BentameganogJohnMENTEE BLOG – PDAid FOUNDATION

Local partner to the PDAid Foundation, the Kilimanjaro Initiative (KI), oversee the progress of the mentees in Kenya and coordinate that their education is conducted according to plan.

Every month the PDAid Foundation receives scholarship reports from the mentees, containing information concerning their:

  • experience at school, in regards to course(s), assignment(s) and teacher(s)
  • enrollment in community activities
  • wellbeing in general and in their private lives in terms of mood and spirit
  • information about exams and assignments

We will be writing blog posts based on the monthly reports received from the mentees. Please visit our blog to follow our mentees as they describe their experiences and provide information concerning their enrollment in the support program. 

April 2024

 

Frederick

Also, we started to apply four important skills of learning and understanding the English language which are listening, speaking, reading and writing. We are listening carefully during the debate and discussion lessons, and we are speaking a lot during debates and discussions. We are trained to understand the key concepts when reading books in order to understand the general concept, and we are also focus on writing new words and sentence formation.

All in all, the school is more understandable compared to the beginning. Nowadays, we are learning interest topics like environment, culture and food. Every day, we get an assignment – to write story about something. This helps us to get new vocabulary and verbs.

This month, I participated in KAP fundraising events, and it was really interesting. Also, we visited some elders and widow in Arusha.

I am doing well in general, and I am really enjoying my school.

Diana

This month, I decided to contribute some of my old storybooks to a library. Since libraries have provided me with numerous books at no cost, I felt compelled to reciprocate by giving some back to them.

For the most part, I am doing well. I am eager to land an internship or job, so I am looking forward to beginning a fresh chapter.

 

Frederick

This month, I was also hunting for attachment places. I started by sending my application letter written to me by the school and an insurance cover to Karlo, an organization which is located in Kisumu. Since this was not a success, I consulted one of my lecturers on where I could do my attachment. She advised me to try applying at Eldoret Technical Training Institute School of Agriculture, and I did so by sending my documents.

Later, I received a call from the institute to submit my documents on 8th of April physically. I traveled to the site where I was warmly welcomed by the farm manager who is in charge of all the agricultural practicals. The institute is carrying out practicals from animal production and husbandry management, crop production and protection to agricultural engineering.

It is really a good leaning environment, and I hope to learn more and put to practice what I have been learning at school. I will be starting my attachment from the 1st of May to 30th of July.

I am volunteering at the Sauti Kuu Foundation where I help with the land scaping activities which includes slashing and cleaning of the compound. I do this to give the young people, who come to Sauti Kuu for various holiday program activities, a safe place where they can play in a clean environment. I also help with preparing lunch for them.

I am doing fine in general. My private life is okay, and my spirit and mood are good.l.

March 2024

 

Frederick

An interesting thing for me is that we started to ready books (novels) to get concept, to summarize the books and to answer the questions about the story of the books.

Before the Easter holiday, we did test exams. This exam was filling the blanks. Part of this exams was covered tenses and Grammar. Also, we did individual assignment, and we were asked to read a book and summarize it. Was really interesting because this helps to learn new vocabulary.

We always keep building skills with phonics. This make us understand how to pronounce different words in English language like a native speaker. For example, some words can be pronounced with the emphasis on either syllable. Also, we started to learn how to write letters, including both formal and informal letters.

This month, we will finish the beginner Level and jump to the Intermediate level. We will still focus on building skills with phonics, grammar, letters and part of speech. I am happy to see things going smoothly!

I keep volunteering at KAP as part of giving back to the community. We focus on care the elders in Meru district in Arusha!

I am doing well in general – both my mind-set and my vision are still focused.

Diana

Once printed, I will present it to the school as I continue preparing for graduation. I am thrilled to be nearing the project's completion.

This month, some of my friends and I planted a tree in our neighborhood collectively.

I am doing great in general. I really have no complaints. I am thrilled that I am nearing completion of my project and eager to embark on new endeavors.

 

Frederick

It was really fair to me because most of the examined area I did cover during my course work. The second paper which was Agricultural Engineering which I did on the 22nd of March. It was also fair only because of the time I took to do thorough revision on it. I will be doing my third paper on the 28th of March. This is will be a combined paper consisting of Crop Production and Soil Science. I am really prepared for it and I will do my best. I will be finishing my Exams on the 2nd of April by also doing a combined paper consisting of Agricultural Economics and Extension Education.

After finishing my exams, I am going start looking for a farms or companies that practice in agricultural activities. I already have one in mind and that is the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research (KALRO) which works with livestock research and also production of various vegetables. It is located in Kusumu County.

After my Exams, it a course requirement for me to go for an industrial attachment for three months. This is going to allow me to put into practice whatever I have been learning in class, and I am also going to learn from the company to equip myself with knowledge and and practical skills. The attachment is supposed to start on 1st of May and to 30th July.

This month, I have not taken part in any community activities because of how committed I was to school. I really had a lot to do but from next month I will take part in some community activities.

I am doing better in general. My health is good, and my spirit is kept high, hoping for the best for myself and I am really grateful.

February 2024

 

Frederick

Also, we focused on group assignments, but this was not every day. Through group assignments, we managed to present in front of the class. This makes me happy because this helps me to build more and more confidence, especially in speaking English.

Fun thing: We focus on Alphabet pronunciation almost every day before class, building skills with phonics, parts of speech and basic grammatical skills. The teacher always uses simple language, and we repeat after him – sometimes we finish the sentences.

Next month, we will finish the beginner level and jump to the intermediate level. We will still focus on grammar issues and parts of speech. I am happy to see things going smoothly!

I volunteer at KAP as part of giving back to the community. We focus on the care of the elders in Meru district in Arusha. It is a great experience!

I am doing well good both my mindset and my vision – I have a huge hunger for knowing this language grammatically. 

Diana

This month, I made the decision to contribute a selection of my previously owned storybooks to a library. Given the countless books libraries have provided me with at no cost, I felt compelled to reciprocate by returning some to them.

Currently, I am feeling a bit swamped, but overall, I am managing well. Additionally, I have been maintaining a positive outlook on what lies ahead.

 

Frederick

We have also been carrying on with our weekly practicals as usual, and this month we have managed to carry out primary and secondary cultivations. We will be planting them as of next month.

I will be starting my module one examination from next month – from the 20th to the 2nd of April. I will start by doing Animal production on Wednesday 20th March, Agricultural Engineering on Friday 22nd March. On Thursday 28th March, I will be sitting for Principles of Crop Production and Soil Science. My last paper will be in Agricultural Economics 1 and Extension Education which will be on Tuesday 2nd of April.

I have already started revising for my exams and I am still continuing going through past papers, and I will continue till my last paper.

I am volunteering at the Sauti Kuu Foundation as an intern where I am helping in areas like preparing meals for the young people and sports activities by training the youths in boxing exercises. In general, I have been doing fine, my mood and spirit have always been good.

January 2024

Frederick

Everythings goes smoothly with the course, and it is an understandable result – the aim is to improve my English grammer and pronouciation skills.

Generally, I am litle bit aware with the Arusha town. I am meeting new friends and making new connections. Also, the youth program which I did in Oloitoktok via the Kilimanjaro Initiative for 10 days help me to have easily socialize with new people.

I participate in community activities with KAP once a month, and it is very interesting. I use this time to volunteer in this organization to givie back to the community.

I see my bright future through this learning opportunity for two reasons. Firstly, language is very important for my carier – in order to work as a guide in the mountains. Secondy, I realise to learn new things never be wrong!

Diana

I teamed up with friends from my neighborhood to clean up litter in our local area this month. Engaging in this activity was truly fulfilling, fostering an increased awareness of my surroundings and a commitment to avoid littering unintentionally.

I am thrilled to complete my research project.

 

Frederick

In animal production, we started doing range management, which is almost done, and we will be going to the next topic which be Animal handling and routine management practices. This will be my last topic in animal production module one.

In crop production, we have been continuing with plant breeding which we did not complete last term. After doing this, we will be doing a topic known as agroforestry. We started doing demand and supply in agricultural economics, culture in agricultural extension and measurements in agricultural engineering.

This term is really going to be a busy term for me since I will be also doing my end module one exams which is a national exam. I confirmed my registration which I started doing last term and I signed a nominal roll and took a passport photo and now I am ready for the exams.

The only challenge I have is that I am the only student in my class that is going to sit for the examination. This is really a challenge to me because I have nobody to do discussions with. I will be only having my lecturers and I am going to do my best to overcome this challenge by asking them questions that I cannot handle by myself.

This month, I have been volunteering at the Sauti Kuu Foundation every weekend and helping in areas like land scaping and farming activities. Overall, I have been doing well and I thank God for the gift of life, I am grateful.

December 2023

Frederick

The course is going well, good progress and a lot of student participation and asking questions. Learning through videos and audio this is really nice. Teachers provide good help and assistance. Also, they work so close with us even after school in WhatsApp group.

I just got a chance to volunteer every last Saturday of every month with one organization in Arusha which deals with helping kids, women and elders. I am really excited and look forward to work with them and to cooperate with them. I hope my participation will bring impacts to the community.

My private life is going so well. I feel very comfortable with life here. Because my course is full time learning so I do not think about any other job. I highly thank the PDAid Foundation for this golden support which they provided me; it is totally going to change my future!

Through this language course, I see my future is bright. My future plan is one day to be a professional Safari and Mountain Guide, and finally to have a travel company here in Tanzania. As we know, English is an international language, and when I speak fluent English, I will be able to contact many people worldwide. This will help me to build great connections and networking for my future dream.

Diana

He gave me the green light to proceed with chapter 4. Currently, I am actively working on chapter 4 with the assistance of my mentor. Once chapter 4 is completed, I will only have chapter 5 left, which is the final chapter. I am delighted that the project is progressing smoothly, and I anticipate completing it no later than February. I want to express my gratitude to the PDAid Foundation for the valuable support provided throughout this process.

This month, me and a friend collaborated to plant a tree in our neighborhood. The advantages of trees are boundless, as they enhance the environment by supplying oxygen, enhancing air purity, conserving water, maintaining soil integrity, and fostering wildlife. Due to my passion for plant care, I will ensure to water the tree consistently.

Since recieveing assistance from my project mentor, I have been in a positive state of mind. I appreciate the good health and providence from God that I have experienced throughout the year.

 

Frederick

I got a chance to attend and to be trained in film production which was organized by our area member of the county assembly partnering with the Sauti Kuu Foundation. I was elected by the youths to be their leader for the one week that the training took. I represented all their needs to the management once they arose. I was able to lead over one hundred and thirty youths during the training.

I have been doing fine, my health has been good, and I thank God for that. I managed to Celebrate Christmas with my siblings and my super grandmother. It was fine being next to the ones I love  we smiled and enjoyed everything together.

November 2023

Frederick

My studies start at 08am to 02pm half time we spend to learn through presentation and discussion. These presentations and discussions help me a lot because if I say any grammatic error, teacher and fellow students correct me on spot.

I am happy now that I have settled in school, and I am focussing to my studies. Also, we did several assigments – both group and individual assigments were all good. At the end of November, we did a monthly examination test, which was also good.

I am lucky to have gotten some new friends. My teacher sare so good and very friendly, especially when you need personal assistance. I feel very lucky to have them.

In my private life, especially after school, I go running and hiking. I explore new running trails in the Arusha area around Sanawari.

During this first month in school, I did not participate in any community developments project in Arusha, but I contacted some Rotaract clubs in Arusha to ask for a membership for time I am here. Also, I contacted one NGO to ask for a volunteer opportunity every Saturday around Arusha.

We will start our Christmass Break on 22 December 2023 to 03 January 2024.

Diana

I have recently connected with my mentor, who has graciously stepped in to guide me through the final chapters, particularly the challenges I encountered in Chapter 3. His expertise and support have proven instrumental in helping me navigate and overcome the obstacles, marking a significant advancement in the project's progress.

This month, I actively engaged in environmental stewardship by collaborating with my neighbors to undertake a collective effort in litter cleanup. This communal activity has become a meaningful routine for me, aligning with my commitment to environmental well-being. Each time I partake in this endeavor, I not only contribute to the cleanliness of our surroundings but also cultivate a deeper sense of responsibility towards our shared environment.

I am doing well in general. I am enthusiastic about the prospect of quality time with my family and friends during this holiday.

 

Frederick

We also did our end term 2 exams which were quite challenging, but I managed to do them because I have always been doing some group discussion with my classmate, and it really helped.

I also continued with the registration for my end of module one examination which I will be doing next year March. I submitted my documents to the Head of Department of my course, and now I am just waiting for the next step from the H.O.D.

We will be starting our term of term break from 1st of December 2023 to 8th of January 2024.

Community activities I did this month was volunteering at Sauti Kuu foundation and helping with trimming of vativa grass. I did this for aesthetic value. I also helped by working with the Sauti Kuu young people and help prepare for lunch, facilitate personality development activities like modern dance.

I have been doing fine in general. I can say my energy level this month has been high, and I thank God for that. I have been doing my favorite sport which is boxing and also doing some dancing.

October 2023

Frederick

My name is Emmanuel Rocky. I am 25 years old. I was born in Marangu, in a village called Mshiri where I reside with my parents and four siblings. I work as a guide and a porter in Mt. Kilimanjaro. I first interacted with Kilimanjaro Initiative and Dennis from the PDAid Foundation through a youth program in Oloitoktok.

I was offered an opportunity to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, which was very exciting as I was for once the one being taken care of. After the climb, I was offered an opportunity to undergo the PDAid Foundation mentoring programme which was amazing. My mentor was Katie Plichta, and she did a great job of helping me find myself and reach my goals without fear.

After the mentorship, PDAid Foundation offered me an opportunity of a lifetime by offering me a scholarship. I opted to study English as a course due to the nature of my job.

I am more than excited to get this opportunity as this will improve my English and communication skills. I am more than grateful to the PDAid Foundation for this opportunity and for making my dream come true as my dream is to become a professional trip leader which has always been hindered by my poor English communication.

My appreciation goes to Dennis (Founder of the PDAid Foundation) and my mentor for making this a reality. God bless you.

Diana

This month, I made the decision to contribute to my community by donating a selection of my cherished old storybooks to a library. Throughout the years, libraries have generously provided me with countless books without charge, fostering my love for reading and learning. It felt only right to reciprocate their kindness by returning the favor and donating books to enrich their collection.

I am feeling quite sad about missing this year's graduation, but I remain optimistic that everything will eventually fall into place.

 

Frederick

We have been going to a farm to continue with the project we started last month which was clearing and ploughing. We planted some vegetables, and I learnt a lot about nursery bed establishments and maintenance practices which are carried out while the seedlings are still in the nursery bed.

I started registration for my end of module one exam which is an external exam that I will be doing next year in the month of March. I will be done with the registration process early next month.

This month, I managed to share knowledge with my course mates by helping them with their assignment. I helped module three students on how to prepare a balanced sheet and also how to prepare a profit and loss account.

I am doing fine in general. I thank God for the gift of life. The only thing I have experienced this month was stomachache, but I managed to overcome it.

September 2023

Frederick

At the end of every lesson, we are normally given assignments to go and do research on and present our findings. For me, it has been a challenge to do the assignments because I lost my phone, and it was what I was using to carry out my researches. I had also stored my notes in soft copy in the phone. So, it has been quite challenging for me also to attend online classes. For now, I have asked my younger brother if I can borrow his phone so that I can use it for the time being.

We have been doing some practical each and every Friday. We started by clearing our pieces of land, and then we ploughed them using digging hoe. We will be planting some indigenous vegetables on them once they are ready.

This month, I donated one pair of my shoe to a needy friend of mine and I also shared with him food at a time he was not able to provide for himself.

In general, I am doing good. I have just been having some headaches, but I did manage to visit a nearby dispensary, and I got some treatments and now I am feeling better.

Diana

I would like to inform you that due to the upcoming deadline for project submission, which is on 2 October, I may not be able to graduate this year in November as originally planned. However, I am committed to completing the project by the end of this October or in November at the latest. Unfortunately, the university only conducts one graduation ceremony per year, so I will have to wait until November of the following year to officially graduate.

This month, I actively participated in a community book exchange event, during which we engaged in the delightful practice of sharing books with fellow community members. This enjoyable activity allowed us to exchange our favorite literary treasures, fostering a sense of togetherness and a mutual appreciation for the written word.

I am trying to keep the focus on my schoolwork, and I have just been busy with the research project and other aspects of my daily routine.

August 2023

Frederick

During this short break, I got involved in Sauti Kuu Foundation activities by helping with different activities – like helping in slashing and cleaning compounds to make the area look clean and secure as well as to provide a safe place for the Sauti Kuu youths. I also had a chance to help with some duties on the farm, such as digging and planting as well as watering the planted crops.

I also got involved in the retreat which took place at the Sauti Kuu Foundation. Here, I spent most of my time with the young people guiding and helping them. I also managed to share my success story with them which I think really motivated them.

I have been doing well in general. I have managed to do some exercise during this period I was on break. I have learned some yoga for one week. My mood and spirit have been good and there is this quote that has been guiding me this month "Everything is possible, it's all in your mind".

Diana

Additionally, they have authorized me to move forward with chapter 3, which I have been eagerly anticipating.

This month, I teamed up with a few friends from my local area to clean up litter in our neighborhood. This experience was quite fulfilling, as it heightened my awareness of the environment and helped me avoid thoughtless littering.

My research project has proven to be rather demanding due to my discomfort with tight deadlines, but overall, I am managing well.

July 2023

Frederick

Lastly, we did our end-term exam, and we will be having a break from 7th to 29th of August and resume for term 2 on the 29th of August.

This month, I took part in a first-aid training workshop held at the Sauti Kuu Foundation. The knowledge from the training will help me administer first aid to the community when in need.

In general, my private life has been good. My spirit has been high, and my mood has been great.

Diana

The revised version has been sent back to him, and I am now eagerly awaiting his approval before I proceed to work on Chapter 3. I am remaining committed to delivering a successful thesis.

I visited a children’s home around my neighborhood earlier this month to donate my old clothes and also got spend a few hours with the children. It was wonderful to get to know them, their aspirations and dreams. I had a wonderful time.

I have been doing fine, and I feel good in general. I have come to realize that I find joy in the little things, thus I have grown to appreciate them. One of my favorite quotes I remind myself of each day is: “When each day is the same as the next it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.”

June 2023

Frederick

All these activities have made me concentrate on my books a lot and also do a lot of research on the internet.

We have also been doing some farm activities every Friday at school. These activities include carrying out primary cultivation, that is clearing land using tools, such as slashers and pangas, and ploughing the land using digging hoes. I have really enjoyed this, and it is really nice learning things that you love doing.

During this month, I have been volunteering at Sauti Kuu Foundation and helping with activities like facilitating the modern dance for the Sauti Kuu young people which helps build their personality development.

In general, I have been doing fine. I have also been doing exercise once every week and taking part in boxing sport which is my favorite sport. My private life is going smoothly, and my mood and spirit are steady.

Diana

Despite the need for corrections, my supervisor has instructed me to proceed to Chapter 2. This chapter requires a significant amount of work, as it involves in-depth investigation and analysis. Nonetheless, I am fully committed to dedicating the necessary time and effort to ensure the quality and rigor of this chapter.

This month, I volunteered my time and effort at a children’s home, contributing to a fundraising initiative. It was a gratifying experience as I dedicated myself to supporting the well-being and development of these young individuals in need.

Currently, I find myself in a state of equilibrium, handling the challenges that come my way with a sense of resilience. Despite a busy schedule, I prioritize carving out moments for self-care, recognizing its importance in maintaining my overall well-being.

May 2023

Frederick

My name is Fredrick Otieno Alego. I was born and raised in Siaya county. I am the first born in a family of seven boys.

I am joining Ramogi Institute of Advanced Technology which is located in Kisumu county. This has been made possible by the PDAid Foundation who are sponsoring me for a three-year course which is a Diploma in General Agriculture.

I am really excited to join the institution to further my studies. It has been something I had really wanted to do but due to financial problems I was not able to do it. I extend a hand of gratitude to the PDAid Foundation for stepping in for me. Thank you so much.

Diana

Initially, I had written chapter one on a specific topic as planned. Unfortunately, my school supervisor expressed skepticism regarding the availability of sufficient empirical review on the subject matter. In light of his concerns, I made the decision to change the topic and start afresh. I have completed writing chapter one on the new topic. I am currently awaiting my school supervisor's feedback and approval to proceed to chapter two.

This month, I participated in a neighborhood clean-up initiative to keep the streets and our neighborhood clean. I have been doing ok in general, coping with challenges as they come. In terms of mood, I am joyful and content.

 

Frederick

Most of our lecturers come for their classes and teach us about the various units which they do with a lot of passion. They have also been giving us some class assignments and updating notes. We have also managed to do some practical things on the school farm, such as planting various vegetables.

This month, I have been volunteering at Sauti Kuu Foundation and doing numeracy with Sauti Kuu young people from the ages of 4-9. This helps the young people to become more equipped with knowledge in mathematics which they can use to solve some mathematics problems when they are at school.

In general, my health has not been in a good state. I have been suffering from malaria which I think was caused by the change in the environment. I went to the hospital, and I was given some medicine which I have been taking and now I am getting better each and every single day. My mood and spirit have been good.

April 2023

Diana

I am determined to do my best and to produce a thesis that will be a testament to the quality of education I received.

This month, I planted a tree in my neighborhood together with some of my friend.

Overall, my personal mood and spirit are doing well. Although I have faced some challenges, I have been deliberately taking the time to relax and destress, which has had a positive impact on both my mental and physical well-being.

March 2023

Diana

I gained valuable insights into the industry and was able to expand my professional network.

This month, I have been supporting small local businesses by shopping at farmers’ markets. These businesses are often owned by people who live in the area, and supporting these businesses helps build a stronger sense of community and create a shared identity. Additionally, small businesses have a smaller carbon footprint compared to larger corporations. Thus, by supporting them, I can help reduce the environmental impact of the community.

In general, I am happy. I finished my attachment, and I am feeling motivated and looking forward to new opportunities. I am also maintaining a positive attitude and continue to focus on my goals as I move forward.

February 2023

Diana

With regards to my project, I was assigned a supervisor and I have begun working on it. I presume the school gives us a maximum of 6 months to complete it.

I visited a children’s home and donated clothes together with my sister and friend this month. It is an activity we do every once in a while. It brings me a lot of joy whenever I get the chance I like to give back to such organizations.

I am doing OK in general. I am managing stress better. I am also excited that I will be graduating by the end of the year. This is keeping me motivated. Overall, I have been optimistic about the future and try to live more in the present.

Sharon

In my free time, I usually look for new skills and recipes in the internet as a way of passing time. Cooking, baking and reading books are list of my favorite hobbies.

My previous job offered me a nice recommendation letter which is a win for me. The only goal that is yet to be achieved – to graduate. I am always in great gratitude for having a chance at college. College was my first steppingstone that created this path of the things that I have achieved as an individual. Growing up I never saw myself where I am. I have worked in most outstanding places and met important people who have guided me. My goal this year is to graduate, and I can't wait.

This month, I have not been participating in anything in my community since I have been working and studying at the same time. I still visit my friends from PSS sometimes. We make beads and play handball as it is one of my favorite sports. I still also do some exercise at home and make beads in my free time. I run every day in the mornings since it is a part of handball exercise, and it is also healthy.

I am doing great in general. I love been busy doing something useful to get over most of the tough long days. I mostly do workouts, go for a walk, listen to music and read books. I love what I do every day but sometimes it gets tough, but I always find a way to get over all situations.

I also love challenging myself because I have been through a lot. I am grateful for my job as I have met different people every day. I love interaction which I find fun and helpful. I love been around my workmates who also challenge me in my everyday life. At work, I have learnt a lot about teamwork and speaking to more than a group of ten people (through this, I gained confidence), spreading love and taking care of each other.

I am obsessed with books. It's the best way to vent after having a rough day, and it has helped me to improve my grammar. On my free days, I take a walk in the nature and meditate which also helps me greatly.

January 2023

Diana

The units are an industrial attachment and a project. Industrial attachment is like an internship, but it is done before graduation. I applied at a certain parastatal called Kenya Bureau of Statistics. I am gaining hands-on experience and putting into practice what I have learned throughout my coursework. With regards to the project, I have yet to begin it. I filled in a form that is supposed to help in allocating me a supervisor to guide my work. I am currently waiting for further communication.

This month, I have been taking care of the environment around me. Together with my friends, I have been taking part in watering the newly planted trees in my school. I find this necessary especially during this dry season. The importance of watering trees will shape our urban forest for years to come and I am thus delighted to be taking part in this activity.

I have been doing fine in general. I am very excited to finish my degree. I am also looking forward to finding a job once I finish my studies.

Sharon

I never knew that one day I would end up being a pastry chef or go to college and have an education based on it. It was my dream and I achieved it. Even though I have not graduated it gives me motivation to work in the hospitality management industry since it is what I studied for.

Graduation is one of the things that I have not accomplished yet, and I am willing and looking forward to graduating soon. After COVID-19, my education was distracted and that is why till date I have not graduated. So, I decided to look for work that would help me grow career-wise. I have learned a lot, compared to what I learned at my school and this is a win-win situation as I'm gaining experience in the industry.

I have not been participating in anything in my community this month since I have been working and studying at the same time. Sometimes, I do visit my friends from PSS we make beads and play handball as it is one of my favorite sports. I also do exercise at home and sometimes make beads in my free time. I run every day in the mornings since it is a part of handball exercise, and it is also healthy.

In general, I am doing great. Lately, I've been focusing more on my career, which has helped me escape depression, overthinking and stress. I also read books, which has turned out to be my hobby. It is the only thing I do when I am down. I also meditate and exercise when I am overwhelmed. I like taking walks in the nature on my off days. I even try out some recipes at home and my family motivates me through my cooking. I am determined to be a great example to my siblings and also to my community by using my time well and staying positive all the time as well as motivated, determined and believing that we can accomplish everything if only we try.

December 2022

Diana

I am expected to begin a new semester at the start of the new year, which will be my third year at the Management University of Africa. This will also be my last semester. I am required to write my research project, and I will also be doing my industrial attachment in the same period. These are the only 2 units I have left before I graduate in December 2023.

This month, I joined up with some of my neighborhood friends and collected litter in our neighborhood. It was such a satisfactory activity. It made me more conscious of my environment and not litter unconsciously.

I have been spending time with my family during this holiday season and that has been uplifting my spirit. I am glad the year is coming to an end. I am also happy that I am almost completing my degree. I can’t wait to open the next chapter of my life. I have been taking my time to unwind and it has honestly been rewarding for my mental and physical health.

Sharon

I am also polishing on my studies because I still have a pending attachment and exams, which I'm supposed to sit on as the final exam to graduate. The exams are supposed to be booked before proceeding for attachment, so once you have finished the three months of attachment, you'll have to sit for your exams and then graduate. I am eagerly waiting for that day when I'll graduate since it's one of the biggest goals that I have to achieve. My dream is to work in a five-star Hotel and then later have my own bakery for my love and passion for baking.

I have not been participating in anything in my community this month since I have been working and studying at the same time. Sometimes, I do visit my friends from PSS, and we make beads and play handball since it's one of my favorite sports. I also do exercise at home and sometimes make beads in my free time. I run every day in the mornings since it's part of handball exercise and it is also healthy.

I am doing great mentally and physically. I am glad to have somewhere to work since it helps me escape reality in the community with such as stress, depression and overthinking. I work as a cashier in a restaurant which sometimes becomes overwhelming, dealing with shorts etc. The reason why I took this job is because I didn't want to stay at home and I also wanted to try something new within the hospitality industry, which is interesting day in and day out. I am able to help my parents put something on the table because my mom doesn't have a job. I am glad to have a job as I wait to go back to school and finish my studies.

November 2022

Diana

This month, I took part in cleaning the environment. I teamed up with my neighbors and we picked litter. It is usually a community activity and whenever I get the time, I love to participate in it. It has taught me to care for the environment in general and as an individual as well as make sustainable and renewable choices that will help preserve crucial resources.

I am doing fine in general. I am excited to finish the semester and I am looking forward to spending more time with my family and friends during this holiday season. I am also excited and optimistic about the new year. Exams can be quite stressful, but I think am I managing quite well.

October 2022

Diana

I attended a public lecture hosted by the school. The topic of discussion was “Youth and Social Media”. They discussed both the positive and negative impact that social media have on youth. The lecture was able to shed light on some of the major impacts social media have and how the youth can leverage the opportunities it presents while also trying to lessen its negative effects. The lecture was informative.

I am doing fine in general, although I was somewhat busy with school, group work, writing essays, CATs and proposals this month. I had a lot on my plate and trying to strike a balance between school and other activities had been a bit difficult. But now things are much better and less stressful. I am also doing better emotionally.

Sharon

When I was in high school, I never pictured myself in college because my parents couldn’t afford. Visiting Mt. Kilimanjaro and meeting new people from different parts of the world opened my mind and I wanted to do more to myself and gave me the urge to know more as in education wise and career wise.

The last three years have been a great journey and I have been to big companies around Kenya. I started as a house chef in August 2020 (until March 2021) in Westlands where I worked for a lawyer and her partner who was a CNN journalist who also motivated me in my career path. It was my first job, and it was such an amazing experience where I learned a lot about life and how to overcome challenges that people face. I have been around successful people has pushed me to work hard and smart. I stepped out of my comfort zone and started to build my career which I love doing. I always cook and bake whenever I am stressed or feeling low. It helps me overcome stress and stagnating thoughts. The family moved and I had to look for another place to work.

In 2021, I decided to go back to school since the schools were closed due to the pandemic. I cleared with the school and they set me off for attachment. I was placed in one of the biggest supermarkets in Kenya called Naivas. I worked there while waited for the next attachment.

During that time, I was busy applying for jobs and luckily, I found one at one of the best and loved restaurants in Kenya, called Big Square, where I was a kitchen assistant.

In 2021 September, I was called by one of the international schools in Kenya located at Karen where they were looking for an assistance pastry chef. I was more than happy because I love baking and it was one of my courses that I took at school. Baking is artistry and one of the best things to do in life. I resigned from Big Square and joined St Christophers international school where I learned a lot and gained a lot of experience for my career. I loved my job to the point that I would work for long hours without being told to. I was self-driven, motivated and I preferred spending most of my time at work baking than being at home. My boss was pleased and promoted me to be an executive pastry chef I was honored. It was an amazing experience. I had to teach a junior some of the recipes because she was a new member who joined. I was one of the best employees at work. I decided to call my school and asked them if they could access me at work for my attachment because my work was related to my course outline. Unfortunately, they said that it’s the school that is supposed to attach me and they asked me to wait till they called. I continued working with the school until the kids went for long holiday from July to September.

As I waited to report back to work, we stayed for two months as the kids were on holiday. It was a long time to wait because I love been productive, so I decided to call my school and asked them when they would attach me, but the next attachment was also in October and I had to book my exams first. I decided not to go on with my job, so I quitted and waited for my school to take me for my intern because my only goal left is graduating. The school communicated and said I need to book the exam first as I have to sit for my exams immediately after the internship. The money was the problem and I regretted quitting. My job was not of good pay and it wouldn’t have paid for my exams, so I applied for another one.

Currently, I’m working at Artcaffe coffee and bakery to be able to come up with the sum of the cash requested by my school. I am learning new things that is connected to hospitality and it’s amazing. I love my job. The next attachment is next year so as I wait, I work. During the short period, I learned that success is peace of mind, which is the direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which I am capable of. It’s only when we take chances that our lives improve – and knowing what your heart wants and chasing your dreams. Success comes to those who are too busy looking for it.

September 2022

Diana

I am currently working on these assignments. These 5 units are the last units I will take in class. The next coming semester, which will begin next year, I will be doing my project and industrial attachment.

This month, I chose to donate some of the old books, that I have previously read, to the school library. Libraries have given me so many books for free, so I wanted to give some back to them.

I am still trying to come to grips with my mother’s passing. I am trying to keep the focus on my schoolwork, and I have just been busy with assignments, group work and other aspects of my daily routine.

August 2022

Diana

This month, I have been helping homeless people along the street by donating some money to them. I have been looking at what I can provide in order to help them in whatever way I can. I understand that we must support people living with adversity in a world that continuously denies them help.

This month has been the hardest and darkest time of my life. This is because I lost my beloved mother. It has been really difficult but I am taking things a day at a time. My family and God are there for me through this difficult time. In addition, I will continue to be grateful for PDAid Foundation’s and Kilimanjaro Initiative’s tremendous support for my education.

July 2022

Diana

Nevertheless, I am glad it has come to an end and I will now take a much-needed break.

This month, I took part in a tree planting activity at my university. The tree planting program was a learning opportunity that got us students involved in the environment and conservation of our natural resources. These school tree planting projects connect students to the benefits of trees and foster environmental stewardship. Tree planting is a great way to increase student interest in their local environment and achieve academic goals. I enjoyed it.

It has been a busy month because of the exams, but I am glad I am done. I am relaxing now and I am generally in good spirits and happy.

June 2022

Diana

I have attended all the classes. In regard to assignments, I have completed all the work-based assignments, classroom assessment techniques (CATs) and group work for the six units I am doing. I am waiting for the lecturers to post the marks on the portal.

This month for our community service unit, we chose to donate to another children’s home called “Miale ya Tumaini” for our cause to give back to the community. We donated food to the center. I found the experience to be really fulfilling. I look forward to being committed to such noble causes in the future. They give me a sense of purpose, and they are personally very rewarding.

I have been doing OK in general, coping with challenges as they come. In terms of mood, I am joyful and content.

May 2022

Diana

My favorite units for this semester include entrepreneurship, networking and community service. I especially love networking because it will equip me with networking skills that will help me in both my social and professional life. Community service is also very practical, and I am delighted to give back to the community.

Together with my schoolmates, I visited Liberty Children’s Home this month and donated food to the center. It was a heartwarming experience. We interacted with the orphans, and we even got to learn from their touching stories and experience.

I was somewhat stressed with last semester’s exams, but I am currently feeling much better. I am happy to begin a new semester once again. In addition, I hope to accomplish my personal goals that I have set for this coming month.

April 2022

Diana

In the meanwhile, I have been registering the units of the next semester. The exams were somewhat tough, but I gave it my best.

Now that I am free from schoolwork, I have been visiting a children home and donated old clothes. Whenever I get the chance to interact with the children through short conversations, I do it as I find it enjoyable and hilarious.

In general, I feel like the semesters are going too fast which is exciting but also quite overwhelming. Nevertheless, I am A-okay. I honestly can’t complain. The two weeks break was highly required because I needed to rejuvenate myself and relax. I have been taking my time to unwind and it has honestly been rewarding for my mental and physical health.

March 2022

Diana

I am now preparing for my end of semester exams which is schedule to begin in April 4th. I enjoyed this semester’s classes. They were very interactive and fun.

As libraries have given me so many books for free, I wanted to give some back to them. Thus, I chose to donate some of my old story books to a library this month.

I am quite overwhelmed at the moment because of the exams but for the most part I am doing fine. In addition, I have been feeling optimistic about the future.

February 2022

Diana

I am remaining with only one unit. The lecturers are almost winding up most of this semester’s classes and I presume that I will be done with all my classes by mid-March.

This month, I visited a children’s home and donated clothes together with my sister and friend. It is an activity we do every once in a while. It brings me a lot of joy and whenever I get the chance I like to give back to such organizations.

I am doing OK in general. I am managing stress better thanks to the mentoring program. I am also excited that I will be done with almost all of my classes by the end of the year. This is keeping me motivated. Overall, I have been optimistic about the future and try to live more in the present.

January 2022

Diana

We have already been assigned with term papers and work-based assignments and I am working on them.

I have been taking care of the environment around me. Together with my friends, I have been taking part in watering the newly planted trees in my school. I find this necessary especially during this dry season. The importance of watering trees will shape our urban forest for the years to come, and I am thus delighted to be taking part in this activity.

I have been doing fine in general. I have been in good spirits for the past weeks. The short holiday was very enjoyable and relaxing. It was highly required because I needed to rejuvenate myself and relax after the exams.

December 2021

Diana

I feel good about the year for the most part. So far, I have done a total of 21 units – with seven units for each semester. I am expected to begin a new semester in the new year which will be my second year at the Management university of Africa.

This month, I joined-up with some of my neighborhood friends and collected litter in our neighborhood. It was such a satisfactory activity. It made me more conscious of my environment and not to litter unconsciously.

I have been in good spirits since finishing my exams. I am glad the year is coming to an end. I honestly think I have become better at dealing with stress after the mentorship programme. I have been taking my time to unwind, and it has honestly been rewarding for my mental and physical health.

November 2021

Diana

I enjoyed majority of the units and classes for this semester. I hope I will perform well.

This month, I decided to clean the environment. I teamed up with my neighbors and picked up litter. It is usually a community activity and when I get the time love to participate in it. It has taught me to care for the environment in general and as an individual to make sustainable and renewable choices that will help preserve crucial resources.

I am doing fine in general. I am excited to finish the semester and looking forward to spending more time with my family and friends during this holiday season. I am also excited for the new year. Exams can be quite stressful, but I think am I managing quite well.

October 2021

Diana

I am now preparing to do the end of semester exams which is scheduled to begin the end of next month. I feel like the whole semester is flying by so fast.

This month, I attended a public lecture hosted by the school. The topic of discussion was “Youth and social media”. They discussed both the positive and negative impact that social media has on youth. The lecture was able to shade light on some of the major impact social media has and how the youth can leverage on the opportunities it presents while also trying to lessen its negative effects. The lecture was informative.

I am doing fine in general although I was somewhat busy with school this month; group work, writing essay, CATs and proposals. I had a lot on my plate – and trying to strike a balance between school and other activities has been a bit difficult. But now things are much better and less stressful.

September 2021

Diana

I have been helping the homeless people on the street I walk by on my way to school by donating some money to them. I have been looking at what I can provide; I can try to help them in whatever way I can. I understand that we must support people who live with adversity in a world that continuously denies them help.

I am ok. I have just been busy with school, but generally I have been feeling energized and cheerful. Also, I am trying to find a balance between school life and my social life which can sometimes be a challenge. I know it is important to properly manage both areas in order to get the most from my education, for example by focusing on school matters when necessary, but also provide my mind and body with the breaks that are needed to refresh and recharge.

August 2021

Diana

The semester was overall ok, and I enjoyed most of my classes.

This month, I took part in tree planting activity at my university. The tree planting program was a learning opportunity that got us students involved in the environment and conservation of our natural resources. These school tree planting projects educate students about the benefits of trees and foster environmental stewardship. Tree planting is a great way to increase the students’ interest in their local environment and achieve academic goals. I enjoyed it.

It has been a busy month because of the exams. Unlike the previous semester where I did the exams in 1 weeks one, this semester I did it in 3 weeks but am glad that I am done. I am relaxing now, and I am generally happy and in a good mood.

July 2021

Diana

I find the units I took this semester very practical and helpful. I especially seem to enjoy one unit about leadership and ethics. They are instilling me with practical knowledge about the corporate world and ethical leadership that will guide me in my future career.

Earlier this month, I visited a children’s home around my neighborhood to donate my old clothes. I also got spend some few hours with the children. It was wonderful to get to know them, their aspirations and dreams. I had a wonderful time.

In general, I have been doing fine. I feel good in general. I have come to realized I find joy in the little things. Thus, I have grown to appreciate them. One of my favorite quotes I remind myself about each day is “when each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives everyday: that the sun rises.”

June 2021

Diana

They will leave us two weeks to revise for the end of semester exams which will commence on 2nd August. In regard to assignments, I have completed almost all the work-based assignments, cats and groupwork for the 7 units I am doing.

This month, I decided to give back to my community by donating my high school and primary textbooks and hand-written notes to an old friend who has two younger siblings that are still in school. I had carefully stored them for years to the point that I started hoarding them. I realized that it will be of more sentimental value if I donated to help someone else rather than the books just sitting in a box.

In general, I have been doing ok and coping with challenges as they come. Although I have been busy, I try to set time for self-care. In terms of mood, I feel joyful and contentment.

May 2021

Diana

We started learning and some lecturers have even already assigned term papers and work-based assignment. I am working on them at the moment. We have been assigned some assignments that we have to do as a group, and this has been really helpful. Working as a team helps one to get different perspectives on a topic and enhances my interpersonal skills.

In my free time, I have planted a tree in my neighborhood together with a of my friends. The benefits of trees are endless. Trees contribute to the environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, conserving water, preserving soil and supporting wildlife. I love taking care of plants and I will be watering the tree regularly.

In general, I am doing fine. I feel like I have become better at dealing with stress after the mentorship program. Sophie, my mentor, played a big role in helping me become a better version of myself.

April 2021

Diana

Meanwhile, I have been registering the units of the next semester. The exams where ok, and I did my best. I hope I performed better when they are posted in the portal.

I have been practicing social distancing and staying at home. Nairobi is the epicenter of the corona pandemic in Kenya. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important that I take the steps to protect myself and others to protect health services and save lives.

In general, I am okay. I honestly cannot complain. The 3 weeks break was highly required because I needed to rejuvenate myself and relax. I have been taking my time to unwind, and it has honestly been rewarding for my mental and physical health.

March 2021

Diana

We finished all of our cats and assignments. The lecturers have done a good job, and we have covered all of the units for this semester. I am currently studying for the end of semester exams.

In relation to my community activities, I joined up with some of my neighborhood friends and collected litter in our neighborhood. It was such a satisfactory activity. It made me to be more conscious of my environment and not to litter unconsciously.

In general, I am doing ok. I am managing my stress better thanks to the mentoring program. Overall, I have been optimistic about the future and try to be more in the present.

January 2021

Diana

I am very excited to start school as this will set out a new purpose for me. Productivity is a big deal for me and if I do not accomplishing something, I feel like I am just a waste of space.

Some of the courses I am studying are really practical and helpful, in particular these two: logical and creative thinking and introduction to ethics. I know they will instill in me knowledge that I can apply in the long run. We are doing some assignments in groups and it is really interactive. The teachers are experienced, and their teaching methods are helpful and practical too.

During the month, I donated old clothes to a children home around my neighborhood.

My spirit has been good, and I have adjusted my life in terms of my school life. And generally, I have been happy because of the scholarship.

April 2020

Sharon

I am using this time to focus on my studies by studying on the internet and revising my books. This year, I am supposed to sit for my end of course exams after doing my attachment. This final exam will determine if I will graduate or not and thereby finish my certificate course. My exams will have to be booked and paid for early in advance. If I pass my exams, I would really love to continue with my Diploma course. This increases the chances of me getting a good job in one of the biggest hotels around the world. I am learning new recipes every day, and this prepares me for the future. I love cooking with passion, and it is up to me to do everything so that it fits in the industry. When this pandemic ends, I will resume my studies in the industry where I will have to learn more under a supervision of managers. I will get job experience and learn more about hospitality. This is a new phase in my life, and I am looking forward to putting more effort into it.

I have not been participating in any activities in my community due to the current situation. I just do exercise at home and sometimes make beads on my free time. I run every day in the mornings since it is a part of handball exercise, and it is also healthy.

This month has been tough due to the current pandemic. Life has been hard since my parents have to stay at home without going to work. They only do laundry for people once in a while in order to earn a living. My dad is a driver in one of the schools. Since the schools are closed, he no longer works. He only waits for a call once in a while to get something to do and earn a living too. When I see that things like this happen, it motivates me to work harder so that I can raise my family from poverty one day.

I am proceeding well with mentorship and my mentor taught me to always think of the brighter side even when days are tough, and this is what have been making me strong after seeing all this happening to my family and more so my community. I am grateful for my health and well-being of my family. I hope that things will go back to the way they were before.

Since COVID-19, the life in the slums is not easy. Some people here do not take the measures that the government wants, some are ignorant, and some cannot afford items such as sanitizers and clean water to keep us clean. I can tell you that the slums life with COVID-19 is not easy and as you can see in the news; Kibera is becoming a red zone for the pandemic.

This current situation has given me a depression and I overthink, but I am grateful for my mentor who has been helping me through this.

March 2020

Sharon

I was supposed to do my end of term exams in March, and then join my attachment in the beginning of April-June, but it was impossible.

I am still continuing with my studies at home while waiting to hear from the government. We are still continuing with our revision from home and our teachers send us assignments via what sup group. I have been going through my recipes and learning more from the internet, doing the practical things at home is a challenge since I do not have the resources.

I was so excited to go for attachment since I have to face a new phase in life. I have to wait for my attachment since no hotels are open in our country. The attachment was important if I were to increase my chances of winning a job at the particular establishment. I believe that this crisis will come to an end and that we will have the chance to resume with our daily activities. I am using this time to recover and reflect on what I have been doing at school for the past two years since I am free most of the time. I usually write everything in my diary to keep me in the right track.

I have been playing handball together with my friends in our community since we have nothing else to do. What we are doing the most during this pandemic is taking the measures that the government has directed, i.e. social distancing, washing our hands thoroughly and staying at home.

This month has been quite good, but I am grateful for my health. When the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Kenya early in march, I was shocked since I come from one of the biggest slums in Africa where the virus could spread easily, and I knew that we could be the most affected since we do not have whatever the government is urging us to do – for example; our houses are near each other, we cannot do social distancing, our environment is not clean for us to have running water for washing our hands, getting water is a challenge in our area, we share toilets and bathrooms so this makes us worry a lot. Staying at home especially for our parents is a challenge too because they cannot stay at home; they have to go out and look for something to feed the family with. We pray to God that the virus does not spread easily.

This crisis has made everything stand still since, even my parents are now struggling to feed our family since there are no jobs now. So many people, even in our country, have lost their jobs including my parents.

We hope for the best since things are getting worse. I have never seen such pandemic in my life. I am even beginning to be stressed, but I hope for the best.

February 2020

Sharon

I will proceed for attachment which will take 3 months (April-June). Thereafter, I will have my final exams in July. I am so excited. I am seeing myself moving somewhere and also growing. I have learned different things in school and also in life. Being with people from different cultures and backgrounds has really changed me a lot in a positive way. My end of semester exams will determine if I will proceed and get a diploma. Our teachers are working hard and are providing us with lots of projects and assignments which makes us busy, but also prepared for our exams.

After doing my final exams, I will graduate and wait for my results. The results will determine if am going to proceed with my diploma in food production and beverages. Our final exams are imported from London.

In this semester, we will be going for 2 excursion trips. The trips are compulsory for every student who will proceed for attachment next semester (April-June).

I am praying that I pass my exams and proceed with my diploma since I have realized that in our country when someone does any course at certificate level it becomes hard for him/her to get employment, but a diploma level might make someone lucky to find a job.

This month I have not managed to attend any community activity since I have been very busy at school with projects and clearing. I have been doing my workouts, jogging and morning run, but I have not visited my handball team.

Whenever I am free, I still make sure that I visit the children home that is near my school. Last weekend, we visited the home with my friends, and we shared our precious time with the little kids at the home. Among many activities, we plaited the kid’s hair, played with them and feed them. Also, we save our money in order to buy some clothing for the children at the home – this is a way of giving back to the community.

I have enjoyed every day this month. I am learning new things and I keep on telling myself that every day is a learning day. Some of the things that I have learned more about include time management, spending time alone, attitude and self-discipline. I never used to keep time, but as of now I can really say that I have managed keeping time. Most of the time, I spend my time alone. I have realized that if you are alone you can learn new things that have never come your way. It is also a good way of evaluating yourself, and it also helps you to get to know yourself better. I have also learned that attitude is very important – people will judge you according to your attitude. I have learned to have a positive mind; self-discipline is also key and without it you will never go anywhere. Generally, I have decided to keep off things that do not add value in my life and concentrate on things that will help me.

Sometimes in life a person feels demoralized by life itself, but someone needs to be stronger for a better future. This is a good way of taking life easily, since nowadays depression is knocking on people’s door very easily so one must be prepared mentally.

January 2020

Sharon

We have been provided with projects, assignments and recipes, and I am studying very hard because this exam determines whether I will graduate or not. After the exams in July, it is time for graduation and then I will be done with my Certificate course in food production. I am so excited to proceed for an attachment since I know I will learn a lot about recipes and cultural foods around the world. The most amazing thing about hospitality is meeting new people from different places.

During the past year and a half, I have learnt that time is money, and it goes so fast. If you are not keen, you will waste a lot of time. Wasted time is something we will never get back. I have learned that I have to do the right thing at the right time. I thank God since I am doing the right thing that brought me to school and this education. Most of my friends have different career dreams and expectations that they would like to meet, but it is a pity. Most of them have engaged themselves in bad life and bad company that leave them with regret and guilt. Some of them are pregnant with men who cannot even cater for the needs of the kid. I have also seen others being expelled in school due to lack of discipline. School made me learn that time and hard work are the most important things in life. We have been having professional talks, guidance and counseling every week which has been helping me as an individual.

Handball is my favorite game. I have been participating handball since I was in high school. Whenever I am free, I visit the children’s homes near our school where we volunteer, feed the young kids, make their hair and play with them.

As time goes by, I am learning new things and becoming more mature. This year, I made new resolutions about time management, self-discipline and many more. They have already been helping me since the year begun. Reaching this far has been hard, but I have learned so many lessons – for instance to never give up, never follow or do what my friends are doing if am not happy. Unless I am doing it from my heart, and it is the right thing. I have been making my own choices, and this year I am looking forward to making wise choices.

Sometimes staying alone for a while makes you see life in a different perspective, and it also helps you to make the right decision. In the next five years to come, I want to be working in one if the biggest hotels and thereafter run my own business. To do all this, I need to be humble, work hard, take care of myself and have self-discipline. Hospitality is a great course. It is all about passion which I already have. I cannot forget to thank PDAid foundation in partnership with Kilimanjaro Initiative for making my dream come true.

December 2019

Sharon

Next semester, which begins in January 2020 and ends in March 2020, I will almost be done with my Certificate Course. From January to March, I will have to do my final internal exams. Thereafter, I will go for my attachment for 3 months which starts from April 2020 to June 2020. After my attachment, I will do my final exams in July and graduate – and I will be through with my Certificate Course. I am looking forward to doing my best in my final exams – so help me God. It has really helped me a lot being in hospitality and management. It is beneficial that I do not have to be employed. I can even start my own hotel and manage it using the skills that I have gained. I have been reading recipes from different sites and writing them for future reference. I have also been studying German. We have three lessons for languages in a week, and the exams are both oral and written. We are also provided with ICT lessons and first aid which can be applied basically.

I have been playing handball together with some other girls. It has helped a lot. These girls do not only play, but they also do some exercises purposely for fitness which helps to avoid some diseases such as diabetes. We also counsel each other since we always have counselors coming to teach us in our school, so we are using the same knowledge to our friends too.

I have been working on some resolutions which I intend to set in the coming year. Some of my resolutions is to work harder and cracking obstacles that might hinder me from working hard and working on time management. During the December holiday, I spent Christmas with my family including my parents, aunts and cousin. It was one of the best moments ever. We shared meals and spent most of the time together.

2020 is going to be a great year since I am going to see another phase of life. I will be working in catering management, seeing different people and learning more skills. The resolutions that I have set is to change into a better person to help me grow up and see life in a different way. Success starts with self-discipline, determination and setting goals.

November 2019

Sharon

We are provided with assignments that help us revising and predicting the questions that will come to exams. This semester has been fun. We went on two trips. We visited one of the biggest hotels in Kenya which is located in Naivasha. We did a tour to their kitchen departments. I learned a lot in their kitchen. We also learnt more on front office, housekeeping which is among the hospitality management. We also visited one of the parks in Mount Kenya regional which I found exciting because I was exposed to nature.

Next semester begins in January and ends in March. I will be sitting for external exams in March. Thereafter, I will start my attachment for three months (April-June) and after the attachment, I will be done with my Certificate course. I am working hard every day since my main exams are almost coming to an end. I am also still doing great on my internal exams. I have passed in most of my unit. Next semester we will also be needed to go for one excursion trip which is mandatory to all the students as to complete the course.

I have been participating in handball games in the nearby school. Since I was in high school, this has been my main game and it still is to this day. I still love the game. Whenever I am free, I visit the children’s homes near our school where we volunteer, feed the young kids, make their hair and play with them.

I am learning a lot as time goes by. Staying by myself all the time has made me see life in a different perspective. In the next 5 years to come, I want to be working in one of the biggest hotels and also run my own business. I have learnt that in order to achieve all this, one must be hardworking, discipline and humble. Hospitality is a great course. I did not realize I had a passion for cooking until I joined college. Thank you PDAid Foundation and Kilimanjaro Initiative for making it happen.

October 2019

Sharon

I have gotten my end of semesters exams results, and I am happy that I did great in my exams apart from a few units which I did not pass well as expected, but I thank God. I tried my best.

I have been revising for my end of Certificate exams which will be done next year in March 2020. The exams are always being sent to London and thereafter taken back for marking. I am working hard every day since time goes by so quickly. I am only left with few months, and I will be done with my Certificate course which I hope that I will pass with flying colors. However, we are always provided with assignments at the end of every lesson so that we can prepare for the forth coming exams. We have been doing research in various fields – and this keeps us open minded about everything, not only in culinary arts, but also in daily life activities.

This semester, I must attend at least two trips (excursions & craft) which is part of course work. If I do not attend these trips I might not graduate, and my course will not be completed – this means I will not even get the certificate.

I am getting familiar with the languages provided in the school, and I find it interesting. I also want to take this opportunity to thank PDAid foundation in partnership with Kilimanjaro Initiative for making this happen.

I have also been improving on my exercises. I have been playing handball with my neighboring school which has been great for all of us since we play together – and not only do we play, but we also interact and get to know each other. We also give advice to young youths and teenagers in our team.

What I learn every day is that the future holds a lot and life has more to offer. Being successful is what makes you have anything that life offers you including a lavish life – this motivates and encourages me to work hard. Every day, I have the opportunity and chance to do better than yesterday. I thank PDAid Foundation for making it happen and for giving me the chance to see life in a different way. I also thank Kilimanjaro Initiative for giving me a chance to be one of them in this journey.

September 2019

Sharon

I reported back to school late this semester due to unavoidable circumstances, so I missed some of the classes. But all in all, I managed and tried my best to catch up for what I lost.

We are provided with a lot of assignments and research. I have been learning new recipes every day and working on them since we are provided with a lot of theory and practicals at school. We are therefore allowed to research on new recipes. It feels great to be in school of hospitality because it is what I have always wanted in life. I love cooking with passion and being in a hospitality environment. I found a great opportunity to explore different fields in hospitality such as tourism, housekeeping, front office and many more. I also have friends who study other courses that are different from mine, and I see them fairing on well like me so that means that I chose the course that I wanted in life.

I am also learning foreign languages like German, French etc. and I am progressing well. l am getting familiar with the languages provided in school. I also want to take this opportunity to thank PDAid Foundation in partnership with Kilimanjaro Initiative for making this happen.

I have been participating in handball games since I was in high school, and it is now one of my favorite games. I have not managed to visit my PSS group since I am very busy with my classes. Whenever I am free, I visit the children’s homes near our school where we volunteer and feed the young kids. We also make their hair and play with them.

In general, this month has been great. As time goes by, I am realizing that am learning a lot of things. My mind is also expanding since I am around different people with different backgrounds. Life in college is very hard and sometimes if you do not focus you might lose. I keep telling myself that I come from a poor background, and that I will not allow peer pressure to destroy my future. Sometimes, I do not mingle with people who come from rich backgrounds because they can somehow discourage you. I do not let people know more about me – some may share my story or even take advantage of me.

Most of my classmates have dropped school due to peer pressure. Some have started abusing drugs and most of them are pregnant. From this, I have learned that college life can really destroy your future if you engage in bad company. Thanks to my mentor for giving me guidance and counseling.

August 2019

Sharon

These exams will be end of first semester in certificate course. I am very prepared for the exams. I am doing research and learning more recipes everyday which will definitely help me in the future and more so when I start working. I am left with only two semesters – this semester and next semester which starts in January and ends in April 2020. I will therefore do my final exams in April 2020, and then my school will provide me an internship.

I am still learning German as my foreign language and its quite good. I already know how to introduce myself, count numbers, the days of the week and many other things in German. I am also getting some help from my friend who is German.

My last course results are out, and I did well according to my strength. I am willing to work more than I scored on my next semesters exam because this is my only chance to success. I can do more and work harder since I am only in school for a while, so I have to put in all my effort. Next month, we will have school trips and I must attend one of them. If I fail that, I will not be getting a certificate because they will write in my certificate course that it is “not completed”.

It has been a while since I participated in psychosocial support. I only join my friends at the nearest school to train and play handball. I jog every morning and walk for long distances. Due to a busy school schedule, my time is limited, but whenever I am free, I sometimes pass by and see how they are doing.

I have been doing well in terms of moods and spirit. Generally, this month has been great. I have been keeping myself off bad friends and bad choices. Since I am still growing up and learning a lot, I am now realizing more about myself. I want to be a successful woman, so I have to start working on it now. I have been visiting websites that counsel people especially in college and it is very educative. I can learn many things about both my social and private life.

July 2019

Sharon

We have different units which I am taking, for example Information Communication and Technology and German language, which is very fun. I can pronounce and write some words in German. At the end of this course, I will be able to speak German. We are provided with three languages (German, French or Chinese), and we are supposed to pick one. At first, I was confused on what language to choose, but I have a friend who lives in Germany and helps me learn German. That’s why I decided to choose German. In general, I have gained more knowledge in school.

I have also been working on some new recipes which I learned on the Internet. My last course results are out, and I did well according to my strength. I am willing to work more than I scored because this is my only chance to success. I can do more and work harder since I am only in school for a while, and I have to put my mind in it. I will be sharing my school result as soon as possible.

I am still participating in psychosocial support and doing workouts, for example I jog every morning and walk for long distances which is healthy for me. I have also been playing handball with my friends from the neighboring school. When am done with my school, I know I will be the best player in hand ball in our PSS group. Starting this month, I am not able to attend the games since I have resumed classes now.

In general, I have been doing well. I have been thinking about my life especially when it comes to my social life. I have been cautious since some of my schoolmates have dropped out of school due to peer pressure and joining bad company. Most of them have become victims of early pregnancies so I decided to make a decision – I want to be on my own and study hard because the outcomes are tough when joining bad company. I have learned to choose friends wisely and realize my purpose and most of all dignity as a young lady. We have counselors who come to counsel us in school. This has helped me as a teenager and has helped me create new paths.

May 2019

Sharon

Last week, I went back to school to clear and check my exams results. I am supposed to get the results before I start my Certificate Course in July. I was happy about the results since I did well in all three semesters in my Artisan course. I will be sharing my exams results as soon as I get the transcript performance. I have some problems with clearing, but once I manage to clear everything with the school, I will complete my Artisan course this month, and thereafter start my Certificate course in July.

The school has changed its uniform color, and we were asked to buy new ones. I will also be required to renew my school ID, food handler certificate and good conduct certificate.

I am still participating in psychosocial support and doing workouts that are healthy for me. This month, I have not been meeting with my fellow members due to my three months school attachment, but whenever I am free, we meet and make beads and door marts. We also play handball which feels great.

My mood has not been quite good since I lost my grandmother last month which hurts me so much. I felt so down – I have never been this down before in my whole life. She was like a mother to me, and she was the one who brought me up when I was young and taught me a lot of morals. She also provided me with basic needs and supported me financially in order to help me with school activities.

When I heard the sad news, I felt like giving up because it breaks me to see my family suffer, especially my mother and siblings. But I had to be strong for my mother and siblings since I am the oldest. I believe that I will be a successful woman one day and bring happiness to my mother and siblings so they can forget all the pain they went through.

I believe everything happens for a reason, and I told myself to not give up because life is not easy. I will do my best in my studies in order to make my life and future brighter. I believe I will change my family's life and give them a better one.

April 2019

Sharon

I am attached in a bakery where we bake bread which is always distributed in big towns like Nairobi. It is such a wonderful experience. I am gaining job experience, and it will contribute to the future working place. I have learned a lot in the bakery, and I am looking forward to working hard and learning more. Being in the hospitality department is a wonderful experience – mostly when it comes to food production. I am passionate about cooking which is why I decided to do bakery and pastry.

Being in Amboseli from July last year has made me a great cook, and I believe that I am going to be a great chef in the future. I really thank PDAid Foundation and Kilimanjaro Initiative (KI) for making it happen. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was a great experience, and I am most of all grateful that I have met new people.

I am still participating in psychosocial support. I am into doing workouts that are healthy for me. This month, I have not been meeting with my fellow members due to internship, but whenever I am free, we meet and make beads, door mats and play handball which feels great.

In general, I am learning a lot about the outside world. I meet different people every day. I am spending most of my time by myself which has changed me, so now I can choose my friends more wisely.

March 2019

Sharon

On Tuesday last week, I finished my end of semester exams, and I will be starting my long holiday in April. The holiday goes on until June, and hereafter I will be doing my attachment. The teachers are helping us with some of the ideas of how we can make the most of our time during the long holidays. They have suggested that I should try to find a hotel to do my attachment during this period, as this will help me learn more and gain experience.

The exam that I just did will determine whether I will proceed with my certificate course in food production or not, but I am positive and am already looking for a hotel where I will do my attachment. I look very much forward to getting one which will let me develop my skills further.

I am still playing handball with my friends and participating in psychosocial support. We meet and play handball near my school. To stay fit and prepared, I am also doing other physical activities such as walking to and from school from time to time.

I have been doing great, and I am happy that I have come to the end of semester. I know that I will now face another life out of school for 3 months and do my attachment. Finding an attachment is not always easy but hope and trust I will find one. I am very pleased to think about the things that I will learn during such a placement, as I am sure that when I start my attachment, I will gain more experience and skills.

I am looking forward to learning more recipes and even inventing my own. Cooking has been something that I have been passionate about for a long time and that I enjoy doing. I am very grateful to pdaidfoundation and Kilimanjaro Initiative for making my dream come true.

February 2019

Sharon

Our teachers focus on preparing us the best way possible for the test and we work with assignments similar to the ones that might come in our exams. I am determined on getting a good result as this semester’s exams will determine if I will proceed with my certificate course or not.

My fellow students and I have formed study groups in which we revise together. This way, we will be mentally prepared when the exam comes. Another great tool for expanding my knowledge and preparing for the exam is my new phone. By using it to connect to the internet, I am able to find and learn new recipes which is great since I am able to extend my knowledge beyond what I am taught in school.

It feels like this semester was very short since we had to attend many practical lessons before we are going for three months long holidays. Moreover, we had to attach ourselves to some hotels or even bakeries for experience.

I am still participating in psychosocial support group and play handball with my friends near the school. We are quite focused on staying fit and prepared so we also engage in other physical activities. Sometimes, I walk back and forth to school as part of my work out routine. Together with my friends, I also still make beads and mats from time to time, but as I spend many hours on studying and attending classes, I do not have a lot of time to be creative.

Overall, I would say that I am doing great. I am gaining much valuable experience in the outside world through the people I meet daily. I am very focused on avoiding bad company as I have seen some of my schoolmates getting involved with people who use drugs and show bad behavior and from my experience, these mates end up getting lost. I want a successful life after completing the course and this involves staying away from such bad company.

January 2019

Sharon

We get assignments every day to keep us focused and prepared, and as in the previous semester, the assignments are compiled and added to our end of semester grade. The teachers are very friendly and they make our work easy, and actually, it almost feel like we are being taught by our friends.

This semester I am supposed to attend two trips as part of the course work. Failure to attend the trips will cause a “course not completed”-mark in my certificate and I would have to repeat the course. Therefore, it is very important to me to join the trips.

If all goes as planned, I will be through with my Artisan course in March 2019 and then we will have a long holiday break (April 2019 and end in June 2019) after which I will join my certificate course for 9 months starting in July 2019.

As mentioned, this is the final semester in Cookery and Artisan and I have been busy with classes, and I need to work very hard to pass my exams. But, this also meant that I have not been able to spend time with my fellow psychosocial support team this month. Hopefully, I will have more time when the semester finishes.

Even though it was busy, it has been a great month both at home and at school, and I feel good. I would like to highlight a seminar that I participated in last weekend, when Judy from Kilimanjaro Initiative invited me for a seminar about how girls in the community are neglected. I really learned a lot and I was shocked that so many girls are still struggling so much both with for example affording school fees but also very basic things as for example buying sanitary towels.

That topic really touched me a lot and one day, I wish to be able support as many girls as possible the way PDAID Foundation and Kilimanjaro Initiative supported me. I don’t know where I would be without them.

December 2018

Benta

DecemberBefore I was cleared for graduation, I did a project on why families and marriages break and on the effect it has on the children. I had fun with this one because I could relate very much to it. Actually, it felt like it was the story of my life and I was able to use my own story and experience as part of the research.

On the more personal level, I cannot say that this year has been without drama and I experienced both heartache and loss, but they made me more resilient.

I have high hopes that next year will be great and my birthday on the 12 th of this month will mark a new part of my life as post graduate. I got a job with Kilimanjaro Initiative and I am very excited about it! We will be starting a mentorship program in Kibera slums as of January 2019 and I cannot wait to get it going.

I want to really thank Dennis Nielsen for putting me through school and Timothy Challen for guiding me in the right path. I am so proud to have been a part of PDAid Foundation as one of its first mentees. Everyone who helped me along the way has my deepest respect.

When all comes to all, I would like to think of this journey as my success story and I am confident that if I did it, every other mentee will too.

Sharon

Generally, I find that our teachers are very strict with the assignments but I see it as a good thing as everything is compiled and added in our end of semester exams. This means that we have to work hard and also attend as many lessons as possible as failure to do so and to do assignments can cause expulsion from school.

The school also initiates other activities for us such as sessions with motivational speakers and counselors as well as trips and excursions. These are part of coursework for all students and failure to attend any activities or trips also mean that you might not get to complete your course and graduate.

This month, we had December holiday and to make sure we stay focused on school during this period, the teachers provided us with many assignments to finish. I will be back in school to start the new semester on January 3 and finish my Artisan course on March 27. The plan after this is first to enjoy a long holiday break and then I will join my certificate course in July.

Generally, I am grateful to be enrolled in school. Other people my age have very different destinies – some have had children at an early age, others have married very young and others end up as criminals. There is a saying that goes “an idle mind is the devils workshop” and I see why. It seems to me that many youth nowadays are idle and end up with a drug abuse among other vices, which can lead some to commit suicide because they lose hope in their life.

As Kibera is clearly not the safest place to have an idle mind, I am very happy I got the opportunity to go to school and that I have my future in my own hands. I look forward to finishing school and I want to find a good job for myself – sometimes I even dream of starting my own business and be the boss. But right now, my ambition is to get a job and earn money so I can take my siblings to school and build a house for my parents.

In relation to spare time activities, this month has been great since I had the chance to spend more time with my fellow members of Psychosocial Support because the school was closed for Christmas holiday. We have played handball almost every evening and have spent time on making beads such as bands and necklaces.

I am still exercising each morning to stay fit and typically, I vary between jogging and walking long distances instead of taking a bus.

Overall, I would say that I am feeling good. In terms of private life, December has been fantastic since the holiday from school made it possible to go and visit parts of my family that I had not seen for a long time. We travelled from our home to the natives where my grandmother lives together with our aunts and cousins. It was a lot of fun to see them and celebrate Christmas and New Year's Eve together.

Speaking of New Year, I made some resolutions for 2019, and I would like to tell you about them here. I want to start doing some things differently, and I have decided that I want to do much more revision than ever and also, I want to engage in other activities such as visiting the orphans and sharing with them like a lot of my friends also do.

November 2018

Sharon Wambui

Our teachers are very strict with these assignments, as all of them will be complied with our end of semester exams. Of course, this means that we work even harder because failure to do the assignments will result in failing the exams. The teachers help us meet all deadlines as they work hard to make sure that all students are doing what they are supposed to do and on particular time.

Twice a week, motivational speakers come to talk to us and discuss different topics. These topics include for example drug abuse and prostitution. To me, this idea of bringing the motivational teachers to school is the best one ever since it helps people improve their lives.

In my spare time, I am still participating in Psychosocial Support (P.S.S). I also still go to the neighboring school to train handball and sometimes I play with my fellow members at school. Besides playing handball, I stay fit through a daily morning routine of running or jogging.

When all comes to all, this month has being great at school and at home. I am very happy because I am doing great with studies and I have good friends who are there for me. In moods and spirit, I feel really great since I learn new things as days go by and I have also overcome some challenges like staying away from bad company. I learned that bad company can really mess up your life in a blink of an eye, and therefore I now prefer staying alone. I went to school alone and I am going to finish school alone so my future is on my hands.

On another note, I am looking forward for December holiday so I can go home and help my mother in her small, recently opened business where she sells vegetables and fruit. The December holiday also means that I will have time to visit my grandmother in upcountry and I cannot wait to go.

I take this opportunity to wish you merry Christmas and prosperous New Year and to thank you for the support as I continue with my studies.

October 2018

Sharon

I am still participating in P.S.S and play handball. I enjoy handball very much and play with both members from the school and from the town nearby at the local sports field there. Occasionally, I train with our neighboring school to get some extra exercise.

Generally, I am doing all right and this month has been good at school. I still miss my family but I am learning to cope with the situation. This month, I lost two people that I was very close to and therefore, it has been rough on the private level. But luckily, I have good friends who helped me overcome the challenges and I am now starting to feel better and I am sure that I will be able to move on.

September 2018

Sharon

SeptemberThe past month, I have continued my participation in the Psychosocial support programme (PSS) in my spare time, and as a group, we are thriving. In addition, I still play handball with my fellow members at school and I enjoy it a lot.

In general, I am doing fine. This month has being great at school but I must admit that sometimes I miss my family. I know that I will get used to living alone as time goes by, but because I used to see my family every day, I suppose it is only natural that I feel a bit lonely every now and then. However, I keep my spirits up and focus on the fact that I am happy with how school is going.

August 2018

Sharon

I visit my group which is Psycho-social support programme, supported by KI (PSS) as often I can. I used to play handball in a local club, but because handball training and the PSS group sometimes overlap, I have started training in the neighboring school, Mount Kenya University. This way, I can attend both the group and handball practice.

I am actually doing fine, though it’s a bit cold at school. Sometime back, I was feeling a little bit confused since the school was far away from home and I wasn’t familiar to this particular environment and friends in our school, but as soon as I got used to the environment and friends, my moods and spirit came back. Early this month, I made new friends, who have really helped me overcome some major challenges that I face in my life like giving up easily. I would like to appreciate the support I get from Kilimanjaro Initiative and Phoenix Design Aid Foundation thank you for giving me the chance - I really appreciate it.

February 2018

Benta

At the moment, I am volunteering with New Life children’s home.

Generally, I am doing fine. Sometime back I was feeling a bit lost and misplaced in my own life but I managed to sort through my feelings.

Earlier this month, a new friend I made at the JENGA V workshop invited me to a seminar held at the UN grounds organized by an organization called Global Trauma Project. The organizers spoke about LEADERSHIP, LEARNING AND TRAUMA. I was very glad to be a part of it.

January 2018

Benta

I am volunteering with New Life children’s home at the moment and you can read more about them at this website: http://www.newlifehometrust.org/index.php/care-for-kids/in-our-baby-homes/in-nairobi-kilimani-home

I am generally doing okay. I will be attending the JENGA V International training workshop from the 1st to 3rd of February so I am looking forward to that. I hope to learn a lot from it as it touches on what I am studying in school. I want to thank Kilimanjaro Initiative for sponsoring the training.

December 2017

Benta

I am volunteering for New Life children’s home at the moment. You can read more about them @ www.newlifehometrust.org/index.php/care-for-kids/in-our-baby-homes/in-nairobi-kilimani-home

Generally, I’m great, turned a year older, looking forward to next year with renewed hope of a better future and life, probably say goodbye to some things and come up with new resolutions.

October 2017

Benta

I am currently volunteering with New Life children’s home. You can read more about them at www.newlifehometrust.org/index.php/care-for-kids/in-our-baby-homes/in-nairobi-kilimani-home

Last week I spent the weekend at the Children’s home, I grew up in. It was fun hanging out with the kids and hearing about their experiences in life and in school. It was also nice seeing my kid sister, whom I will pick up by the end of my semester exams. I will be spending a week or so with her.

I’m generally alright in my private life, although I am a bit frustrated that I haven’t found a job yet. However, I am hopeful that something will come up soon.

September 2017

benta
john

SeptemberThe unit course has been interesting and challenging. From the experience, I have gotten from them, I am sure that my future is now shaped. This semester, assignments have been plenty with a thorough revision and research. From this, I was able to achieve courage and determination to do my final KNEC examination smoothly. The exam was average and familiar.

I also most sincerely thank my teachers for all the effort they have showed since the beginning. They have been of great assistance through guidance and their mentorship skills.

It was a busy month for me, so I did not do any community activity.

I am generally fine and doing well here in the city. I am also happy.

August 2017

benta

I am volunteering with New Life Children’s Home at the moment.

Being surrounded by all those beautiful helpless babies at New Life Children’s Home has given me a reason to smile again, and the emptiness I was feeling in my heart has been filled. Taking care of them has filled me with so much joy. I am very pleased to be a part of it. I could have taken photos but it is not allowed. All I am saying is that, my mood and spirits are soaring as high as the skies at the moment and that’s all I’m asking for.

john

We have done a series of assignments. They mainly focus on familiarizing with the topic covered. The assignments give me the courage and confidence to tackle the final exam. My teachers have always been of great assistance to my studies. I thank them all for the devotion and commitment they have given me, while modelling and shaping my future.

During the past month, I have taken part in community activities, covering student association gatherings/meetings, youth sports in the community and the general election in Kenya.

I’m doing well. I am happy and enjoying life in and out of school. It has been a busy and noisy month for all Kenyans because of the general elections. But, we thank God that all went well, and I have now returned to the city strong and cheerful, ready for my last round here in school. I am also happy for the support I receive from the Kilimanjaro Initiative and PDAid Foundation. I appreciate it so much. Thank you!

July 2017

john

On academics, I concentrate on my lectures in preparation for the KNEC examination, which is due September. This term, I have prepared a series of assignments. I am done with mid-semester exams, including handing in my project and attachment report after it was verified by the school panel.

I thank my intellectual teachers for their great work. They have always been monitoring my progress in academics. Because of them, I am motivated to achieve more and more in my studies.

I have attended various community activities in which during the past month, including attending gathering & meetings, attending youth sports in the community and visiting children homes with my fellow students.

I am doing well, and for now my spirits are high. Generally, I am enjoying life in and out of school. I am also happy that I only have a few month left until the end of semester, where I will be sitting for my end-term-exams. This leads me to achieve an important goal. So, I am all good and thankful.

June 2017

benta

During June, I have not taken part in any community activities due to time pressure. However, I visited Maisha Mema Children’s home, and spent time with the kids and my foster parents. We had a great time together. I also hanged out with my baby sister, who was home for her mid-term break from school. That was a nice weekend, and I was very happy.

I am doing well, and always keep a positive attitude. I am really enjoying my mentorship interactions with my mentor Peninna. It is one of the weekly highlights.

john

Assignment wise, I am doing my mid-semester examination. Exams are average and cover mostly what we have been learning this term. We have also been doing a series of sitting and take away assignments - mainly to enhance the level of understanding the topic covered.

Our teachers have been busy, tirelessly guiding students on their studies. On my field studies, they have been of great help, giving me proper supervision. With this effort, I now have the courage to be competent in acquiring and implementing new skills in the field market.

This month, I have participated in student association gatherings/meetings, youth sports in the community and visiting children homes with my fellow students.

I am doing well in terms of mood and spirit. Being a religious person, I depend mostly on the scriptures to keep my spirits high. The support that I have received from the Kilimanjaro Initiative and PDAid Foundation leaves me in a good mood at all times. Being in a good mood motivates me to study hard and act as a successful and useful person in society. Thank you.

May 2017

benta

I have not had time to participate in any community activities. I have been very busy with school and work that I have put everything else on hold. It sucks but it will get better. Small sacrifices I have to make.

I am doing well and taking each day one at a time.

I am gaining so much from my mentor, and I am really enjoying our sessions. Tomorrow, 1 June, is a public holiday and my colleagues and I are attending a picnic organized by Koroga Festival at Nairobi National Park. We are going to have so much fun and it will be a good time to catch up on social topics with friends and good food.

john

The industrial attachment has given me a real picture of what is required in the field. We have done a series of assignments - mostly based on the topic covered. Now we are doing mid-semester examinations, which are matched with the end semester exam.

The industrial attachment has given me a real picture of what is required in the field. We have done a series of assignments - mostly based on the topic covered. Now we are doing mid-semester examinations, which are matched with the end semester exam.

Teachers have also been very active. They encourage discipline and punctuality during lectures. In case of clarity, they are always ready to help.

During this past month, I have been playing sport, engaged in boxing competitions, music concerts and visited children homes with my fellow students.

I am generally doing well here in the city. For now, things are looking up for me. I am so happy and in good mood. I thank the Kilimanjaro Initiative and PDAid Foundation for the support offered to me. May God bless you.

April 2017

benta

I have not had time to participate in any community activities.

I’m doing alright. I moved from my old apartment to a new area, and it is nice. I really needed the change, because I feel trapped when I stay in the same place or do the same things for a long period.

I am very excited about the mentorship program, and I had my first face-to-face meeting with my mentor Peninna through Skype. She is amazing and I have a feeling that I am really going to enjoy working with her. I had been waiting for a very long time for this program to be implemented and now that it has, I want to see the end-results of it all.

john

Am taking six units this term. As for the course outline, the term is going to be busy. Already during the beginning of the term, we have done some assignments based on the topics covered. We base these mostly on open discussion forums during leisure time. Discussion forums give room for participation of each individual, thus enhancing syllabus coverage within the time scheduled.

Our teachers have reacted positively. They have started the semester on time, and their social approach has made students create a good rapport with teachers.

I have also had a good start working with the Kilimanjaro Initiative office, which I am enjoying. Thanks to Tim for the favor

During the past month, I have been playing sports, attended community celebrations, dinners and visited children homes with my fellow students.

I am generally fine and doing well here in the city. Life in and out of school started well for me. Everything is going well and I see three quarters of my course is already covered. This makes me feel motivated and in high spirit, knowing that I will soon have a bright future. Generally, I would like to thank Kilimanjaro Initiative and PDAid Foundation for the support offered to me. I work day and night in order to prepare a bright future for society and myself. May God bless you for your support.

March 2017

benta

 

I have been very busy with school and work. So my social life is really being affected although its only temporarily. So I am not complaining. I haven’t had the chance to engage in any community activities, although my class is arranging for us to visit a children’s home in Kibera called Inua Mimi Children’s Centre. I am looking forward to that.

I am doing all right in life. I went to visit my kid sister, who will be in High school by the 17th of this month. She was really happy to see me. It was their academic day in school, where the kids and the parents get to interact with teachers on a one-on-one basis, discussing their performance, weaknesses and general stuff. I had missed her so much, and it was really nice seeing her again. Looking forward to when the schools closes. Then I will get to really hang out with her.

john

On the side of courses, the units have been good. We have managed to cover the syllabus within time. This created enough time for revisions, thus enhanced better understanding of the course. We have also managed to do our final exams well and submitted assignments during the learning session. Now I am dealing with the project proposal with the assistance from the supervisor. This is the guideline part of my project, which I am preparing to present to the panel by mid-June. Our intellectual teachers have also been in the front line in assisting on both in class sessions and assignments. They have always been available in times of need. We give Mighty thanks for the great skill they have shown throughout the semester.

This month, I have attended youth sports in the community and visited children homes with my fellow students.

The teachers have been very useful - both in class and outside. In terms of punctuality, standards are very high and they always guide students and facilitate understanding.

I am generally fine and doing well. My life for now is full of new encounters both good and bad. I deal with every situation on hand positively. What keeps my spirit and mood high is that I always have ways to solve issues affecting my life. Generally, I would like to thank the Kilimanjaro Initiative and the PDAid Foundation for the support offered to me. I work day and night in order to prepare a bright future for myself and society as a whole. May God bless you for your support.

Februar 2017

benta

I like the courses they are offering. I thought it would be just Psychology, but then they included the rest and I am actually glad because I have always wanted to do a course on HIV/AIDS - especially because my mother died from it.

I cannot say much about my teachers yet, but I like my Entrepreneurship lecturer. He really knows how to engage and involve everyone in his lessons. My HIV/AIDS lecturer is great too. He really helped me catch up with the rest of the class because I joined in later than everyone else did.

I attended the Golf tournament and boxing event organized by KI and UNFCU. It was very motivational and the attendance was great - especially at the golf tournament

I am doing well, compared to the last month. Some of my resolutions are yet to come true so I am just hanging in there. Overall, I am very grateful and extremely happy that I am back in school. I had really been looking forward to that. I am looking forward to the next chapter ahead.

It was very nice seeing Dennis, Tim and Elizabeth as well as the KI staff and the rest of the people. It had been my first visit to Kibera and there was not much difference from where I grew up. I felt like I was walking down memory lane.

Thank you for that experience.

john

The courses have been good. We have already covered all units and now is revision as I prepare for the end of the semester examination, which will happen after two weeks.

The teachers have been very useful - both in class and outside. In terms of punctuality, standards are very high and they always guide students and facilitate understanding.

We are done with mid semester examination (CATS) and are now preparing for end of semester exams. The CATS were average and teachers provided supervision. The exams test whether one has understood the unit covered.

Unfortunately, I did not attend any community activity this month

I am fine and doing well. My life story currently is a worthy one. Regardless the difficulties I still take life positively. My moods and spirit have been low since receiving the bad news from the family that my grandfather is no more. He passed away on 4 February 2017. The news did affect me mentally since the old man was the only person I called a father in the plains. I would like to thank him for everything he has taught me. May his soul rest in peace.

I thank the words of God that always keep me moving during stressful times and when I am in a bad mood. I seek refuge in the words of God and try my best to be in good terms with everyone close to me. I work hard every day to keep my dreams alive. Overall, I am a happy man. I stay focused and feel appreciative for all the support I get from the Kilimanjaro Initiative and PDAid Foundation.

Januar 2017

benta

I visited a children’s home near my home to enquire if I can volunteer once a week. They told me to await feedback so that’s what I am doing. This involves taking care of months old babies that have been abandoned by their parents or those left in hospitals after birth. I am really looking forward to hearing from them. Some of these kids are HIV+ and it makes me sad that a mother left them at that defenseless state. I am however very proud of those who take care of them. That’s why I want to be a part of it.

I am neither great neither that bad. Let’s just say that this has been a disappointing month and that I am looking forward to the next one. I hope that things will be better.

john

In regards to courses, this semester we are mainly dealing with project as a unit plus other units. Everyone is assigned a supervisor, who spearhead students in collecting data and results as per his or her topic of interest. We are also provided assignments in the units covered. Some include open forum discussions in class and after classes and questions for research in the library. We also have midterm examinations and end of term examinations, which mainly focuses on ones understanding on the topics covered. The two are averaged to give the final grade. The teachers are also active in class as usual in their guidance of doing my project. They are always ready to help and assist in case of any question.

I have undertaken a range of community activities during the past month, including dinners prepare, serve, cleanup, attending youth sports in the community, community celebrations, and blood donation

I’m fine and doing well. The life am living currently has difficulties, but regardless of that I am living a life full of motivation. To be precise, the support that Kilimanjaro Initiative and PDAid Foundation offer me makes me happy and always thankful of the Almighty for bringing them into my life.

I am motivated and work hard - day and night - trying to make the life I am living meaningful. I dream of one day being a person of great help to my people. If things go well, I will selflessly be a blessing to people in the whole world.

December 2016

benta

DecemberHowever, I got invited to spend Christmas with a family of which I had a close relationship to their son, who was murdered two years ago by gangsters. Every Christmas we get together and go lay flowers on his grave, but since his brother was getting married this December, we will be doing so before New Year.

There is also the selection of youths who will be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro this year. I am looking forward to that.

I am well and thinking of resolutions for 2017. Firstly, go back to school. Secondly, date somebody. Thirdly, I’m looking forward to the new year with a clear heart, focus, and setting my priorities right.
December It’s about time I cut ties with those people who have been a negativity growing up and focus on the things I had put on hold in order to accommodate others. I am going to put me first for once in my life.

On a different note, I celebrated my 27th birthday this month and I had been scared to get my back off against the wall, because then, at least then, I shouldn’t have to worry about the fall. With growing older comes responsibilities. So this is a year of taking chances for me.

DecemberFinally, my brother from another mother finally got married and the wedding was spectacular. I was honored to be a bridesmaid. I will attach a few photos for more effect.

Otherwise, I wish everyone a happy new year!

john

Our lecturers are both men and women of hard work. They are always there for us and we consult them during and after class. They prepare our cats and mark them, and at the end of the semester, we have our results posted online. It is through our lecturers that we get the real context of our course. Our lecturers give us assignments during the study of course. It helps us understand our classes in a better way. We do our research online to answer our assignments in a better way.

During December I have taken part in a range of community activities, including attending friends graduation ceremonies, attending youth sports in the community, attended circumcision ceremonies,

I am generally fine and doing well. I am also happy for everything I have achieved so far. It has been a busy year for me but overall I thank God, KI and PDAid Foundation, who have been behind my success throughout the year. I am a different person now. I have gained much in terms of skills and knowledge. Generally am so proud.

December is also a month where I was given a two-week break. I am glad for the family reunion in the plains. We are all fine here. We wish you a happy new year.

November 2016

benta

Early next month, I will be going to the Children’s’ home I grew up in to visit my brothers and sisters and teach the younger ones a few Christmas carols and also pick up my baby sister. I want to spend some time with her before school starts. In fact, I will be celebrating Christmas with them.

It was nice seeing Founder of the PDAid Foundation, Dennis Nielsen, earlier this month, and I am really looking forward to joining the mentoring program and to resuming school in January. I have been seriously considering applying for a better job and been updating my CV through the help of Melissa Thomsen from the PDAid Foundation, Whom I am very grateful to. Finally, I am looking forward to celebrating my friend’s wedding. He is like a brother to me. I will be a bridesmaid on his big day, and I am very excited about it.

john

We have performed a series of assignments during each unit. During lectures, we do sitting and take home assignments. We perform sitting assignments twice during the mid-semester as continuous assessment tests. Towards the end of the semester, we perform our main examination. We do take home assignments when finalizing each topic. We have highly trained and qualified teachers, who are always available during teaching hours. They maintain direct interaction with students and are ready to help in case we need clarification.

I have attended students’ associations’ gathering/meetings and youth sports in the community. My fellow students and I have visited children homes school trips.

I’m doing well. The weather in Kenya is hot and wet. It is raining all over the city. Trees and plants are green around the city. It is generally beautiful, and I am happy here and enjoying life both in and out of school. I am also happy for the everyday support that I get from Kilimanjaro Initiative and PDAid Foundation. I appreciate it so much. Thank you.

October 2016

benta

My spirits were dampened when I got back from New York. My younger brother lost his wife and their unborn child due to internal bleeding. However, life has to move on.

OctoberI finally got to meet Dennis’ wife Pia while in New York and she is amazing. We had a fun girl’s day out and and visited many sites in New York. We also volunteered in the soup kitchen for the homeless together.

I am now looking forward to living my life to the fullest without anything holding me back. Right now, the pen is in my hand and the ending is very much unplanned. Until then, the rest of my life story is still unwritten.

I would like to thank anyone who has been involved in seeing the best in me and seeing my potential, when I couldn’t even believe in myself. Everyone who placed a bet on me and said I would make it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

john

We are also provided with assignments at the mid and the end of every unit to test the level of understanding. During lectures, we have group discussions, which facilitate exchange of ideas especially on critical topics. Teachers are also punctual during class hours and highly skilled. They encourage a one on one discussion with students making the class lively. In times of tests, they are always available for supervision.

I have attended a variety of community activities during the month, including gatherings/meetings, youth sports in the community and visiting children’s homes with my fellow students.

I am doing well. The weather here in Kenya is hot, thus favoring most of us. I am generally enjoying life in and out of school. I am also happy that I am back to school and that everything is doing well for me here. Generally am in a good mood only focusing on the future. Thank you.

September 2016

benta
john

Our lecturers are hardworking people and people who have get a greater objectives of seeing us make it in life. They attend their classes fully and sign the attendance register before they leave the class. They give us cats at the middle of the semester so as to check on how we are doing since the start of the semester. Those continuous assessment test are so important as they reflect our end of semester.

We are also given assignments to tend to by our lecturers. Some of the lecturers need their assignments to be availed online. The assignments makes us to familiarize with what the lecturers teach. Some of the assignments are undertaken in group work or by individuals.

I am generally doing well here. September was a good month for me, I was lucky to have earn a two break out of school(holiday) that was on 16 September 2016 to 3,October 2016.

I am happy and also in a good mood to be back to the plains safe and for the reunion with my family. Currently am on the last stage of preparation to get back to the city ready for the start of the new semester, that is; 3rd October 2016. Thank you.

August 2016

benta

I am well. Was very sick and at one point I passed out in the house - and that’s when I panicked and decided to visit the hospital. The doctor recommended I get an MRI scan among other tests. My head was okay and everything appeared normal. I was relieved! However, I had Malaria and Typhoid, but I got treated and I am now okay. I am very much looking forward to my upcoming trip to the US!

Hope to meet the other youth from New York, which I climbed Kilimanjaro with. I kept in touch with them, and when I told them the news, they were very excited. I will be going to the Embassy on 2nd and I have my fingers crossed that I will get a Visa.

john

Regarding lectures, I believe the university has the best trained lectures. Often there are few or no complaints from students concerning lectures. Most of them are available to students for consultation. For now their lectures are enjoyable.

The lecturers give assignments as part of course work – to be done either individually or as a group. A period is given hand in hand with the deadline for submission of the assignment. Most lectures currently prefer the assignment being submitted in a typed and printed form. Others prefer online submission via email. This helps students to keep up with technology, which is a key factor in the global competitive world.

During the month, I have attended in gathering/meetings, youth sports in the community and visits to children homes with my fellow students.

I’m fine and doing well. The weather here in Kenya is cold and dry - something I have already adapted to. I am generally enjoying life both in and outside school. I am also happy that my school fee have been on time. Generally, I am in a good mood only focusing on the school.

July 2016

benta

To be honest, I have not taken part in any community activities for quite a while now. I work from Monday all through to Saturday so I have no time to engage in anything much.

I am energetic, healthy, and alive and busy working. I try to keep myself focused with positive things. I have spent a few days with my younger sister, who is the mother to my nephew and whom I hadn’t seen for quite a while. I was so happy that she was around and a great company too. Although she did not bring my nephew along, it was nice having her around. We talked at length. She talked about her struggles, how she wishes she had completed school like me and even called me her role model compared to her other siblings. Living in the ghetto, she explained how many young boys her own age have engaged in crime and abuse of drugs, how young girls are dropping out of school to get married due to poverty and how they are going to funerals almost every week as young people are dying due to police killings, mob justice or HIV and Aids. Long after she left, I couldn’t stop but think about it and how I had escaped those very things she had described to me. I consider myself quite lucky. At least I have a job, a decent home, and people who I can talk to when I feel like my back is up against the wall. Most of these kids have literally no one. They have been neglected and left to their own devise.

john

We are provided with assignments at the end of every topic, which include discussions, research and individuals to facilitate better understanding. Examinations are conducted twice in a semester; that is during the mid-course (CATS) and at the end of the term (MAIN EXAM).
The school has highly skilled and knowledgeable lecturers. They work tirelessly for the benefit of each individual. In case of any clarification they are always ready to assist.

I have taken part in various community activities during June, including communities gathering/meetings, digging i.e. weeding, herding, youth mentorship programme, and I have participated in Maasai (morans) rite of passage

I am doing well. I am generally happy and in a good mood, only feeling appreciative of my sponsors, Tim the president of Kilimanjaro Initiative and Dennis the founder of PDAid Foundation for making it happen. This is what always makes hopeful. It makes me put a smile on my face each and every day. Thank you!

June 2016

benta

To be honest, I have not taken part in any community activity for quite a while now. I work from Monday all through to Saturday, so I have really no time to engage in anything much.

Generally, I am doing okay. I guess a full time job has taken away everything else. I do not do as much stuff as before and don’t go out or really meet with other people. The only people I interact with are my colleagues, and every once in a while I meet up with old friends. I started writing as a way of keeping myself busy. It’s been tough on me because I’m a very social person. Otherwise, I’m alright.

john

We are also given assignment to undertake during the study of our course. We do some of our assignments by the help of internet and others are done practically. We submit our assignments to our lecturers after a certain period of time; some of our assignments are recorded in our results slips at the end of the semester.

Our lecturers are very hardworking and dedicated. They come to class earlier and teach us in a nice way, making sure we understand their lessons very well. They also give us examination papers which they mark and our marks are recorded.

I have taken part in various community activities during June, including community gatherings/meetings, youth sports in the community, herding, and attending fund raising in the community.

I am doing well. The weather here in Kenya is cold and dry but I have already adapted. I am generally enjoying life in school and out of school. I am also happy having completed my certificate level successfully, marking the end of my third semester.

It is a month where I was given a two week break (holiday) in school leading to the reunion with my lovely family. They are also happy and proud of me. I am currently in the process of preparing to get back to school from 4th July 2016 and start my diploma course. Thank you!

May 2016

benta

Now that I have a full time job, it’s getting harder and harder to participate in a lot of things. I really want to do more in terms of community work but I work all the way through Monday to Saturday and Sundays I do my laundry and all other cleaning stuff.

MayOn the brighter side, I help my client every day for an hour over the phone. In other words, I haven’t participated in any community activities lately. Our Youth Without Walls leader is in a very bad condition. We were to meet for a fundraising a few weeks back but it rained pretty heavily and so most of us didn’t make it. However, we send his family our little contribution to help him through kidney dialysis. We are also praying with his family for his quick recovery.

I am doing okay. Still counseling my clients. It’s just amazing how comfortable they are getting with me and how new issues are coming up.

Apart from that, I have really thought hard about my own life and the few things I need to change. I have realized that many things that happened in the past have held me back from doing things I would normally have done a long time ago. I feel that I owe it to myself to be happy and live a happy life in the future. Maybe happiness is overrated, but I want to earn every second this world has given me.

john

In addition, we are handed assignments for research, which is supposed to be submitted within a specified period. Some are done individually while others through group work discussions. Those done by individual effort are termed as continuers’ assessment test, completed at mid-semester and amounts to 30 % of the final examination. We have already sat for the tests and they were average. We do group work assignments daily to assess the level of the topic of study.

The teachers are highly skilled and hardworking. They arrive to classes on time and are always ready to help in case of any clarification. During class, they engage on a one on one discussion with students and give room for questions. During examination, they are always available to provide supervision. I’m generally happy and doing well. It is cold and rainy here in the city but I’m enjoying life.

I would like to appreciate the support I get from Kilimanjaro Initiative and PDAid Foundation; this always gives me motivation and hopes of a bright future. Thanks a lot.

Now I’m focusing on preparation for end term exams, which will commence during the next week.

April 2016

benta

I really want to do more in terms of community work but I work all the way from Monday to Saturday, and Sundays I do my laundry and other cleaning.

AprilI help my client every day for an hour over the phone. He is now opening up and talking more about his feelings and experiences. I am happy that we have come so far.

I am doing okay. I am just overwhelmed with work load, since my colleague is on leave, which means, I am doing double the work.

Apart from the rain and trees falling on the roads along the area where I live, everything else seems to be working out just fine.

Our youth leader in my group YOUTH WITHOUT WALLS is very ill and needs a liver transplant. Everyone is working hard on trying to raise funds for him. We are praying for him and hope everything works out okay.

I am really looking forward to getting more people to mentor and hope to find someone who will mentor me too.

john

We are presented with assignments to be undertaken individually or as a group, which sometimes makes it easier to tackle the questions. Assignments help us in the revision for the end term exams.

AprilI have to credit our lecturers. They teach us in a very good way. They put such devotion into their job and work tirelessly on preparing notes and giving us handouts to enhance our understanding.

I have taken part in the following community activities during the last month: Attending community gathering/meetings, attending a wedding and visit the disable in the community.

I’m generally fine and doing great here, only having a little fever but I guess it is due to change of climate. I thank God for being my protector always. That is, I’m in good shape and attending my every day classes as usual.

April marks the month where I commenced my third semester. I’m happy and enjoying my studies in school. Only feeling appreciative and forecasting to any step ahead towards life. Thank you.

March 2016

benta

MarchIn general, I have been okay this month. The future looks bright and although there are challenges, I am confident that I will conquer them.

Meanwhile, I moved to a new house that is closer to my work place and school. It’s a nice house, so I am happy.

john

My experience with assignments has been fantastic too. They have always been worth my time. Assignments have taught me how to express my ideas sufficiently in written form. They also increased my knowledge due to research, which I had undertaken before putting all ideas on paper.

MarchTeachers have been very professional. They have actually helped me to build my confidence in and outside class. Their one on one interaction with students has been up to our expectations. I hope to see more of this until I finish my studies.

As far as community activities go, I have attended community gatherings/meetings, weddings and been active herding.

I’m fine and doing well. Although, this months has been very hot here in Kenya. I was given a two week break (holiday) in school, leading to the reunion with my lovely family. They are also happy and are proud of me, and all those who made my dreams come true (KI and PDAid foundation).

Now I’m in the process of preparing myself to get back to school on April 4th.

February 2016

benta

FebruaryI am helping the kids in my community together with my youth members with their after school work, when I can.

Generally, I am doing okay. Still getting the hang of things. In terms of community service, I am working and when I get back home it is pretty late. It’s going to be even harder starting this month because I am resuming school.

I just got confirmed in my new job. I’m really excited about it.

john

FebruaryOn my course, I am taking five units this semester and they are average units (neither difficult nor simple) and require focus. They are exciting and fun and I am greatly enjoying my studies.

We are also provided with assignments. Some are tested at the mid-month to test the level of understanding on units. One is in process, and will sum up to 30 percent. Others are provided at the end of the semester, and will sum up to 70 percent.

The teachers are professional. They are punctual and willing to deliver the content if assistance if needed. They are available and help both during and after classes.

I’m fine and doing great. Thank God for the good health and for his day to day protection.

It is a new month, and I am happy after recovering from last months incident. Now I am only focusing on building my future.

I’m also happy and in good spirit after the invitation to the Kilimanjaro Initiative’s 10th Anniversary celebrations. Being among the lucky who attended the celebration, I was happy to meet my sponsors Tim (Kilimanjaro Initiative) and Dennis (PDAid Foundation). I am proud to know you. Thank you.

January 2016

benta

JanuaryUnfortunately, I was attending evening classes and it was hard to attend my group activities since the time was colliding.

Generally am doing well. My spirits are high and I am ready to explore this year’s highs and lows.

I can’t complain much about life in general because there is no point in complaining; life will always be what it is. One needs to adjust.

john

Teachers are willing to assist students. They keep time in attending classes and they show seriousness, as they will not allow late coming students to interrupt the process of learning in class.

It is now a new year with the month of January – a year, which I personally have a strong belief, will be a year of success. I really thank God for his protection and favors now that I’m fine and doing great in focusing on the steps ahead towards a better life. I started the month with a high mood now that I’m back in school ready for my second semester, which I started well with my school fees cleared and my personal needs also settled. I would like to deeply thank the Kilimanjaro Initiative and Phoenix Design Aid Foundation for always supporting me. Thanks a lot.

With all this enjoyment, I was shocked that the month didn’t end well for me as expected. On Friday 22 January in the morning, I woke up early as usual ready to attend my morning classes. On the way to school, two men attacked me. They took my only nice phone and some cash (for personal use). But thank God that I was not hurt in the process. The act did confuse me. It affected me both mentally and physically for a whole week. It even lead me to hate Nairobi and life in this city. Why me? Thanks to Dennis (PDAid Foundation founder) words “NEVER GIVE UP” back at the 2014 Kilimanjaro Climb, I was encouraged that in this world or as a man I should never give up. We should always fight for the better of our future. Again referring to Tim’s (KI president) attack in Nairobi, he never gave up despite being in a new country and a new city. Instead, he went ahead and made his goals and dreams come true. Thanks to them, I am now only focusing on my studies.

 

December 2015

john

Teachers were very friendly and well skilled. They use varied methods to deliver their contents to scholars.

The month of December was a month of good and bad things for me. At the beginning of the month I was down and very sick, thus hindering me from attending community activities. I thank God that it didn’t take long before I got well - only lacking appetite to date. Now am in high mood and in good spirit after the weeks of celebrations with family and friends. Generally, I am doing well and humble and highly appreciative of any step ahead.

October 2015

benta

OctoberGenerally, my life has been just normal. No major drama or anything I couldn't handle. As for my group Youth without Walls, I explained everything as to why I couldn't participate in the activities with them until the end of this month. I am glad they understood me. All I am focused on right now is completing school and focusing on passing my examination. That’s where my energy is at right now. Otherwise, my classmates and Facilitators are supportive and amazing.

I want to thank everyone who have been involved in this amazing journey from the bottom of my heart. I want them to know that they have given me hope. Hold my hand through this journey. Until next time.

john

I have also achieved great exposure; I have great friends with whom I share great ideas in school and outside school. Am doing great in my studies. I always attend three classes every day. Professors are also good with great skills of teaching hence I find it very interesting attending their classes. For now, we have done many assignments from all the units and we are preparing for the assessment test, which will start in a week’s time. Life here at school is very good apart from challenges such as high standard of living.

Through a group composed of some elites from my community, we have formed an organization called Kuku Youth Alliance, which main agenda is unity and education. We move from one region to another preaching to the youth on the benefits of education.

September 2015

benta

We have had several assignments that involved self-discovery and it was a hard journey for me. This week we were dealing with the Theories of Counseling but we had to do it as a group. We are still working on it so I will talk more about it after the presentation.

I have been so busy, especially with the schoolwork, so I haven't been very active in my community and especially in my group Youth Without Walls (YWW). My course involves a lot of research and consultation and because of this, I rarely get time to participate in my group's activities as much as I would like to. Besides, classes and time used on group activities is another issue. I take the evening classes, so by the time I get home my group has already closed office. I feel very bad about it.

The KI staff has been most supportive and really involved. They gave me an opportunity to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and that’s an experience I will always treasure. Thank you for making sure that I finally went to school.  Many thanks go to Dennis Nielsen of PDAid Foundation and his team that has worked tirelessly to make my dreams come true. Thank you for taking me to school and for the financial assistance.  At least I have one less thing to worry about.