Elisha was born in the rural area near the coast of Kenya where life was tough but his family close. When he was 10, his father died from AIDS. Soon after, his mother learned she too was HIV positive. She became very ill and unable to work. Elisha loved his mother deeply and remembers her instilling in him the importance of hard work and education. As she weakened she could no longer provide the basic needs of Elisha and his 13 year old brother.
Elisha moved in with his uncle’s family in Nairobi, while his brother moved to a city six hours from Nairobi with a different uncle. In Nairobi, Elisha’s uncle earned income as a driver, an unpredictable career he depended on to support his own four children plus Elisha. Food was scarce, school fees scarcer.
In 2008, case managers from the newly launched Friends of Ngong Road/Ngong Road Children’s Foundation program visited Elisha’s school. It happened to be on a rare day that he was there with paid-up fees. His teachers advocated for his acceptance into the program and shared his story. Elisha was accepted, absolutely thrived in school, found friends in the program with similar backgrounds, and benefited greatly from the ongoing support of a case manager. Elisha said he no longer “felt odd. I just fit in.”
When Elisha’s mother died a few years later, he was not left alone to deal with the tragedy. Instead he had the continuing support of FoNR/NRCF. Today, Elisha is studying to be a civil engineer. He dreams of making Nairobi a better place that can compete globally. He is on the way to transforming his life, his family’s lives, and the whole of Kenya.