By Tom Bode, President
Lots of exciting events have taken place for WSI over the last several months.
First, in February we took on two new students to sponsor! Lydia and Marion both did extremely well on their KCPE (Kenyan Completion of Primary school Exam) and were accepted to attend Christ the King Secondary School. Marion wrote in her first letter to us:
My Mother was happy for the scholarship you gave us. She had no plans of me joining form one [first year secondary school]. She did not have even a single cent to pay my school fees but you took that burden to be yours. I don’t know how to express the joy that I have but only to say thank you so much.
Lydia and Marion have done well with the difficult transition from living at home to life at a boarding school. On their first report cards as well: Lydia is ranked 11th out of her class of 80 and Marion is ranked 47th.
The five other students continue to express their thanks as well. All of our students attend individualized tutoring during school breaks (there are three breaks of four weeks each during the year). Triza, Peris, and Villitracia, our first class of sponsored students, are halfway done with their third year! I suppose its just as surprising to me as it is to them how fast the time has gone. This term, Peris was sickened by Typhoid and spent a few weeks in the hospital, impacting her normally stellar performance. It is a reminder of the difficulties faced by these students – and everyone in the developing world – where diseases that we take for granted as not being present, actually are present and life-threatening. She is fine now.
The boys, Gidraf and Paul, wrote in their recent letters about a trip they took to Lake Victoria, located several hours from their school. Lake Victoria is one of the Great Lakes of Africa and the third largest lake in the world. Paul tells us that they ate many types of fish, saw an almost 400-year-old tortoise, and went on a boat ride. Gidraf wrote about his favorite game, rugby: “I am on the school team and I play position 6. This season we participated and managed to reach the district level. We were very happy because that was the first time to reach there.”
It’s been almost three years since I started this organization, and I’ve been consistently overwhelmed with amazement at the support we’ve received. Because of all of our efforts, there are now seven (!!) students attending high school, doing well, and growing up to their full potential who would not otherwise be able to do so. That is an amazing achievement – thank you all for making it possible.