had also picked up extracurricular activities such as aerobics, which help keep me fit,” she says.

Just as she had settled down into university life, COVID-19 struck and university students were sent home, a few weeks shy of completing the semester. There was uncertainty everywhere and it didn’t help that there was still very little information about the virus available.

Once at home, Grace kept herself occupied by helping her parents with house chores and studying her subjects. She knew that once schools reopened, the first thing they would do was complete their exams and she didn’t want to be caught off guard.

Thanks to Moja Tu, I also found a data entry job. This was instrumental in keeping me occupied while at home and the money I earned was, of course, a bonus. This was my silver lining during the pandemic,” Grace narrates.

By October, Grace had clocked seven months at home. She says this period gave her the time to reflect a lot on life. “I also learned to be optimistic, patient and kind. These virtues kept me sane in the thick of things,” she says with a chuckle.

Just as she had predicted, university students were called back to school in October and the first item on the agenda were to finish the interrupted exams. Of course, her university had laid down strict measures to combat the spread of the virus.

The university reopening has been done is phases, with phase one admitting first-year students and final year students back to class. The second phase will be sophomores and junior students. We are also observing social distancing rules and wearing masks at all times,” she explains.

Grace thanks Moja Tu for taking care of her during the time she was at home. And when schools reopened, she didn’t have to worry about college fees, accommodation and upkeep money as the organization had already taken care of it.

I don’t take this chance to earn my education for granted, and I know that the best way to repay the organization and my beloved sponsor is by excelling in my studies,” she says.

Lily Ronoh