I am Samuel Omondi Deya, aged 23, a Kenyan student. I am a total orphan after the death of my parents, my dad in 1994 and my mum later in 1997. I remember when my mum died after the death of my dad, the villagers cry was, “who could take care of us?” I was so young then to comprehend what was happening but was told.
After the burial, I settled at my paternal grandmother’s place. It is after the death of paternal grandparents that I moved to my maternal grandparent’s place from where I started my pre-primary education. My younger bro and my only sibling would move to my aunt’s place.
It is here where I completed my primary education under free primary education programme by the government. I qualified to join one of the Kenyan national secondary schools, Maranda National School. But my worry was where I could get my school fees. Here I was, having secured a chance to join Maranda high school, but where was the fee?
It is then that things never worked out. To all my relatives, I was a liability. They deserted me. Disturbed, had to find a way of helping myself get secondary fees. This could enable me realise my dreams of becoming a medical doctor. Though, I also thought of becoming an engineer later in life.
I could later come to know of CACOP. I went through the application steps. The good news was that I qualified. I was so happy to extent of being moved to tears. I had to make some vows on this date. Vowed to ensure that my dream of becoming a doctor is realised. Vowed to say ‘thank you’ to the organization through my hard work. Vowed to one day start my own or support an organization supporting needy students.
I was later admitted to Maranda National School under the sponsorship of CACOP. It this organization, its donors and staff that acted as my mum and dad. It struggled to provide all the basics I needed for my secondary education.
When I sat my fourth form national examination, Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education, KCSE, I did well. I scored “A” plain of 84 points coming position 48 nationally out of over 416 900 students. I qualified for my dream course, bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery. I was selected to join one of the Kenyan leading university, university of Nairobi, where I am now, again supported by CACOP. Next year am proceeding to third year.
What keeps me going is that though at some point my hopes almost died due to lack of fees, through the organization I found hope, I found a home, I found a dad, I found a mum, I found a brother. I mean I have an organization to count on, bank on and put my trust on. Sometimes I ask myself how possible I stay in school for over a year, and no single relative remembers that am in school and I require a lot, financially, morally and socially. But here is the consolation, I have an organization, whose donors and staff are concerned about my future. It therefore follows that I must work hard towards that future. I hope to see myself become a neurosurgeon in future. I know it is tough, but someone else did it why not me?
Having gone through it, it pains me to see an orphan drops out of school due to lack of school fees, it pains me to see an orphan go without food, it pains more when they are neglected by their close relatives, it pains me to see needy children in our streets as street children, it pains my heart to see people die of diseases that could easily be cured or controlled, it pains to see how the poor lags behind as far as information is concerned. It is ,however, sad to note that while an orphan goes without food, his/her immediate neighbour gets more than enough food, that while an orphan drops out of school due to lack of fees, his/her immediate neighbours are able to educate all their children, in fact in private institutions. My hope and wish is that this gap is bridged. It is only through education that we are going to have this gap bridged. But our orphans are disadvantaged, no fees. I wish I had a voice to speak on behalf of fellow orphans. I wish I could help.
I lack words to express my gratitude to the organization’s donors and staff. My hope is that the organization remains operational. I vowed that once employed I must take part in financing the organization within my capacity. My wish is that other beneficiaries do the same. Thanks.
Samuel Omondi Deya, a beneficiary of CACOP/WVP Kenya firstname.lastname@example.org