Making a Difference in One Life and Inspiring Dreams for Others.

Francis Kathitu lives in Mathare, which is the second-largest slum in Kenya. It is packed with people, highly dangerous, and is extremely impoverished. He’s one of 58 sponsored students there, and has proven to be industrious, intelligent, and joy-filled. He has dreams of pursuing higher education, and even to help in educating others in the future. He is also a natural-born leader, one that other students in his school look up to because of his discipline in school. While Francis had big dreams, achieving them was quickly proving to be impossible. He comes from a single-parent family and has an older brother and a younger sister. His siblings were both born from different fathers, and Francis has never known his own father.

His family situation has been difficult for him in many ways. With his father not in his life, it was a struggle for his mother to raise her children. She was a single mom, just trying to do the best she could to find any means of income for her family. Because of the pressure and expectations on her, she found a means of paying for food and rent through prostitution. For some time, this was income that was life-saving, but eventually, Francis’s mother contracted various diseases. 

These diseases were so detrimental to her body that her condition deteriorated and she was unable to continue working in order to provide for her family. As a result, she had to relocate to the countryside, and Francis and his siblings were unable to continue living in their home. Francis used to be sent home from school due to not being able to pay the necessary fees, which over time had accumulated to 45 thousand Kenya shillings ($316). Francis used to lie to his principal, saying that his mother would bring money in the future, and would ask if he could stay in class that day. Most of the time, the principal would get upset and send him away from school, causing Francis to miss most of his lessons and fall behind. On top of missing class, his school uniform was in tatters, and the sandals he owned were a gift from one of his teachers who noticed he needed some.

Thanks to our partnership with Fanuel in Mathare, we were able to find Francis a sponsor who has committed to paying his school fees, so he never has to worry about being sent home again. Included in his sponsorship was two school uniforms and a pair of shoes, so he did not have to worry about his school attire moving forward. As a result, he did better in school and was greatly improving in both his education and home life. He even was able to score a B+ grade in the school exams! Through sponsorship, his self-esteem was improving, and his dreams were becoming more of a possible reality.

Francis dreams of becoming a high school teacher who can make a difference in other students’ lives like his. He is now achieving good grades, making it realistic to dream of a career involving engineering or architecture. His ultimate dream is to help his family and the community around him, making a difference in the lives of students who come from families like his…so that they can now dream as he does.

To impact more students like Francis, donate to our Student Sponsorship Project today!