When I was a small child of Samburu culture, I had a father and a mother but my father got sick. At the tender age of 4, he passed away. I remained with my mom and started experiencing many challenges. The worst of all was when my father’s brother took everything that ever belonged to my father. Because he could not remove the house, he burned it down. We were left homeless and hopeless.
My mother had two children and not a single coin or crumb of food to raise us. She was very brave and took my brothers and myself to a place 2 days away called Sekanani in the Maasai Mara. We started our education at a rural, impoverished day school, but continued to experience a lot of challenges even in that setting.
It is no wonder that teachers see this young girl’s ability. David Pesi shares with the Matanya’s Hope Mission Team: “As a teacher at Sekanani Primary School, I quickly noticed that Christine Naini had the potential to do well. I knew that when she was sponsored and offered a chance to attend a high performing school, she would surely succeed.” David Pesi
Many were the days that we slept without eating anything or could not go to school because we lacked fees. The balance my mother was required to pay was 3,500 ksh which covered one term of my school fees. This was equal to about $35 US dollars. She was struggling to pay for my brother who was in class 8… I knew that I would have to wait. I wondered if I would even be able to go to school again.
When my brother finished his 8th grade studies, some visitors came and played baseball with him. It was a big number of people but he excelled at the game and managed to win. That visitor took him and sponsored him. Our family was so happy for him. He continued with his studies until Form 4 (senior year of High School). During that time, I myself was in class 7. I managed to attend class here and there but I missed more days than I attended because of fees. I happened to be in school on a day when an angel from heaven came to visit my school with Matanya’s Hope.
Our teacher told us to present songs, poems and dancing for our visitors. I presented my composed poem called GIRL CHILD. Then, my special angel, Ann, told me that she wanted to sponsor me.
“Seeing Christine Naini perform in one of the most impoverished school settings was so powerful. She was like a bright star that moved our team to tears. I could not bear to see her talents go unnoticed and forgotten. I saw her as a voice for her people and to do that, she needed education. I volunteered immediately to become her sponsor.” Ann Thomson, Sponsor
That moment was like a dream. I could not believe I would go to school and my mother would not struggle again because of my school fees. My mom was very, very happy because of the sponsorship as well. I quickly joined boarding school where I was able to focus on my studies. Although I did my national exam, I did not manage to attain the marks which would qualify me for a good school. This is because I did the exam only shortly after I joined boarding school and because I was living in an area where education was not strong.
Matanya’s Hope encouraged me and said that I could repeat my 8th grade year in a top Kenyan school in Nanyuki. Although the idea of repeating was very difficult for me to accept at first, I knew that Matanya’s Hope was offering me a chance to succeed in my life. Without repeating, I would not have that opportunity.
I am preparing to finish my 8th grade year this November and I am more confident that I will succeed since I can see with my own eyes how much my grades have improved.
Matanya’s Hope has encouraged me in every way. When they heard that I had been experiencing fainting spells, they came from USA and took me to the hospital for full evaluation. I don’t know what would be if they did not come into my life. Whether it is my health, my emotional well being or my education, they have been by my side through it all.
I want to be a surgeon. I pray that one day I will be able to give back to others the way that Matanya’s Hope and my special angel have given to me.