It brings a great joy and a sense of fulfillment to know how much the “little things” we do in life means to different people. It’s even more awesome knowing that someone can count on you to realize his/her dream. This is a wake up call to always do good whenever we have an opportunity to do so.
This chilly Friday morning, someone knocks at the project office door and as usual one of us answered, “Come in”. A middle aged family man who enters the office looked a little shy, reserved and psychologically tortured. At first we thought he was a guardian /parent seeking help for his needy children, but we were wrong in our thinking. This is a 16 year old boy who has heard of us through a school mate who is in the sponsorship program, and since the boy is in dire need he decides to confront his fears and go against all odds to get help he desperately want.
The lad begins his story by introducing himself as Edwin Muema., a form 3 pupil at a local day secondary school. He has come to enquire if we could support him pay his school fees since he had been sent home for school fees arrears and was fearing that he might not be in a position to raise over Kshs 35,000 (340 euro) he owed the school. We probed further to know why the boy was looking for sponsorship by himself since it is usually the responsibility of parents/guardian. Edwin made us understand that he is the 4th born in a family of 5 children and that all his elder siblings have never gone beyond primary school class 8 safe his 1st born sister (Syombua) who managed up in form four, scored a grade C+ in the final examination in secondary school but could not proceed to college due to Financial constraints. She was married off to a standard 3 drop out who worked as a herdsman in the neighborhood. Wambua the second born dropped out of primary school class 7 and is currently working as a herdsman in the neighborhood., Nthenya the 3rd born is also married while Muthini the last born is in primary school class 6.
He stated that his mother passed on in 2005 as a result of a snake bite and were left under the care of their father who had neglected his fatherhood responsibilities. He does not care what they eat, drink or even go to school, but instead drinks all the monies he earns from doing some odd jobs in the village and can only be seen home very early in the morning or very late at night. This boy was at the time living in a single roomed rented house with other 4 needy boys( classmates) to subsidize for his school expenses. He stated that it was not an easy decision to make but had no better option. It was evident from the boys’ story that he would go for a whole day without a single meal and with no hope of ever getting anything to eat the following day.
It was quite unfortunate that at the time Edwin was narrating his story we had already send some of the new files that had been requested by DAI-Kenya and the door for new entrances had been closed. We explained to Edwin how our program works and made it clear that even if we wanted to assist him his age had advanced we would not risk sponsoring him since at 18 years he was supposed to be out of the program. The boy could not help it and with tears of disappointment rolling down his cheek he requested us to offer him any assistance that would aid him realize his career dream. He even suggested working at our office and using the money to pay for his school fees, something he had done in his school. What he earned by working in school and offering tutorial classes to other pupils was too little compared to his school fees arrears.
We felt so helpless that we could not support this needy and very bright boys whose results reflected Grade A’s. We encouraged the boy though we felt that he needed something more than just empty words. We promised to get in touch with him after some consultations. The young boy walked out of the project office more disappointed than he had come in.
Thank God our ways and thoughts are very different from God’s way. In less than two weeks we received a phone call from the Dorcas Kenya office requesting if we could send some 5 new files. Edwin was the first person in mind. We visited him at their home where we found him busy tilling his father’s farm. He looked hopeless but when we shared with him he confessed that he was still hopeful that some day he will go back to school.
Together with some other four children, we sent his information and within four months it was communicated through DAI- Nairobi that he had secured sponsorship. When we finally found him and broke the news to him, he was so overwhelmed by the doings of the Lord and could not stop shedding tears of joy. He even requested if he could repeat form two since he felt like he had missed the better part of his studies. We counseled with him and accompanied him to school in order to talk to the relevant persons in school. The principal stated that Muema was a bright and a hardworking boy and was confident that he would catch up with the rest of his colleagues in class. He insisted that Muema continues with his studies in form 3.
We have never felt so fulfilled in our work than seeing Muema in class together with his classmate. Muema is very grateful and cannot help but pray that the God of heaven bless every one who has made him resume his studies. He is on his way to realizing his dreams.