Suzan met John Ngugi in 2009 at New Dawn Academy. New Dawn is a high school started within the Huruma slum by a woman who had a dream for young people wandering the alleys of the slum who cannot afford to go to secondary school. Her dedication along with financial donations has made it possible for 160 students to attend and graduate each year.
This is John’s story in his own words.
I was born and raised in a slum in Kenya. This place was like a school for me that the Lord saw was better for me in order for me to learn and know God’s intention for my life as well as for others.
I was lucky to join the Huruma Nursery School in 1995. In 1996 I joined primary school where I entered Class One. I can tell you what I recall about my life at that time. It was not easy going two to three days without food and suffering rejection was just normal. East or West there was no one to trust, to think of, or wait for, other than my Mum who tried to ensure that we got food to feed me and my 2 brothers. I could feel very bad during those times.
In primary school I had many challenges which I always call “lessons” that I learned for a better life today. I was able to reach class 6 (Standard 6) where life turned bad. I had to drop out of school because the father who married my Mum went and left her when she was pregnant and there was no one to take care of the family. I was forced to drop out of the school and work to get my brothers food and pay some money for school fees till my Mum delivered the baby and gained some energy to get back some little jobs so she could provide for us.
After all that time the Lord did not leave us. He granted us favor to persevere. He used a lady who came and took my Mum to a place where she was given some money to take me and my brother back to school. I thank God for that little money. I was able to enter class 7. I was so grateful because I almost gave up on going back to school. I went on and finished Class 8 which is the end of primary level.
After I finished primary there was no one to pay for my high school. My Mum was not able. That forced me to start working at age 14. I suffered a lot because I was mistreated by those that gave me jobs and they would hit me. I could not complain for nothing and I could not take them to the police because if I did “who could give me food”. I will never in my life forget those years because I suffered a lot, but at the same time I learned a lot to trust in God since there was no one else to lean on apart from God. My mum loved me so much, but she had nothing.
I always thank God for every situation in my life because God saw that it was best for me at that time. God sent an angel to Huruma. That is New Dawn Academy. The school brought a chance for me and my brother Peter to attend high school. In Huruma and New Dawn life was not easy, but I will call it Paradise because I knew that no matter what happens I will eat in school and learn. By the end of the day I will get love and words of encouragement from my teachers.
We continued well in high school with a spirit of perseverance. I graduated from New Dawn. I thought that was the end of my schooling, but thanks to the Lord I got a call that a benefactor was willing to pay for my college. I took Human Resource Management and I will be graduated June 2012. I want to plough it back to the community. My brother Peter also graduated and a benefactor paid for him to go to medical school and he is now a resident at a local hospital and serving the Huruma community.
Reflecting on my life and the life of many in the slum it showed me God and how he helped me survive. I have started to mobilize children from my village to go back to school since they are not able to pay.
I will mostly cater for the widowed, orphans and all those who are basically have the same background that resembles mine. God willing I will try to see that every child will leave school being a responsible adult in the future.
The kids you support in Huruma are my brothers and sisters. They experience hunger, unworthy shelter and sometimes rejection since not all of them have their biological father and mothers.
Your support has not gone in vain because these children are in school and at least we can see hope in them. I believe if you continue to support them, one day a few years from now there will be no Huruma slum since they will have a better place to stay and since they will be educated.
May the Lord bless you and enlarge your territories since you are more than friends. Our kids can now eat, drink and enjoy good classrooms. May God bless you.