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Mary Asiko

Director and Teacher, Becky School Center

Bold question: what if all learners in kibera had access to resources to support learning?

Path to Metis: Growing up in Kibera I experienced first-hand what It meant to not be able to get quality education due to poverty. I remember being sent home most school days due to not paying school fees. This made me stay in primary school longer than my peers and there was a lot of shame attached to that.

When education was declared free in primary, I was able to attend school for the first time without being sent home and that made me understand the importance of education. I wanted to study and be an important person in the society. In school I was very much inspired by my primary teachers at Olympic primary school who were so passionate about teaching and taking care of us.

After primary school I went to high school and in form one I became pregnant, I felt like my life was over all the dreams that I had of becoming a lecturer and important person in the society I saw it going down the drain. After giving birth when my child was only 7 months, I decided to go around my community searching for a local school that could accommodate me and my kid as I continued with my education.

Being in that school actually taught me resilience as I underwent so much in order for me to get education. Being supported by many people in the process made me to want to give back to my community too. It steered me towards my passion of making education accessible to every kid that needed support. I didn’t know how or when but I had promised myself to one day have a school where I can support less privileged kids that needed to go to school but couldn’t.

Fast forward I completed my high school and again since I did not have funds to continue with college I had to start by volunteering in a nearby organization and that’s where I met my sponsor, a lady who believed in my vision, adopted me and became my mum. She supported me through university and before she took me to university and asked me to pray about what I wanted to do in university. I prayed and told her I had seen some kids who were playing with mud and in sewage and my heart was obligated to go find out why those kids were not in school. When I found out it was due to lack of fees I couldn’t move forward, I felt the calling to start the school that I had dreamt of one time.

I started the school and immediately called my mom to inform her I’ll not be going to college but instead volunteer myself to teach the kids and see where this journey would take me. She supported my vision and she became the first donor of the school and that’s why I honored her by naming the school after her. That is how Becky school was founded in the year 2014 with 15 kids.

One year later she funded my university education and I got to graduate in 2020 with a degree in education from the university of Nairobi. At Becky School we started with one teacher and now the school has 12 teachers and 2 non-teaching staffs. We provide free education as the parents support us in covering small utility bills like electricity and water.

Since inception, Becky school has provided quality early childhood education to over 300 vulnerable children who could not be in school due to school fee. Becky school is growing by one class at a time per year. We started with daycare now we have ECD and primary section of up to grade 5. my long-term dream is to proceed to senior secondary.

My hope is for the children in Kibera to be able to get an equal opportunity of education without the limitation of resources.

Mary Asiko
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