Plister Ogolla, sponsored by Marti Morfitt, was one of the first students to join the program in 2007. Her HIV+ mother and five siblings were abandoned by her father when Plister was young. To support the family, her mother did odd jobs when she was well enough. Plister’s mother dreamed of sending her children to college, but she knew it would not be possible as she was struggling to make enough money to feed and shelter her children, let alone pay for regular school fees.
Plister slept on cushions on the floor with her sister. Trash was scattered throughout the home with electricity only occasionally available in their iron-sheet home. Plister longed to go to school. She loved being with her friends but the few friends she made at school when she could occasionally attend continued advancing to new grades while Plister remained behind.
Plister was accepted to the Friends of Ngong Road program along with two of her siblings, and life took a turn for the better for her and her family. Her mother said it was a huge relief that three of her children were being fed and educated through the program. It allowed her to provide food and clothing for her other children. And, it allowed her to have hope that one day one of her children would make it to college and make a better life for their whole family. Today, Plister is on her way to making the dream possible.
After graduating from secondary school (high school) in December 2016, Plister joined our post-secondary department and attained a computer certificate course while waiting for her final grades to be released. During that time, Plister used her entrepreneurial spirit and self-reliance principles gained in the program to apply to a government program as a National Youth Service Cadet for a six month training on technical, entrepreneurial and paramilitary skills. She was admitted and upon completion will receive a certificate that will make her significantly more competitive when searching for employment.
Plister graduated with a D on her final exam, so not a high score, but she passed! She is another example of a student using other skills gained through the program to make a way for herself. Our mission states that we provide children education and support “so they can transform their lives” in recognition of the fact that the program cannot do it for them. Friends of Ngong Road can only provide tools and training. True transformation is up to the individual, and Plister is a great example of that.
Plister will return to the post-secondary program after completing her Cadet training. The future is bright for Plister and her family. The future is bright for many of the children in our program with an investment from people like Marti who care about kids. Great going, Plister and Marti!