MARGARET KARIUKI PR RUBEN CENTRE NARRATES HER STORY-EDUCATION TRANSFORMED MY IFE
- Published: Monday, 26 February 2018 12:13
Education is the most powerful tool that can be used to change the world, Said South Africa’s freedom fighter Nelson Mandela. Education is the key to success. Education is a powerful tool in matters of liberating young people from poverty. Better yet, Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it .So, is supporting Education development or welfare?
When I look at myself today, I know I am a product of education. It is education that changed my life and restored my dignity in life. I know what education has done to my friends and classmates and what lack of it also did to my very close ally’s that I grew up with. Many have died in cold blood and through bullets that were shot mercilessly through their bodies. Many girls that I used to play childhood games with are house wives and mothers of perhaps five children with the lucky ones having husbands besides them while a majority joining the most dreadful thing that would ever happen to a woman, being a single mother raising her children in the pangs of poverty in the slums of Mukuru. I know what happens and the society at large knows just what education does in molding the future of young generations.
After Kenya acquired its independence in 1963,the first president of Kenya mzee Jomo Kenyatta set his four big agenda. The focus was to eliminate diseases, poverty, corruption and ignorance and illiteracy. The journey towards improving the access to basic primary and secondary education can be traced right from the first president to now the fourth president of Kenya. The Current government recently declared that day secondary school education is free to all the Kenyan children. However, many challenges still stand between the futures of Kenyan children from the lowest cast in the community.
I was born and raised in the slums of Mukuru. Being a fourth born in a family of five, I definitely had siblings that were ahead of me and thus my parents literally struggled to keep us in school. Growing with a drunkard father who the only contribution he could make to our lives was give us food and that’s just it, was a clear sign that my secondary education was not a necessity nor a guarantee. Education was not of any importance to a generation that never managed to get into school. My siblings and I were very vulnerable and going hungry, lacking basic commodities from school uniform, stationery and adequate food was the norm of the day. I cannot remember how many times I could save my lunch from school just to carry some little food home for my jobless mum who most likely would not have had anything to put into her stomach all day.
A girl growing in the slums of Mukuru was practically a rose growing in the middle of thorns. There are all sorts of risks from being lured into teenage pregnancies, defilement, and sexual harassment, child trafficking discrimination among others. Many of my friends succumbed to the challenges because they lacked a helping hand to hold them and help them cross over to the brighter side. I worked very hard in school despite all the challenges I encountered and I was inspired by the fact that my future was guaranteed. In 2007,I sat for my KCPE and I managed to score 305 marks out of 500. For all the 35 students who managed to scored 300 (pass mark) automatically got a scholarship to pursue their secondary education in rural boarding schools with all school fees needs catered for.
I was among the lucky ones and I got a scholarship with Waceke Group Foundation that was started by a family that was aspiring to support secondary education of needy students like myself. That is how I was admitted to Matuu Memorial Girls High school in Eastern part of Kenya and that was the turning point of my life. A boarding school for most girls from the slums is more of a rescue place than a school as it shielded us from all the risks that glared at us in the slums and thus I was able to concentrate in my studies far from the hardships in the slums. After four years of sheer hard work, I carried home B (plain) a grade that qualified me to join The University of Nairobi where I enrolled as a Journalism and Mass Communication student and later Specialized in Public Relations.
Education through the support of a well wisher has transformed not only my life but my family’s life as well. I have been able to support my family and my sister’s education in secondary school. I am now working at Ruben Centre as the PR and Advocacy and Networking Coordinator. My purpose is to offer my expertise and services to the community that made me who I am today as well as inspire children most especially girls who go through the same situations I went through. I walked in their shoes and I know where it hurts most and therefore in a good position to mentor the youth of Mukuru through a tangible Testimony such as mine.
We are now approximately 21 alumni of Ruben Primary School who have come back to work as Ruben Centre employees in different areas from education, health, IT and more fields. To whom much is given much is expected and thus much is expected from us. We are therefore determined to create a better Mukuru through our contributions of services.
Public Relations Officer & Advocacy and Networking Coordinator