Today Jackson is all smiles. It is the new face put on this young man by the generous donors of Moja Tu. For much of the last year, however, a smile would have been hard indeed for Jackson because his dream of becoming a journalist or a lawyer seemed to have been dashed. Jackson has always valued the opportunity he had been given to attend school and last year he finished his secondary education and sat for the National examinations (Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education- KCSE) . Because of his excellent grades and score on the KCSE, Jackson qualified to attend one of Kenya’s public universities, but it wasn’t meant to be. Jackson, who has lived at Tania Centre since the 3rd grade after losing both of his parents, didn’t have the means to pay for college and thus wasn’t able to continue his education.
Imagine working and studying hard and qualifying to continue your dream of attending the university but not being able to because you couldn’t afford it. Imagine despite that lost hope choosing to volunteer at Tania, helping these children hope for a better tomorrow even while feeling your dreams were lost. Now imagine finding out that hope was not lost and that, through the generosity of Moja Tu donors, you were going to attend University after all. Yeah, I think we’d all have a pretty large smile on our faces too.
On the 9th of November, via a video conference, Jackson was told by some very special donors that they would be sponsoring him to attend University so that he could continue to pursue his dreams. Needless to say Jackson couldn’t suppress his smile and couldn’t find enough words to express the joy he felt. “It feels like light has shone in a dark room” Jackson says. “I was beginning to despair and adjusting myself to fit in my current situation though I still strongly felt I was made for greater things. But there is no way I could think of how to achieve them.”
Jackson is the first student from Tania that has received a university sponsorship and all of the students at Tania are drawing inspiration from him. They see the sudden change in this young man and how his confidence has already grown. He is constantly talking with them to help them realize how truly important the educational opportunity they have is and that they must seize this chance they have been given.
Jackson, however, expresses his commitment best by saying “I will take advantage of my sponsorship and be a role model to all Tania orphans and needy students. They will learn the need to keep the hope alive and not give up in what they believe they are made to achieve. I will keep mentoring them especially in English subject since from now on most of my studies will revolve around written and spoken English. Every holiday I will help them with their revision and whenever I can, I will pick on students showing weakness in certain subject areas and give one on one support.”
In January 2015 Jackson will begin his college career and we have no doubt that that smile will still be on his face. Good luck Jackson, you’re an inspiration to all of us.