Kavindu, 21 is the sixth and last child of a single mother earning her living as a farmer. Below she shares her story about how she has overcome many barriers to get an education.
“I did my national primary examination in 2010 and though I performed well I did not go to secondary school due to financial constraints. I spent an entire year out of school.
“Though my mother would give me hope that she would take my sibilings and I back to school one day, it looked so hard considering what we were going through.
“One day a community volunteer visited our home and brought some school bursary forms from Plan International. She urged me to fill and return the forms.
Back to school
“Soon after, I was informed that my application was successful. I was overjoyed to receive the good news.
“I was able to go to school that had all the necessary infrastructure for quality education compared to the day school I was attending before. I was very excited to be in school again where I worked very hard. Sadly, while on the long December holidays, things changed for me.
I was very excited to be in school again.
“I returned to school in form 4 but during the second term I was sent home after the school administration noticed I was pregnant. I was confused since I wanted to do the national exams. When I remembered how difficult my education journey had been, I did not know who to talk to.
“In that period of confusion I opted to join the man who made me pregnant and he took me to his mother’s home. It did not take long before I had Plan International staff visiting me to find out why I was missing school.
Building a positive future
“I was afraid when I saw them but they embraced me and were eager to know what was happening. They asked me if I would like to continue with my education and sit the national exams. They also arranged with the school principal for me to sit the exams.
“I recognised that I would have done better had I been more careful. However, I will not allow my past to determine my future. I am grateful for Plan International for what they have done for me. I will gather myself up and join a college.”
Plan International Kenya works towards equality for girls. We run various projects on girls’ empowerment such as Girls Advocacy Alliance, Safer Cities for Girls, Ending Child Marriage, Yes I Do and Obligation to Protect.