We are thrilled to announce our four newest Mohochi Scholars: Everlyn, Joseph, Esther and Isabel. Welcome to Kusoma International – LMEF! The scholar selection committee was very impressed with the students’ consistently high academic performance, level of dedication (despite financial hardship), and potential for leadership in their communities and beyond.
Kusoma International – LMEF is expanding. And as our support for secondary education grows, so does our reputation in the local community. The addition of four scholars to our current group of six is an encouraging sign. Our work continues to grow thanks to sponsors who stand behind the mission and goals of Kusoma International – LMEF.
Everlyn comes from the Kehancha Division of the West Kuria District and is enrolled at Ogande Girls High School in the Homa Bay District. She is the first born of four children. Her mother passed away in 2004 when Everlyn was just eight years old, leaving her father to raise and support his children alone. He is a subsistence farmer who grows maize; school fees are a significant burden. Everlyn obtained 347 points in the Kenyan national grade eight examination and at the end of her first term of Form One (the first year of secondary school in Kenya); she was ranked number 104 out of 241, having earned 730 out of 1200 points. She is a determined student and shows great promise for her studies in the future.
The youngest of 12 children, Joseph’s parents are subsistence farmers who grow maize and cassava and have 5 indigenous cows. Both of his parents are living, but his father is 72 and has been unable to work since an operation. Only one of Joseph’s sisters successfully finished high school, supported by an uncle. His family has enough food to eat, but school attendance is difficult due to limited funds. Joseph has shown initiative by taking care of many of his needs independently such as clothing, through his own small farming endeavors. Scholastically, he demonstrates a lot of potential; he was always in the top three in primary school and was the top student in his school on the national grade 8 examination, scoring 358 points. In his first term of secondary school at Tarang’anya Highs School in West Kuria District, he ranked number 12 out of 239 students having scored 869 out of 1100 total points. He is a hardworking and mature, likely to benefit greatly from his Mohochi scholarship.
Esther is the second born in a family with six children and the only girl. Her father passed away in April 2009, leaving her mother to support her family on her own – she is a small-scale maize and tobacco farmer and operates a small store. Her elder brother dropped out of school after completing grade eight. Esther was always among the top four students in her primary school class and obtained 369 points on the national grade eight examination last year. In her first term of Form One at Kadika Girls High School in Migori District, she ranked number 12 of 194 students, having earned 838 out of 1200 points. Esther is a confident young woman and shows great promise.
The first in her family to attend high school, Isabel grew up in the Masaba Division of the West Kuria District. She is the youngest of four children; her mother passed away in 1996 followed by her father in 2000. Isabel stays with her uncle and his family who are small-scale maize, tobacco and cassava farmers. She was always in the top three in her primary school class, scored 392 on the grade eight examination and was involved in a variety of extracurricular activities including football, basketball, and drama. Isabel currently attends Koru Girls High School in the Muhoroni District and at the end of term one was ranked first out of 201 students, having earned 934 out of 1100 points. She is a resourceful and highly capable young woman – a Mohochi scholar through and through.
A workshop for the new scholars has been scheduled to take place in Kuria in the next few weeks. It will provide the students with an opportunity to get to know one another, to understand the goals of Kusoma International – LMEF, and to understand their responsibilities as scholars. Similarly, the workshop will allow the Kenyan Coordinating Committee (KCC) to interact with the scholars and understand their needs and how best to support them in the years to come.
John Owuor Oguda, SHAIP Assistant Study Coordinator for FACES-Nyanza (KEMRI-UCSF) at the Research Care & Training Program in Kisumu Kenya, who assisted with the last scholars’ workshop, has kindly offered to once again help with this workshop. Members of the KCC will also attend including Professor Sangai Mohochi, who now resides in Kenya with his family. Professor Mohochi will share the story of Kusoma International – LMEF and discuss the role that scholarships have played in his life. The new scholars, in turn, will learn what is expected of them academically and what community service activities will be required.
Please join us in congratulating Everlyn, Joseph, Esther and Isabel on their accomplishments and welcoming them to Kusoma International – LMEF!
More photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lmefpicha.