Matanya’s Hope has sponsored me since I was young. You have given me the chance to go to school. Now I am in University, studying agribusiness management, a very good field for our farming country. I am not writing to you today about me.
I have had something in my heart, a burden, that is two years old now. I felt I should mention it to you.
I have a classmate who opened up to me about his life. He has faced hard times since he can remember and he is thinking of dropping out of school because he can’t see himself finishing the line with all of the struggles. We are taking the same course. Since my first year, I have been encouraging him.
He would sometimes come to school without a single items of shopping (soap, toothpaste, pens, pencils, notebooks, socks…), no fees to pay the tuition, not even clothes or shoes. He mostly attends classes with slippers. I would assist him with pens and share my copies of handout notes we get from lecturers which I printed with the money you provide.
The young man goes without food and when he gets it, it is really a miracle. Since the second year, second semester, he has never gone home during school breaks. He can’t because fees for transport are really a problem for him. I remember him telling me last year, “Lisper, if you see that I am doing this exam, God is great”. He said this because he had a fee balance that the parents could not afford. the father struggled and managed to send half of it. Then he approached the Dean of Students with a written letter to request to do the exams. He promised to pay the balance after the exam.
I asked him if he managed to pay it and he said that his father sold some trees and sent the fees after. Now we are in a new semester. the student got permission (a kibarua) to distribute mandazi (Kenyan donuts) from a small food kiosk which other kiosk owners use for a quick bite. He hoped that he would at least get food for supper. He did this with our without classes and he would rush quickly to class for every lecture.
The amazing thing is that no one is bright like him in class.
One day, the lecturer wanted to hear everyone shout what he or she would want to be in the future. I heard him saying “a researcher”. the lecturer talked about it. What pained me is that the guy was struggling to get food through getting permission to sell mandazi when I was doing my end of semester exams. I heard others saying that he can’t do the exam. the reason is because of the same fees he owes for this term. The parents have nothing more to sell. They can not manage to get food money for him and at the same time money to pay fees.
Since it has been a routine for him to have almost impossible balances due, the Dean refused to admit him to school this term. He told him “you either drop out of school or pay the fees.” The student was so stressed during exam time and after the exams I called him. I wanted to know what happened but he was in tears. He told me that he has been praying to get the fees but now he sees that he can’t make life through education but only away from education.
I encouraged him. I know you don’t know this person. You have never seen him either.
I wanted to open up this issue to you last year, but it was hard to do it. You know I am a quiet girl. I did not know how you would take it. But let me tell you, I don’t know why I feel bad about this. Every time I pray, I tell God to help that friend. We have given nothing to God yet we are getting our fees paid. It is God who provides.
This student is seeing that his dreams will be shattered by all means. I went home and I left him in school saying he can’t go home because he has no fare. And if he goes home, he will be frustrated to return without money for the old and new fees. He remains in the empty hostels with no shopping and no food. Fare to come back is still a problem. Still, he can study for the semester, but he can not do exams without clearing his fees. I really feel like God is calling me to see and feel deeply for what this guy is passing through.
I humbly approach you for your help. Everything is God who give. We are helping kids. This thing is serious. I have observed it for long. I have taken time to ask questions and want to know more. I at times wish I would have money to lend a hand. He comes from a very poor village called Kuria, bordering Tanzania.
The story of this student touched my heart. His name is Meremo Samwel Nyangi. He is in his 3rd year like me, taking Bsc (agribusiness management). the terms left are only 3 plus the one we finished on Friday though he has not paid for it and he has not done the exams for it.
His fees for this new term are 14,350 ($145.00).
He also needs food for 5,000 a month times 4 months ($50 x 4 = $200)
and transport: 5,000 ($50)
I am a student who has been helped.
Now I pray you hear my request for this boy Samwel.