I feel very lucky to have met so many friends at St. Martins. I was really impacted by the hard-working secondary students. These girls wake at very early hours to do chores, clean their rooms and pray. They spend the day studying and finish late into the evening. Like me they are studying hard for their national exams in physics and chemistry and math. Also, like me they study French, English and their native Swahili. Many are musically talented and we had loads of fun recording some music and dancing together. We had a beautiful mass where all the girls danced
and sang in traditional African style. My work with St Martins did not end with our last visit. I am championing a special awareness building project called Hadithi Yako or Your Story trying to raise awareness for girls education in the slums and for St. Martin’s school. We are telling the stories of some of the remarkable girls using social media. I travel around Europe whenever I can meeting with people to increase awareness for these girls-- hoping to get sponsors and support. Follow me on instagram @sofiastmartins for more about Hadithi Yako.
Our Stories - Adia*, a first year student
Adia is a first year in our school, she is from kibagare slums. She finished her primary education in 2014 and has been out of school for the last one and a half years due to lack of fees. She is the third born form a family of five plus three of her cousins whom she lives with after the cousins' mother passed away. The father leaves the mother to take care of the other young children including the cousins.
Her elder brother did well but was unable to continue with his education and for the one who has managed to complete his education, he is out in the slums trying to look for ways of joining a college.
Adia has been out of school for one and a half years going from one office to another seeking help to finance her education but it has been unsuccessful, she had resorted to doing available jobs as she had no hope of gong to school.
Our Stories -Eve* a 3rd Year Student
A third year student in our school, should have been doing her final year but was away for a full year due to lack of fees. Born on the 23rd of july 1997 she comes from Kikuyu a 30 minute drive from the school,
They are a family of five with separated parents and she knows nothing about her father, as they have never met. The mum doesn’t have a job and depends entirely on manual work to support the other siblings, two of whom have been lucky to finish high school and get admissions into college through government sponsorships.
She was re admitted back to school through Sr Damiana’s help on realization that all the time she had been away she was just at home helping take care of her sister's baby (which she found very stressful) and no help was coming her way.
*names have been changed to protect identities