“No child chooses to belong to a single mother,” says 23-year-old Mildred Khalayi, a beneficiary of Global Give Back Circle (GGBC). With tears almost rolling down her cheeks, Mildred could not hide her emotions as she recounts her ordeal in the hands of other children at school.
She says all her classmates looked down upon her and even referred to her as a bastard. This made her hate herself and spent most of her time in solitude crying. She remembers that on several occasions she thought of throwing herself and drowning in the great River Nzoia.
Life became unbearable and she left her mother to stay with her grandmother in a nearby village in Trans Nzoia County. Though she had a peaceful mind at her grandmother’s place, another challenge came up – lack of money to pay for her school fees.
She could be sent home from school frequently but despite the challenge she vowed never to give up in her quest for education. She says: “I used to play hide and seek with my teachers whenever they sent me home for school fees. I could go home and return back to school without even a single cent until the head teacher became mad and one day embarrassed me.” She told me “Enda nyumbani na usikuje hii shule tena (Go home and never set foot again in this school).”
But all those came to pass and Mildred is now awaiting for her graduation having studied Human Resource Management at Moi University with the help from GGBC.
Mildred says she knew about GGBC at her secondary school, Loreto Girls Limuru, in 2012.She was among the needy girls selected to join the Global Give Back Circle as she also admits that she was one of the best students in terms of performance.
Through her mentor, she says life took a u-turn for the better and she began understanding herself well and even built her level of confidence. She says though her relationship with her mentor is professional, she sometimes confide in her whenever she has family problems.
“Through GGBC workshops, I have also been able to open up myself and bloom like a rose flower and now I don’t fear a crowd as I used to,” she says.
The last workshop on financial literacy opened my eyes on how to use money wisely. From the allowance of Ksh.31 000 per semester GGBC gave her throughout her studies, Mildred managed to save Ksh. 3000 per month and set aside Ksh.5000 for her chama account. She has also been able to buy pigs and keep them at home, and plans to venture into poultry keeping.
Mildred who is now in her third month as Human Resource intern at KPMG has been able to give back to the community as part of GGBC commitment through visiting JEHO childrens’ home every month. She mentors the children and help them appreciate themselves and accept their situation just like she did. She is also a member of Palm House Foundation Wildlife Club, which advocates for ‘clean green environment’ and also a volunteer at the Kenya Red Cross Society.
As a parting shot, Mildred says she plans to stand up with one child every year and pay their school fees just like GGBC did for her.