Posts tagged University
Emmanuel's Journey to University Graduate

Ordinarily Milele sponsors young children beginning at their primary education, however there is one exceptional young man who broke all the rules.

Back in 2010 we had worked with Emmanuel at his primary school, with Rich in particular developing a great relationship with him after teaching some maths lessons at the school. Emmanuel would arrive before everyone else in the morning and was the last to leave at night. He came in to study on weekends and holidays, even when the school was officially closed! He repeatedly asked Rich to set him extra homework questions even after he had completed an entire textbook worth of practice questions!

Generations of Emmanuel’s Family all live together in a rural village

Generations of Emmanuel’s Family all live together in a rural village

Despite being exceptionally hardworking, Emmanuel’s family are not financially able to afford school fees. Living in a remote rural village, Emmanuel’s father works his land to feed the very large extended family. In addition to this, just as Emmanuel started his final year of secondary school his family had some very bad news. After losing his two year old sister in a fire accident, his mother was also diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. Despite receiving treatment, she tragically passed away in December 2010.

Emmanuel and his family value education above all else, and indeed his mother sacrificed the money saved for her operation in order to enable Emmanuel to attend the first term of secondary school and continue achieving.


Built his own house

Emmanuel (on the right) with his father, brother and little sister outside his house.

Without your support to achieve his dreams, Emmanuel would never have had the chance to attend any form of education beyond primary level and his future would have been restricted and far too predictable – what a waste of a hardworking, dedicated and passionate young mind.

In September 2014 Emmanuel became the first on the Milele Programme to go to University – beginning a BSC in Economics and Statistics at the University of Nairobi. The University of Nairobi is the best university in Kenya and 7th in Africa. Emmanuel has performed really well in his first semester receiving A grades for some of his varied modules averaging a top B grade over his 8 modules.


Starting out

Emmanuel starts his University journey

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Now a proud graduate

4 years later with a degree in Economics and Statistics

A degree level education has opened doors for Emmanuel which no-one in his family has ever been able to access. His future is bright and exciting and most importantly he has choices and control over his life.

We are very excited to announce that after four hard years the 21st December 2018 saw 'Big' Emmanuel graduate from the University of Nairobi with a 2.1 degree in Economics and Statistics! His dad attended his graduation along with Rieder and we as you can see from the photos attached he was quite rightly glowing with pride. They all went out for a meal together afterwards to celebrate his success and had a fabulous day. 

No-one could be more deserving of a degree. Our first graduate of the Milele programme, Emmanuel gives us all a reason to be proud and proves what Milele is here to do.

Emmanuel is a trailblazer and an inspiration – he shows us all that with determination, perseverance and big ideas we can achieve anything.
Emmanuel Kai - University Update

Back in 2015, Emmanuel Kai began attending the University of Nairobi to study Economics and Statistics. He has been working away hard for the past 2 years and is now just more than halfway through his degree programme. Whilst we were in Kenya in September we were able to catch up with him in person and find out a little more about his experience and how he is getting on. Emmanuel Kai outside the school of Economics at the University of Nairobi

Having grown up on a farm just outside Mtwapa, one of the biggest changes Emmanuel has had to get used to is living in Nairobi. Emmanuel rents a room with a friend in an area called Nagra which is quite near to the University of Nairobi campus. This means he is generally able to walk to university unless it is dark when he gets one of the many public buses as street crime is common. Nairobi is around 1,500 meters above sea level and this means that it is cold; when Emmanuel first got to Nairobi he was shocked at how cold it was and his first purchase was a big thick jumper that wouldn't have been out of place at a ski lodge!

Emmanuel has always been very academic and we knew that he would thrive at university but when he first showed us his list of modules we started to worry how on earth he would have time to study so many different subjects. Each semester he takes 8 modules which range from core skills such as 'Aspects of Language Skills' to degree specific specialisms 'Economic Statistics (1, 2 & 3)'. Over the course of his degree he will study more than 60 modules and he is expected to obtain at least a D in every module in order to pass. To date he has been very successful getting a good number of As and Bs in a wide range of areas.

Emmanuel in a lecture theatre ready to learn

Emmanuel is spending the vast majority of his time studying but he does have a little time off to spend with friends. On a Sunday he attends a local church and he has started to learn how to roller skate!

Emmanuel learning to roller skate

We are very proud of Emmanuel, he is a real inspiration to the other children on the Milele programme and shows that with enough hard work anything is possible!

Milele Celebration 2016

Hi All, It has become something of a tradition for us to hold an event to welcome new children on to the Milele programme and celebrate the achievements of the children who have been working hard all year. In the early days these tended to be small events held at school with a few sodas and a pile of sweets but as we have grown, so have the events. This year we wanted to add in something a little bit special.

Emmanuel, Thomas and Charo watching the awards

Every child has made amazing progress this year whether it be academically or socially so we decided to hold a prize giving celebration to let the children and their parents know just how proud we are of them and their hard work. Rieder called each child up and spoke a little about the progress they have made throughout the year and presented them with a certificate commending their hard work and a celebratory cake.

Emmanuel received a special award for being so exceptionally hardworking all year and in Rieder's words 'being perfect'. He has really focused on his studies and is showing great progress but he has also made a special effort to look after his books, uniform and school bag and has an impeccable attendance record.

Emmanuel Receiving his Award

We were also really lucky to also have Emmanuel Kai attending the event so he was able to speak to the rest of the sponsored children and share some of his experiences of University. We are so proud that he is being such an amazing role model for the other students and doing amazingly well at university! I'll post an update about his university life in a separate post.

Emmanuel Kai speaking to the group

Once everyone had received their award and a big round of applause, we celebrated with a huge amount of Pilau, Kachumbari and sweets before jumping into the swimming pool! There was so much Pilau left over that each family were able to take a zip lock bag home with them! (Thanks for packing the zip locks Jan!)

The children having fun in the pool

Thanks to the sponsors who donated so we could run this event!