Agnes inspired the Enkisoma beading program as a way to pay for her high school.
She wants to be a teacher! Agnes was accepted to Kenyatta University but
needs financial support. She needs our help!
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I find myself at this point in life needing financial assistance.
First, I would like to share my life history with you. When I was still young I had a dream of becoming a teacher. Since in my culture it is not customary for a girl to be educated, I knew it was going to be a challenge. I didn’t start attending primary school until I was older, but I learned quickly, so very soon after joining, my teachers promoted me up to class 3. When I started class 4, my father wanted me to undergo FGM/C (female genital mutilation/cutting), as FGM/C and marriage are seen in my culture as a right of passage. I begged my dad to wait with the ceremony until I finished primary school and he agreed.
After my final exam in primary school, my father organized a ceremony for my younger sisters and me to be cut and married. My younger sisters agreed, but I personally refused to be cut and get married just because my father wanted a dowry for my hand in marriage. I wanted to get education so that I can also help other young girls in the future. That is the time when I started to experience difficulties in my life, because my father started to ignore me because I refused to undergo FGM/C and get married, my younger sisters were cut and married and that made me feel guilty because they were still so young.
When the results for my final exam in primary school were released in 2009, my father refused to take me to secondary school. In his eyes, refusing to undergo FGM and marry a man he chose for me, made me a dishonorable daughter. I remained at home looking after the cattle. I decided to reach out to my primary teacher because I wanted to continue with my education. She arranged for me to be able to go back to primary school and promised to help me in any way she could. We met Charlotte, who was in my village on a mission as a peace fellow from America and I explained my story to her. Charlotte introduced me to Ellyn and Nina from Seeds to Sew and they really helped me from then on.
They established the Enkisoma program, through which my entire secondary schooling was financed – by beading the Enkisoma bracelets. “Enkisoma” means “education” in my native Maasai language, and I am proud to have been the inspiration and co-founder of the program. By hook and crook l strived to bead with my mum since I knew the end result was going to be sweet, and I was able to finish my secondary school without any debt. Thanks to the wonderful Enkisoma program, Seeds to Sew and for the help of Ellyn and Nina selling my bracelets.
When I finished my secondary school I remained at home for two years because that was the end of Enkisoma support, my father is still not supporting me, and my Mum is very ill, so we couldn’t afford for me to go to university. But I reached out to Seeds to Sew with a plea, and I am thankful for them because they are again helping me.
After graduating high school, I got married and gave birth to a baby girl at home. I want my daughter to have a better life than me, I hope she doesn’t experience the difficult life like me. I moved away from my home because my brother was physically abusing me. My daughter and I moved in with my aunt.
This summer, with the help of Seeds to Sew, I applied to Kenyatta University in Nairobi and I got accepted! I am so happy now! My first semester is paid for but I still really need help.
All my life I have yearned to be a blessing to my society. Seeing children sit back at home to undertake household chores and grazing cattle instead of getting education is quite disheartening. My great aspiration has been to be a teacher, I want to impart knowledge to the learners, I want to serve humanity in teaching capacity. How can I do this? How can I achieve my goals when I lack fee to facilitate the same? When I lack rent and food? I’m glad that through the help of generous people like you and Seeds to Sew this is now imaginable.
I am desperate and in dire need for your support. I no longer bead bracelets since the Enkisoma program covers secondary school education only. My mother is very ill and I don’t have anyone else who can help with my expenses. I appreciate your reading my story, and will be forever grateful for any financial assistance you can provide.
Agnes Netaya Kimpuk