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Lewa-Sponsored Girl Triumphs in Nationwide Exams Despite Adversity

February 21, 2013

 Joy Makandi is a shy but well-mannered teenager. The 14-year-old Lewa-sponsored student is also a celebrity in her neighbourhood thanks to her exemplary performance at the 2012 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams. The KCPE exams are tests undertaken by all pupils in their last year of primary school in Kenya, and the score from the exams is most crucial as it determines the quality of the high school the student will attend. It determines their academic future.  Joy – with a score of 400 out of a possible 500 – was the second best performing candidate in her school, and was only 30 points away from beating the best student in the Nation!

This is certainly no mean feat for a girl who was orphaned at birth and has been raised in abject poverty by her 70-year-old grandmother. Joy says that their lives are not only devoid of luxuries, but even the most basic needs such as food and clothing are sometimes hard to come by. She says that over the years her grandmother has constantly reminded her that the only way to break this cycle of poverty is by excelling in school. Joy says that her success in primary school would not be possible were it not for the support she has received from the Lewa Education Programme (LEP). 

“I’m so grateful to Lewa and my sponsor Suzanne Pool. To raise money for my education, my grandmother would be forced to work as a casual labourer in farms, but since I joined the LEP in 2008, my school fees has been promptly paid, and I’ve also had all the material I need to excel in school.” 

When we visited the Joy and her grandmother a few weeks ago, it was obvious that the two could not hide their joy, literally! The elderly lady was quick to inform us that she always knew the sacrifices she made for her grandchild were not in vain. She says she’s very pleased that Joy has taken her advice on education seriously, and she’s now on the right path to a successful future.

Joy says of her future plans, “I want to be an aeronautical engineer. I know I can do it. And then I’ll take care of my grandmother, the same way she’s taken care of me all these years. I’ll also help students from poor backgrounds achieve their dreams, just like Suzanne and Lewa have done for me. “ 

Lewa is extremely proud of Joy and all our other sponsored students!

About the LEP
The Lewa Education Programme offers educational opportunities to local children. Over 700 students (including orphans) in primary, secondary and tertiary education have received LEP’s annual bursaries. At least 75% of these students graduate from university and college with outstanding academic results. To learn more on this programme and how you can support a child, click here.