Meet Duncan: Worked as a Nightguard to Raise School Fees

Elimu Resource Centre
byElimu Resource Centre

At the age of 22, Duncan had dropped out of high school for four years because he lacked school fees. Despite the financial strains at home, Duncan was determined to go back to school. He worked odd jobs at construction sites and later as a night guard. From these jobs, Duncan managed to save twelve thousand shillings (USD $120) which he used to get back in school.

Some friends assisted him to get a uniform and stationery. He was so happy to be back in school even though he was behind in classwork even though the money he had paid was not enough to cover the entire year of school fees. Many times, when he was sent home because of a debt, he would spend his days studying at the Elimu Resource Centre. This helped him avoid falling behind.

The day that Duncan learned he would receive sponsorship through our Stay in School Project, remains his most golden moment.

“I shed tears of joy, knowing how much this scholarship had saved me from shame and mockery of people who were convinced I was too poor to stay in school. I had seen how many young men had ended up wasted in drug abuse, and every day I lived in fear that that would be me. This scholarship has given me a second chance at life.”

Duncan’s determination to excel at school did not stop at his achieving good grades. He became a very active student and a source of inspiration to other students. Last year, he was elected as president of the student body.

"This scholarship has given me a second chance at life."

Duncan says that his father has been a great source of inspiration in his journey, “When I told my father that I wanted to go back to school, he encouraged me to face my new journey with courage, saying that no journey begins that doesn’t come to a final stop. Even though he was not sure how I would make it in school for he had no money, he still believed and hoped.”

At the coast of Kenya, the rate of students’ transition to high school is only at 45%, and the rate of students who complete high school is even lower. Stay in School Project is Elimu’s response to keeping children in school who would otherwise be forced to drop out.

We launched the Stay in School Project in 2014 and since then have been making a difference in the lives of children in Kenya. Since then, Elimu has produced 22 alumni who have graduated from high school, and we are currently journeying with 35 students at various levels.

Our desire is to increase our impact and keep more Kenyan children in school who deserve a chance at making a brighter future for themselves and their families. To achieve this, we continue to seek funding support to cover school fees and supplies and to provide mentorship and guidance to our students through their educational journeys.

To make a contribution, click here to go to our website.