Andrew Bitek

Thirteen-year-old Andrew Bitek goes to Bridge, Bumala in the Busia County of western Kenya. In the village where he lives, there are mostly mud huts with one room; he shares his home with his mother and sister—Veronica—who is in Class Four at the same school. His mother has no job and his father moved 430 kilometres to Nairobi to find employment, so that he can provide for his family. His mother and father decided to send Andrew and Veronica to Bridge after hearing the teaching was different to other schools.

Lot of children in Andrew’s village don’t go to school, he says: “So many children just wander the streets.” There is a high level of poverty as most people are subsistence farmers who grow only maize and beans.

In the morning, Andrew wakes up at 4 am then walks with his sister for almost an hour to get to school. Normally, they like to read before school if there’s time. Andrew is a Class Prefect and loves to play football with his friends . . . his favourite team is Arsenal! Science is his favourite subject because when he grows up he wants to become a doctor. He says: “I want to help the people of Kenya, to cure them of their diseases.”