“My motivation to work hard was highly inspired by the kind of family background I have been raised in coupled with believing in God for the best.”

Born in 2001, Govan Momanyi, a first born in a family of three children has always had a yearning of becoming a doctor. Accompanied by his mother Hellen Momanyi for the interview, his mother shares that as he was growing up, Govan always addressed himself as a doctor to an extent where he kept aside his birth name.  

Govan was brought up in an area called Mowlem in Embakasi West and life for Govan and his family has not been easy. “I have not grown up in a well-off family, it is a struggling family that tries to make their ends meet through daily work activities. Getting school fees for my education has been the most challenging aspect, but my parents have continually put in the effort to see that I complete school”, shares Govan.

Since Govan’s childhood, his father has been depending on casual jobs to earn a living while his mother is a greengrocer. “As a family,  we always appreciate the little my parents get and sometimes when there is nothing we still appreciate”, says Govan.

Govan attended Base Root Academy in Dandora from his nursery schooling to class seven then moved to Lakeview Vitrose Academy in Ruai. Govan always topped his class. “My motivation to work hard was highly inspired by the kind of family background I have been raised in coupled with believing in God for the best”, shares Govan. In 2015, Govan came top of his class in his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations scoring a total of 404 marks out of a total of 500 marks.

Govan transitioned to St. Peters Secondary School in Mumias Kakamega County without having the complete school fees for the first term. In the midst of these challenges, a friend to Govan’s mother mentioned to her about Kenya Community Development (KCDF) advising her to visit the organization and see what help she could get in terms of finding an education scholarship for her son. Govan’s mother shared with her husband who took the initiative of visiting KCDF offices.

KCDF in partnership with the Chandaria Foundation Education Scholarship programme offered Govan a partial scholarship during his first term.

“The scholarship really helped us and if it were not for it, my child would not have completed secondary school as our combined earnings together with his father were low. Even though the scholarship was partial, it really eased the burden for us. You know when someone gives you a little, one can work hard and top up the rest”, shared Hellen, Govan’s mother.

Govan got support from the scholarship until his completion of school in Form Four. “Govan was never sent home for school fees. At some point, when we could not top up on the scholarship funds for his school fees because of a lack of income, I thank God his teachers were lenient and allowed him to sit for his exams until we were able to clear his fees. Govan also loved studying and never wanted to let us down”, shares Hellen.

In 2019, Govan scored a B+ (plus) in his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) which transitioned him to St. Pauls University to undertake a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. “I am now undertaking my nursing degree and my hope in future is that I can study for my master’s and thereafter do a doctorate degree that will enable me to specialize in a particular area in medicine. I am determined although I still have challenges with my upkeep and school fees. At times when I am meant to sit for exams and the policy here in school is that one must complete school fees before sitting for exams. Most of the times I am not sure of my fate. I just keep praying”, shares Govan.

With the coming of the COVID-19 pandemic, business for Govan’s mother has been affected and sometimes a month can end without her getting an income. The family still has a burden to cater for Govan’s university fees and soon Govan’s brother will be joining secondary school.

In the midst of all the challenges Govan has gone through, he still keeps hope that it will get better. “One should never give up despite all the challenges. Everything is possible before God. God will open a door in future just as he did with the Chandaria education scholarship grant”, shares Govan.