One of the unique aspects of the Moja Tu sponsorship program is the special, one-on-one relationship that students have with their sponsors. We are very intentional about cultivating this relationship through regular Skype/Zoom calls and letter writing. Pre-COVID, it was a tradition for some of the sponsors to travel all the way to Kenya to meet and spend time with their sponsored child. One of the bonds that we have seen grow over the years is between our student Joshua and his sponsor Laura. We recently interviewed Joshua to learn more about his relationship with his sponsor and what has helped their bond continue to blossom throughout all these years.
Joshua is a fourth-year student at the Technical University of Mombasa, pursuing a Bachelor of Technology in Hotel and Hospitality Management. But back in 2012, when he finished class eight, he didn’t know if he would even continue to high school as his parents could not afford to cater for his education. A bright student, he was selected to join Moja Tu and was fortunate to be sponsored by Laura. This changed his life as he could now concentrate on his education without having to worry about school fees. Laura has continuously held Joshua’s hand right from high school to university. This has made Joshua’s academic and life journey much more manageable.
Joshua first met Laura in 2014 through a video call. They connected almost instantly. Joshua says his first impression of her was that she was a good listener. “She keenly listened to my story as I was talking to her. She was also loving and caring, which made me comfortable to talk to her and to want to know her more,” he says. Joshua admits that he sees Laura as a second mom as she encourages and cheers him just as his own mother would.
“Laura has always been there for me ready to help. As I transitioned to my teenage years, she was very understanding, and I felt free to share what was going on in my life. Now that I am an adult, she sees me as one, and I can feel her respect for me. I love cycling, and when she got to know about this passion of mine, she bought me a bicycle. This meant so much for me,” he says.
Joshua’s best memory with Laura is when she came to Kenya. He enjoyed the talks they had, having her around, and finally seeing her in person. This is a memory he cherishes a lot as he got the chance to personally thank her for impacting his life.
Through Laura, he has learned the value of focus and hard work. “She is very hardworking, and I admire how she juggles the demands of her job and raising her family. She is my superwoman,” he says with a tinge of pride.
The best gift Joshua would like to give Laura is graduating with honors and treating Laura to a nice meal, prepared by him. Joshua aspires to be one of the best chefs in the hotel and hospitality industry and own a highly-rated hotel. He’s hopeful he will achieve this dream as Moja Tu has shown him all things are possible. We love seeing our students create lasting bonds with their sponsors, and we hope to see these bonds continue to blossom and impact both the students and the sponsors.