Caleb Mumo, 18, will be joining university in September 2019. He has been accepted as regular student at Jomo Kenyatta Universi- ty of Science and Technology (JKUAT) for a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Chemistry.

Caleb is a recipient of the Chandaria Foun-dation Education Scholarship Programme which is managed by Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF). He was awarded the scholarship from 2015 to 2018.

He managed a B+ in the 2018 Kenya Certificate of secondary education (KCSE): earning himself the admission to the university. In 2014 Caleb (and a cousin) sat for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in the same school. The two were kindred spirits and worked together on their academics.

Four years later, when KCSE results were an- nounced, his cousin had not performed well. According to Caleb, the scholarship made the difference. Because while his cousin was sent home for fees every now and then, he largely stayed in school and attended all lessons.

Below, Caleb narrates his journey getting the scholarship and how it has given him hope for the future.

Which school did you go to?

The Kitondo School in Makueni County.

When did you first hear about Chandaria Foundation Education Scholarship?
I was a final year student at Mutungu Prima- ry School [also in Makueni] when my father talked to me about it.

What exactly did your father tell you?

He was telling me that he was impressed by my performance in school and that if I per- formed well in my KCPE, I would qualify for the scholarship.

The scholarship is for bright and needy students. Were you needy?
Yes. My father was employed in the city (Nai- robi) as a messenger. With his meagre salary he was trying his best to cater for all his chil- dren. We are five siblings. At the time I was sitting for KCPE, I had a sibling in college and two others who were in high school.

It was clear that paying fees for all of us was quickly becoming burdensome on my father. So, the scholarship would have brought him much reprieve while also offering me a chance to further my education.

What about your mother: she was not working?
She is a house wife. And she lived in the family rural home.

What are you most grateful for regarding the scholarship?
The fact that I was only sent home for fees once in the four years I was a student. I was present for most lessons. Without the scholarship opportunity, I am not sure how things would have turned out.

Why do you think being sent home for a few days or weeks affects a student’s performance?
I have a cousin who was sent home often. We were classmates in primary school and performed similarly: he scored 355 marks in KCPE while I had 370 marks. In high school, he would be sent home every few weeks to fetch fees.

In his KCSE, he scored a C while I got a B+ (plus). I believe the days he spent going home to fetch fees cost him crucial lessons.

What next for you?

I have received my admission letter from Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology (JKUAT) to study Industrial Chemistry.

Why Industrial Chemistry?

Because Mathematics and Chemistry were my favourite subjects.

What would you like to tell those behind the scholarship?
I want to thank them for coming to my aide. I pray that God will bless them so that they can be of help to many other needy students out there yearning for an education.

What have you learnt from the scholarship?
That sometimes it is a student’s only bridge to a promising future.