From our June 2012 Newsletter
My name is Mirriam Mutindi Mativo. I was born in a family of two. My mother was crippled and a single parent who was the only bread winner. She worked as a newspaper vendor and thus earned just enough to provide for food. My sister and I faced a lot of challenges in school because my mother could not afford all the expenses. I had tattered clothes and was sent home regularly due to lack of school fees and other requirements. As young as seven years of age I could assist my struggling mother to carry newspapers to the streets for sale.
Worse came to worse when she passed away in the year 2004. I was barely in class five and my sister in form four. This was the darkest moment of my life. I opted to run to the streets to assist other newspaper vendors and beg for money. It was then when one of my late motherâ€™s friends took me in to her house and sent me back to school. She had four children, so in addition to me, she was having difficulties in providing for all of us. I had to go to the streets quite often to fend for myself. It was in 2005 that I joined Jitegemee childrenâ€™s program. It was the sunshine of my life because I now saw hopes of me in future. I met very wonderful teachers who made me feel like my mum was alive again. They reminded me that education is the key to good life and that I can make it through hard work. I made my decision to do all my best to succeed in academics.
The Jitegemee teachers were very generous and encouraging. It was from them that I learned that I had a bright future ahead. I worked hard and finished class 8 with my dream coming true by passing very well. I scored 392 marks out of 500 and secured myself a place in Machakos Girls High School. I was taken to secondary school by Jitegemee and was provided for with everything. This was one of the happiest moments in my life because I had never thought that I could ever go to secondary school or be in such a good school. I met kids from bright backgrounds and we schooled together.
I also met a lot of poor students whose parents were struggling and this motivated me because I had this golden opportunity. I put more efforts in school and cleared form four last year and scored grade B of 65 points. I am now waiting to join the university. My dream has been to work in the field of procurement which I hope to pursue in the university.
One thing I have learned through experience is that street children face a lot of problems and need special attention like I received from Jitegemee. I believe with determination everything is possible. I am true testimony to other street kids that we can make it in life and that a bad door closes for a better one to open. I trust we should forget the past and concentrate on building the future through hard work in school. I hope to join Jitegemeeâ€™s noble work of supporting the needy by giving moral support, material and financial support in the future.
I thank all the donors, the staff members and all well-wishers who have contributed in changing and improving the well-being of the less fortunate children. It is because of you I am where I am now. Your support and kindness has made a great impact in our lives. Thank you and may the almighty God bless you abundantly. Street children, given a chance in life, can do wonders.
-Mirriam Mutindi Mativo