Gateway to Success
Gateway to success is the story of Bridge alumni who are pursuing their higher education in Kenyan universities. It is the story of hope, resilience and determination. It highlights what all children can achieve when given the opportunity. It highlights the importance of a good primary school foundation to a child’s future. The students are part of the larger Bridge story; a story of learning gains, innovation and the determination to do better.
Their stories highlight the life changing education and opportunity that Bridge has delivered – and continues to deliver – to hundreds of thousands of children in Kenya – opening a gateway to success for them to achieve their dreams.
Challenges facing higher education in Kenya
It is the dream of every parent to see their children excel in their studies because it gives them the chance of a brighter future; opening doors to opportunity. Poor access to education and academic performance often means that children will be trapped into the circumstances into which they were born, with no chance of reaching a better life.
A major cause of poor academic performance in schools is lack of well trained and supported teachers. This is the case of Victor Mramba. Prior to joining Bridge, he attended a school where he was not learning. Teacher absenteeism was high, and when they reported to school, they simply did not teach. Victor’s parents enrolled him in a Bridge school and his performance improved instantly, opening for him a gateway to success. He emerged among the top performers in the country in the 2015 KCPE exams with a score of 402 marks. He was admitted to Kenyatta High School Mwatate, a top national school located in Taita Taveta County. Today, Victor is pursuing a degree in law at Kenyatta University.
Importance of education: real life stories
Doreen Chepkirui comes from a humble background. Her parents rarely find work, and depend on casual labouring to support their family. Despite facing punishing poverty, they prioritized sending their daughter to a good primary school. Doreen is now pursuing her higher education with a degree in Clinical Medicine at Kabarak University.
The demise of a loved one is always a difficult ordeal. It is even worse for a young boy who gets robbed of his father at a time when he needs him most. Jeremiah Onyapindi lost his father when he’d just joined form one. His world crumbled. Bridge supported him during his primary years and beyond with a Bridge scholarship saw him through secondary school, where he scored an A- in KCSE. He overcame the challenges facing higher education in Kenya, and is now studying Mechatronics Engineering at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology.
Clarion Isighe was disappointed when he failed to join the secondary school of his choice, and one that he had been selected to attend, due to lack of school fees. This did not kill his dream. Driven by the ethos of hard work instilled in him at Bridge, he enrolled in a local community secondary school where after four years, he scored an impressive A- in KCSE. This earned him a slot at University of Nairobi’s Faculty of Engineering to study Microprocessor Technology and Instrumentation Engineering.
Coming from an entrepreneurial family, where her dad and elder sisters have ventured into running businesses, they knew how important access to education was to success. They chose Bridge and Susan Njeri was determined to be the first from her family to get a university education. A girl with a big heart, Susan is studying Psychology at Pwani University because she wants to help people. There is no doubt that her family name will be printed on the graduation list of Pwani University graduates when she finally completes her degree programme.
Stephen Kimutai is studying civil and structural engineering at the University of Eldoret. Growing up in a family of three children, he witnessed how his parents who are peasant farmers struggled to raise school fees. Stephen is incredibly fortunate to have parents who value the importance of education and would go to any length to get a quality education for their children, a quest that led them to enroll him in a Bridge school. He is determined to make them proud for all their sacrifices by succeeding in school. He received a Bridge sponsorship that helped him complete his primary and secondary education.
These stories are inspirational to thousands of children in Kenya. They show what opportunities are available and what doors can open for all pupils when supported by a strong primary school. Gateway to Success will encourage children in communities across Kenya to know that they too can make it no matter the circumstances facing them.