Magdalene’s Story

I am the first born in a family of six siblings, and we come from Kangundo in Machakos County. My loving and hardworking parents believed we could succeed in life. We always struggled financially; my father was the breadwinner and he made sure we were fed before any money went to other needs.

In 2004 I had to repeat the final year of primary school due to financial challenges. Feeling hopeless and lacking motivation, I found the energy I needed in my parent’s love. Walking long distances to school never discouraged me, and I wanted badly to join secondary school despite our precarious financial situation. I enrolled in Kyeni Secondary School in 2005. Despite all the efforts, I had to drop out the following year, as our finances were not enough to keep me in school.

In 2007, I met a nun who promised to enroll me at St. Martin’s Secondary School, a special school for girls from poor circumstances, like me. As I was behind in my studies, I had to repeat yet another grade in order to catch up – but that was OK, because I was back in school.

It was at St. Martin’s that I was chosen to be part of the Global Give Back Circle, and I was assigned a mentor from the USA, Jennifer Edden. Jennifer provided infinite love, care and support, and treated me like a daughter. I love my mentor, and she has guided me in all aspects of my life. I am very grateful for having her and I will ever remain an empowered and changed woman because of her work and dedication over the past eight years.

Upon graduation I was privileged to receive a scholarship from the MasterCard Foundation and Microsoft to learn ICT skills and life skills in the 9-month ICT Lab that is actually located on the St. Martin’s School grounds. I was equipped with invaluable skills in Microsoft Applications and computer repair. I was exposed to life skills workshops in financial literacy and reproductive health, and to a whole new world of opportunities. I am grateful to KCDF for implementing the Circle in Kenya.

Because of the generosity of the people of the United States of America, through the organizations USAID Kenya, I have completed a diploma in Nursing at Presbyterian University of East Africa. I am now practicing in pediatric nursing and helping babies and their families in disease prevention; practicing early detection, treatment and control. This is something I am really passionate about. I have implemented a Give Back Commitment every year, since 2007, on enhancing good health amongst women, focusing on reproductive health and the prevention of communicable diseases. I teach health education in schools, hospitals and community gatherings.

My dream is to alleviate suffering and to promote good health to all, and to become the best nurse ever! I love to empower and to motivate girls to achieve their academic excellence.

– Magdalene