Our June team had the privilege of visiting a girl named Ndee. It was one of the highlights of the trip for many of us. The jeeps pulled through a large blue and white gate and entered a campus of clean grounds, school uniforms, and higher learning for girls in Kenya.
Inspirational messages posted around the grounds reminded the girls to work hard and take responsibility for their education.
“Do what is right, the right way at the right time.”
“I have no time to waste. I’m laying my own foundation.”
A sign stating the school’s mission, “to inculcate in the learners appropriate skills, knowledge, values, and positive attitudes befitting the competitive world” stood above the rest.
This was a place of growth. We could feel it as we entered the grounds.
As the team exited the jeeps, Moses had to remind us not to wander among the buildings. “You don’t want to distract them from class.”
He went to the office to ask whether we could see Ndee. The rest of us stood in the parking lot looking after Moses expectantly. When she came out to greet us, we were moved by her youth, her eyes the only things betraying her past.
What made this girl so important, you may ask?
Her story is one of success against the odds.
After going through the horrendous ritual of FGM, Ndee was given into marriage at age 13 to an older man. Like thousands before her, she was facing a life of hard work, living in a dung hut, with nearly nothing to call her own – the life of a woman devoid of education in Kenya.
But, like all brave heroes in any good story, our hero made the decision to take on a challenge even though the cost to herself would be great. Ndee made the bold decision that she was not going to live the life that had been outlined for her by other people.
Although, she had become pregnant shortly after her marriage, she ran away back to her family. This decision could have many cultural implications for herself, her family, and her child.
100 Humanitarians learned of Ndee and knew we could help. We provided the family with a Business Box, which is almost like a microfarm. They have been able to sustain a small income each week from the produce they grow so that they can support Ndee and her baby, but it was still not enough for Ndee to be able to attend school.
Through the efforts of 100 Humanitarians, and the donations we received for education in Kenya, we were able to pay for Ndee to start attending school. While her mother watched her child, Ndee resumed her studies. After being away from school for over a year, she caught up quickly and is currently maintaining a B average. Her goal is to become a surgeon.
Our November team had the opportunity to mentor Ndee in gardening. We were understandably excited to meet her and spend time with her. She is a quiet, kind, gentle girl who stole our hearts.
100 Humanitarians is committed to seeing Ndee succeed. She has shown that she is dedicated to her future, and is doing everything she can to better her own life.