Growing up, Peter aspired to become an engineer. Now, Peter is a third-year software engineering student at a Kenyan university.
“I come from a humble background. My mum did menial jobs to educate me, and there are times I had to stay out of school to assist her in raising my school fees. During such times, I would ask my friends for notes from the day and study almost the whole night using a kerosene lamp,” he reveals.
His dedication, resilience, and diligence paid off handsomely when he passed KCSE. But that was as far as his excitement would go. “There was no way my mum could afford my university school fees even if she worked day and night,” he says.
Then Peter got wind that a not-for-profit organization – Moja Tu – gave educational scholarships to children like him. So, he researched more about the program and submitted his application, which came through. And that’s how Peter finally got to join university and eventually pursue an engineering course, his childhood dream.
“At first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to get the sponsorship till someone called to inform me of the good news. My university life is different from what I experienced while in primary and secondary school – I no longer have to miss classes or work to stay in school. The program caters to all my educational needs. Also, I have gained a new family who genuinely want the best for me,” he says while heaving a sigh of relief, memories of yesteryears’ struggle seemingly still so fresh in his mind.
Peter says he now can focus wholly on his studies, which has made him very competent in the field. Knowing that he has accountability partners in Moja Tu also helps to keep him grounded. Recently, we had challenges with our Asante Project – a food distribution and communication app developed by Moja Tu students. Peter was able to identify the problem and fix it, a testament to his prowess in the field.
“I have majored in web development, particularly Server-Side Programming. With the knowledge I have in Node Js, I can build almost any kind of web application,” he asserts confidently.
It does help that most of the Moja Tu board members are in the technology field, and Peter gets to glean from them whenever they visit the country. Peter says that through Moja Tu, his worldview has been broadened, making him see things from a different perspective.
“I see myself as a global citizen, and so I work to acquire skills that will make me thrive wherever I go,” he says and adds, “I am forever indebted to Kathy and Michael, who saw the potential in me and took the risk of sending me to school. They’re my greatest source of inspiration and my best friends, as they always give me the best advice. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned from them is always to give back and help change a life for the better. That’s the best gift you can give humanity.”