Her face brightens with hope and joy as she narrates how far Global Give Back Circle (GGBC) has transformed her into an upcoming entrepreneur. Lydia Bartilol says the circle came to her rescue at the right time when she really needed a helping hand.
After losing her mother in 1997 while in primary school, she was left in the hands of relatives who could not provide everything she needed as a young girl.
But despite the challenges, she managed to get 429 marks at Turesia Primary School in Elgeyo Marakwet County and later joined Starehe Girls High school. Lydia says though she was happy to join the school, it was all struggles to get basic needs and even pay the school fees. In 2008, “God opened the door for me and that is when GGBC came to our school and I was selected since I was one of the best students in our class.”
Considering all students in Starehe were from less fortunate families, GGBC looked at the level of need and performance. Her relatives were later relieved the burden of paying school fees and even to some extent the parental care. GGBC became “my family and through my mentor who is an entrepreneur, I have been able to carry myself like any other lady from a well to do family. My relationship with my mentor is very good to the point that she once gave me an opportunity to manage one of her businesses and I did not disappoint her.”
Now in her last semester at the University of Nairobi pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce degree, Lydia managed to get A- (minus) in her KCSE exams and since then she says success is all her way. After competing high school, GGBC again organized a workshop on ICT sponsored by different companies, including Standard Chartered Bank. After that, the bank offered five girls internship, of which she was among them.
Stanchart also decided to pay her upkeep during the period of internship in addition to the allowance of Sh.30 000 GGBC was giving her to cater for her needs. Lydia says out of training on financial skills she has been able to use her allowance and internship stipend wisely and even saves for her future. She has also been able to invest in buying shares and bought cattle back at home.
As part of GGBC goals, Lydia has been able to give back to the society through mentoring a girl in Kakenya School and other two from her former high school. She guides them on how to go about their studies and also how to manage challenges in life. She has also been able to give talks on sex education to teenagers in Ruiru once in a while.
As parting shot, she says “I am ready to give back even with the little I have because if it was not for GGBC I wouldn’t know where I could be. I really need to give hope to others who are going through tough situations and tell them there is much more to life and that everyone can make it.”