The Education Drought

Meet Kantai, a child of Ukambani. Ukambani is a region in Kenya inhabited by the Kamba people. They are pretty known through history for their long distance trade prowess. Deep in one of the corners of this land a boy was born from struggling parents.

The drought of 1984 left many families reeling with pain for lack of the very staple food they had banked on. This is the year Kantai was born. There families’ hard work on the farm presented no hope as the crop was ravaged by the hot sun. Many prayers were made this year with no avail. Kantai was bound to be born in hunger and as you know poverty is a close confidant of hunger they come together.

When Kantai was five years old he was lucky to still be strong despite the lack. He was taken to school by his father. At first, he dint like the idea of being a way from his mother, because that was the only way he was assured of a morsel of food during the day.  But as it turned out the world Food Program (WFP) had started a feeding program in the school. This made school so enticing for him- Kantai’s love for books originated here.

It was overwhelming for him at first but as time went by he adjusted and gave as much challenge to the rest of the pupils in his class. They used to call him names as he was very thin, there was not much to eat at home, and they would go without food on many nights.

This only served to strengthen his resolve and Kantai got into books even more because according to his teachers the only way to get out of the poverty dragnet was to do well academically. He picked up the challenge well and eight years later he emerged the best student in his class. There was joy and jubilation at his home as finally a star was shinning from distance.

A snag occurred though; Kantai was called to one of the best schools in the country Mangu High School. This was the school of those with money, the ones that had it ‘raining’ as the local would like to refer. It was rather obvious that given his background he could not afford to go to such a big school. Here dreams looked shuttered.

There was no hope for Kantai for sometime, until a good Samaritan informed him of The Starehe Boys Center a top national school that is dedicated to helping the poor access better education for quite a while in Kenya. Through Starehe Boys Center, Kantai got a fresh lease of life. If only more of this centers were built all over Kenya what a many Kantai success stories we would have.

Kantai managed to get his secondary education and even university through the help of the center He is now in the job market looking to rake in a living like any other Kenyan.

Come to think of it, how many Kantai’s are out there? Your help would make a lifetime difference to such stories.

HowKE Team

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