Introducing myself and my journal: small in size but loud in voice
I am 29 years of age hailing from Africa,born in a poor family as the first born of my four siblings,life was not easy since inception.I had to survive minus many basic necessities like food and clothing,shoes were a luxury i could not afford.I had on several occasions to go to school on an empty stomach,plus sugarless watery tea as my snack.I was the laughing stock to most of my classmates who came from well to do backgrounds.At class four,my class teacher recommended me for child sponsorship through World Vision Programme who provided me school uniform and food stuff,ooooh luck was on my side.Since i was assured of school uniform every academic year,i had to share what i had with my younger sisters and at times i would wear them to church due to lack of an alternative.Unfortunately,my sponsor passed on 3 months before i sat for my final primary school exam and since there was no other sponsor to take up the responsibility,the programme dropped me as a sponsored child.This was the darkest moment of my life,though i was young i vividly understood what this meant to my future and my entire family.
Surprisingly,my early struggles did not deter me from chasing my dream of furthering my studies to university level.I passed so well but parents could not afford even tuition fees and fare to a nearby low cost secondary school.I had to drop from school however painful it was and join my parents in casual labour to fend for the family.Life was not easy at all,from poor wages,being overworked and sexual harassment from my employers,i called to the Lord day and night to see me through these turbulent times.
An year down the line without schooling seemed to have marked the end of my school life.One day,however, i met a church elder in a local church where i was actively involved in the youth programme who gave me a listening ear and offered to cater for my expenses to go back to school.I repeated class eight and emerged the best female student in the entire zone.This impressed the entire neighborhood who turned up in large numbers for a funds drive to support my secondary education.Though the amount raised was not enough to cater for my secondary education,it pushed me a great deal.I had to work in the school shamba during all school holidays to reduce the ever increasing arrears,my parents also worked hard to substitute this.During my final exam,i only had a balance of 7500 Ksh.
I got a job immediately as a supermarket cashier,with an income of 2,500Ksh per month,i managed to save few coins and managed to collect my KCSE certificate by December 2001.I scored highly and managed to secure a placing in one of the local university for BSc course.I was the happiest,through many struggles and total reliance from the Government of Kenya-Higher Education Loans Board loan,i finished my four years degree course.
It has been 5 years since i completed campus,i am enjoying the fruits of my labour and the envy of my village.If you talk of excellence in my village everyone refers to me for having beat all odds and achieved my dream.Many also consult with me on their childrens' careers which makes me proud.I have also on several occasions during my vacations,conducted community health talks in my village to enlighten them on matters pertaining to their health,thus their tendency of referring to me as "teacher Grace".
I have enrolled for my Masters starting next year January,i am proud of who i am,for i maybe small in size but my vioce has to be heard.
i have a passion for destitute children, i would commit all i have to cater for their basic needs and show them that someone cares as someone once showed me
inadequacy of resources and shortage of time since my current job involves lots of travel to the field
My Vision for the Future:
to build my capacity in the areas of public health and venture into community health among the marginalised communities
My Areas of Expertise:
foods,nutrition &dietetics,HIV/AIDs,Monitoring & Evaluation,Child Protection