This is the story of Emmanuel a teacher at St Charles Lwanga Secondary School (SCLSS) in Nairobi Kenya.

My name is Mr. Emmanuel Machanja, the Geography and Religion teacher at SCLSS. I come from a very humble background, the ninth in a family of 12, three of whom have passed on. My father died while we were very young, He was asthmatic and we couldn’t afford his medication. He left the full responsibility to my mother who was a peasant farmer. Life was not easy; getting food was a problem and getting school fees was a big challenge and most of us dropped out of school.

In my primary education, I studied at a school six kilometers away from home, where we would walk each day without food.  Life was not fair and there were times when I almost dropped out to help my mother with our family.

Fortunately one of my teachers, Madam Josephine, (God rest her soul in eternal peace) paid for my school fees and I was able to complete my primary education. I qualified for a provincial secondary school but I had to I stay out of school for one year since I didn’t have the school fees. I later was able to join a school when my mother borrowed a shirt, shoes and trousers from my neighbor whose son had completed his schooling. Life was not easy in secondary school and I was often sent home for lack of school fees. In secondary school I worked so hard and I attained a very good grade so I could be accepted to university. My mother was happy I had completed secondary school but her major challenge was the university fees.

I was accepted at many universities but was unable to go because of lack of fees. I decided to volunteer in my neighboring school through which the headmistress linked me with Brother John Kennedy Oronjo. He welcomed me at SCLSS where I served as teacher and a boarding master. After one term he decided to sponsor me to join the university. I owe him much gratitude for that. I worked so hard both at the university and at the SCLSS. I completed my University education this year in April and graduated in July the same year with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.

I thank God and all those I have mentioned, for this and I am working so hard to improve the living standard of my mother and those who live together with her. Thank you.