Wambui Doles Out Empowerment to Malindi Kids

Elimu Resource Centre
byElimu Resource Centre

“As I was growing up, it was my wish that I would go to university, get a good job and help my mother and siblings. But it was not to be because I was forced to drop out in Grade 10. This is exactly what many students go through before they come to Elimu. I know how it feels not to go to school because of lack of fees while other kids are in school. Being in charge of Elimu’s Stay in School Project fulfills me.” – Tabitha Wambui, Program Officer—Social Welfare, Elimu

Wambui is Elimu’s Program Officer – Social Welfare and she is the heart of Elimu. She joined in 2009 before there was even an official organization. She came on board as a housemother at our founding project, Nyumbani Kwetu Home for Children and a great support to our founder, Nina Chung.

She’s known to most of us as Auntie Wambui. Her warm heart and calm disposition make her well suited to both her earlier role and her current position. She’s shares many of the struggles that the children and familes she serves are experiencing now. But she has overcome! Among many achievements over the years, Wambui undertook to complete her high school studies with the support of our founder. She worked over two years on a self-directed program while at the same keeping charge of a household of 15 children and teenagers! Later, she also completed her studies in social work and community development. She has been trained on Elimu’s Offline eLearning Solution and has led our digital reading program at schools, prison and a girls’ rescue home. She has even been able to engage her interest in broadcasting when she organized video podcasts for our YouTube Channel.

In charge of developing Elimu’s Stay in School Sponsorship Project, she manages the Savings & Loan Scheme for the parents of our sponsored students. She organizes regular mentorship sessions for our students. She visits all of our sponsored children in their schools and conducts home visits to get a glimpse into their family environment and personal challenges. Her greatest joy is watching the children under her direction grow in confidence and succeed in their studies.

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”

Every victory of one of ‘her kids’ is a personal achievement for herself. And, it’s not just about academic performance. Take Clare’s case. Money for school fees was lacking, so Clare didn’t get to high school after Gr. 8. In 2016, she found Elimu Resource Centre and began using our digital resources to try and keep up with her studies.

When we realized her plight, Elimu did step in and enroll her to high school. She started off with a great deal of drive and all looked very positive, until halfway through the year she fell ill with fainting spells and dizziness which were never diagnosed and eventually put an end to Clare’s hopes of pursuing high school. Then in 2019, she showed up again at Elimu Resource Centre. She was doing better. The fainting spells had subsided and life was getting back to normal. Wambui immediately took her new situation to heart and began investigating. Having missed so many years of schooling she no longer felt confident about returning to high school but she was keen to do something useful for her future.

Wambui set about finding a solution and within a short while, Clare was at college pursuing a program in beauty therapy and hopeful again for her future. But life was not yet finished raising roadblocks to her progress. The Coronavirus pandemic arrived in 2020, sending Clare back home again! Wambui remained her strong advocate. Boosting her morale with phone calls to check in. Eventually, her studies resumed this year and she was able to complete her course after all! Now she and her mentor are eagerly waiting for the day when the college will be able to host its graduation ceremony. An event we know Wambui will not want to miss!

Here’s how Wambui summed it up: “I thank Elimu for supporting these kids and giving hope for the future – myself included! Thank you for changing a life, a community and a generation. We are grateful.”