Barnice, a bright and sparkling 15 year old, was one of our students attending school through our Wezesha Education Foundation. In Kenya, where only primary school is free, Wezesha supports gifted Kenyan youth from disadvantaged circumstances attend secondary or post secondary school. In a letter, she described what it takes to be a great student…
“What it takes is patience, courage, honesty and tolerance. When you have patience you do not lose hope. When you have courage you ask questions. With honesty you do not cheat. When you tolerate you make a great future. It does not matter what people say about you but how you carry yourself and fight for your destiny.”
It with heavy hearts that we share that after becoming very ill, Barnice passed away this year. In memory of Barnice, a scholarship has been created to help other aspiring young girls who dream of a better life through education. Lydia is the first recipient of the Barnice Scholarship Award.
Lydia is an exceptional girl and a driven student. She sat her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam in 2013 and did very well. Performance on this test determines what secondary school students will be eligible to attend. Even though she had a high score, her parents did not have the money to allow her go to high school.
Lydia was aware that her parents did not have the money for school so when she completed her final exam in mid November, she immediately went on an earnest search for any manual work she could find. By the time her acceptance letter to a prestigious national school arrived in February, she had stashed away a reasonable amount of money. Despite all of her hard work and dedication, she still didn’t have enough to attend this particular school. Instead she used the money to go to another school near her home.
When the Wezesha Community Advisory Council learned about Lydia’s hard work to attend school and contacted her, she already had some money saved up for the second term. She had stashed away 1,800 Kenyan shillings (about $21) from working in the farms during the April school holidays. The girl is amazing!
Lydia is now attending Gilgil Girls Secondary School thanks to the Wezesha Education Foundation. Her tough survival spirit won her the 2014 Barnice Scholarship Award – congratulations Lydia!