Her face brightens with hope and joy as she narrates how far Global Give Back Circle (GGBC) has transformed her into an upcoming entrepreneur. Lydia says the ‘Circle’ came to her rescue at the right time when she really needed a helping hand.
After losing her mother while in primary school, she was left in the hands of relatives who could not provide everything she needed as a young girl.
But despite the challenges, she managed to get 429 marks at on her exams in primary school and later joined Starehe Girls’ Centre. Lydia says though she was happy to join the school, it was all struggles to get basic needs and even pay the school fees. In 2008, “God opened the door for me and that is when GGBC came to our school and I was selected since I was one of the best students in our class.”
Considering all students in Starehe were from less fortunate families, GGBC looked at the level of need and performance. Her relatives were later relieved the burden of paying school fees and even to some extent the parental care. She says, “GGBC became my family, and through my mentor who is an entrepreneur, I have been able to carry myself like any other lady from a well to do family. My relationship with my mentor is very good to the point that she once gave me an opportunity to help manage one of her businesses and I did not disappoint her.”
After completing high school, GGBC again organized workshops on ICT skills, which was sponsored by different companies, including Standard Chartered Bank. After that, the bank offered five girls internship, of which she was among them.
Standard Chartered decided to pay her upkeep during the period of internship, in addition to the allowance GGBC was giving her to cater for her needs. Lydia says through training on financial skills she has been able to use her allowance and internship stipend wisely and even save for her future. She has also been able to invest in buying shares and bought cattle back at home.
As part of the program, Lydia has been able to give back to the society through mentoring a girl at Kakenya’s School and two others from her former high school. She guides them on how to go about their studies and also how to manage challenges in life. She has also been able to give talks on sex education to teenagers in Ruiru.
Today, Lydia is a graduate of the University of Nairobi with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. She is now working as a Supply Chain Trainee at Nestlé Equitorial and says, “I am ready to give back even with the little I have, because if it was not for GGBC I wouldn’t know where I would be. I really need to give hope to others who are going through tough situations and to tell them there is much more to life and that everyone can make it.”