“No child chooses to belong to a single mother,” says Mildred Khalayi, a beneficiary of the Global Give Back Circle. With tears almost rolling down her cheeks, Mildred could not hide her emotions as she recounts her ordeal in the hands of other children at school.
She says all her classmates looked down upon her and called her hurtful names.
When life became unbearable, she left her mother to stay with her grandmother in a nearby village in Trans Nzoia county. Though she had a peaceful mind at her grandmother’s place, another challenge came up – lack of money to pay for her school fees.
She was sent home from school frequently, but despite the challenge, she vowed never to give up in her quest for education. She says, “I used to play hide and seek with my teachers whenever they sent me home for school fees. I could go home and return back to school without even a single cent until the head teacher became mad and one day embarrassed me.” She told me, “Go home and never set foot again in this school.”
But all those came to pass and Mildred is now a college graduate having studied Human Resource Management at Moi University with the help of the Global Give Back Circle.
Mildred says she knew about the ‘Circle’ at her secondary school in 2012. She was among the needy girls selected to join the programme, as she also admits that she was one of the top performing students.
Through her mentor, she says life took a u-turn for the better and she began understanding herself well and even built her level of confidence. She says though her relationship with her mentor is professional, she can confide in her whenever she has family problems.
“Through Global Give Back Circle workshops, I have also been able to open up myself and bloom like a rose flower and now I don’t fear a crowd as I used to,” she says.
The last workshop on financial literacy opened my eyes on how to use money wisely. From the allowance the programme gave her throughout her studies, Mildred managed to save Ksh. 3000 (about $30) per month and set aside Ksh.5000 (about $50) for her savings account. She has also been able to buy pigs and keep them at home, and plans to venture into poultry keeping.
Mildred, who is now working in Human Resources at KPMG, has been able to give back to the community as part of her commitment as a beneficiary by visiting JEHO childrens’ home every month. She mentors the children and helps them appreciate themselves and accept their situation just like she did. She is also a member of Palm House Foundation Wildlife Club, which advocates for ‘clean green environment,’ and a volunteer at the Red Cross Society.
Mildred is proud to be a member of the ‘Circle’ and says she plans to stand up with one child every year and pay their school fees just like the Global Give Back Circle did for her.