The effects of poverty on children are wide-reaching and can lead to lifelong struggles, especially when young people don’t receive education opportunities.
Poverty and education are inextricably linked, because people living in poverty may stop going to school so they can work, which leaves them without literacy and numeracy skills they need to further their careers. Their children, in turn, are in a similar situation years later, with little income and few options but to leave school and work.
Mary Namusinge is a 36 year old mother of 8, who resides in the Kipsongo Slums in Kitale Town, TransNzoia County. She is in her second marriage after her first husband died.
Mary hawks vegetables of up to Ksh 500-600 on a good day and gets approximately Ksh 200 (USD2) profit on good day. Her husband who is a casual laborer at go-down is Asthmatic and therefore unable to be as economically productive as he ought to be. This leaves most of the burden of feeding and educating children to Mary.
Mary is beneficiary of a program in Kitale by the Full Pentecostal Fellowship in Kenya (FPFK) that aims at improving the educational and economic outcomes household in Kitale. The program which started running from last year (2018) in October aims at ensuring at least one child in a household is given a scholarship for one year as well as training of one parent in entrepreneurship skills which includes table banking and saving in cooperative societies .
Mary’s daughter, Syfrosa is beneficiary of a full year scholarship that has enabled her start her secondary education at Masinde Muliro High School. ” I did not know my daughter would be able to report to school cum January since I was not able to able to afford the school fees but because of this project I am glad she Will go to school and continue with her education”.
Ezekial Twanga, a 17 year old former casual labour who dropped out of Form one due to the lack of school fees is glad that the project has given him a new lease of life. “Going back to school has enabled him to be more confident and astute” said his father who will also be trained on carpentry skills to enable him fend for his family and enable his children continue with their education.