On the Path to Giving Back

Cetrine is lithe with a sharp smile. She’s studying Clothing, Textile and Interior Design at Egerton University. She loves all things to do with interior decor. She’s an artsy girl. In her room back in university, her room is adorned with beautiful curtains and carpets, some of which she often makes herself.

“I grew up in Webuye, went to school in Webuye primary and then high school went to Starehe Girls Center” she adds. She says she misses the food in Starehe. “When you’re in high school you think it is, hard but wait until you get out here!” she laments. “I learnt to be disciplined in Starehe, that time it was all about discipline, unlike now.” She hasn’t had great luck with her mentor, she is quick to add, when asked how mentorship has shaped who she is. Nonetheless the experience at GGBC has set her on a path of giving. She has done voluntary service in hospitals, like in one hospital in her hometown. She also helps pay for her sibling’s education since their parents separated.

You think your sister is going to make it?

She thinks about this like a parent would. “She’s completing high school this year but she’s not as good with her studies. But I am hopeful she will completer her studies and join a college to pursue what she wants.” Stress stains appear on her forehead when she speaks of her sister. She’s become a parent before she is a parent. When she is asked if she is happy she breaks down into tears; holds her head in her hands and cries.

What’s making you sad?

“The unrest that is at home.”

She can’t go home now, because of the state of their home. She lives with her auntie in Kibera. It’s tough seeing her parents go through what they are going through. She is focusing on opening a business in Nyeri where she did her internship. “I like the place. It’s a bigger town as compared to where I am right now in Nakuru. I was thinking of starting a shop for soft furnishings like curtains. The place I was doing my attachment was owned by a single mother who inspired and influenced me a lot. She sells curtains at wholesale and the business is doing really good.”

She is clear on what she wants to do and why. She wants to help her mother and her siblings and she knows she can only do this if she focuses on opening a business and excelling at it.

“I’m so grateful for KCDF and GGBC because without them I wouldn’t have gone to university and I wouldn’t have made it to where I am right now.” she says with what seems like a brave smile.


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