Asante Africa Foundation’s Leadership and Entrepreneurship Incubator (LEI) program is a 3-year curriculum designed to assist youth in making a successful transition from the classroom to the professional world.
Our LEI program alum and a recent University graduate, Moriaso Tumpewa, believes that “the greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and ability to affect those around him positively.” LEI and its teachings have done much to get him to this point, and we think there’s no one better to talk to when it comes to assessing the impact of LEI in the community.
Read on to see excerpts from our conversation below:
Q. Would you tell us more about your family and education background?
A. I have my parents and 7 siblings — 5 girls and 2 boys. Four out of five sisters did not get to go to school, and are married now. My youngest sister will go to school, and both my brothers are in standard 3. We all live in Manyatta together with our extended family.
I started nursery school in 1999 in the village. Since there were no primary schools there, I had to move 10 kilometers from home to Enkare Nairowua, where I joined standard 1 while staying with a relative. I got my Kenya Certificate of Primary Education in 2007, and went to Kericho High School in 2008.
Thereafter, I joined Kenyatta University to pursue Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management, and graduated in 2016 with first class honors.
Q. How was life before you joined Asante Africa?
A. I come from a poor background. Given that my parents were pastoralists, life was difficult. We were moving from place to place in search of pasture and water for the few livestock we owned. It was hard on my father, who was the sole breadwinner of the family. At times we had to rely on our relatives for food. It was not possible for all of us to be educated; hence I was lucky to be the only one who went to school.
Q. How did you get in touch with Asante Africa and how has it transformed your life?
A. I got in touch with Asante Africa through Mrs Hellen Nkuraiya and Maasai Chief Salaton Ole Ntutu in December 2009. They introduced me to a lady tourist that was staying in their eco camp. She offered to donate money for my education. That lady was from Asante Africa Foundation. Later, I became a beneficiary of their scholarship program.
This scholarship has helped me through my Secondary and University education, and later participate in the LEI program, where I acquired skills in leadership, entrepreneurship, HIV/AIDS awareness, drug and substance abuse, project management etc. Another important aspect this program taught me was the concept of “Paying it Forward”. All these skills have changed my life in a positive way.
Seeing all that I have learnt and achieved over the years, my parents now understand the importance of education, and want to send my younger siblings to school.
Q. What are you currently doing as part of the community and why?
A. After high school, I volunteered as a teacher at Lekanga Primary School. This was my way of paying it forward to the community. Currently, I participate in community fundraising events in my village, to raise money for needy students especially those pursuing their secondary school education.
Q. What are your future plans? What inspired you to pursue this dream?
A. My immediate plan is to get a job. As part of my “Pay it Forward” efforts, I have kept aside 2 sheep to begin with. As the sheep multiply, I will use their output commercially, and will use the money to support the secondary school fees of at least 1 student.
When we were in the the LEI summit we were challenged to go out and make a difference in the life of at least 3 people. And this is my future plan. I will try to support at least 3 youth in my village to go through their high school education. I also want to participate in community development projects, especially water projects since we live in a drought stricken area. I am inspired to pursue my dream because I feel that this will transform not only my family, but society at large. And as this ripple spreads, lives of many people will be transformed.
Q. What are you most proud of about yourself?
A. I am very proud of how far I have come with my education. In my village, not everyone is fortunate to get a university level education. My achievements are a way to show that the efforts of my parents and Asante Africa Foundation have not gone in vain.
Q. What is your message to the youth?
A. I will advise them to strive as much as possible to get their education. They should never take the opportunity to go to school for granted. Education is what will transform them and their society. I also encourage them to be persistent and hopeful in the journey to realize their dreams.
#youthofthefuture #theyarethenext #youthemployment #youthleadershipskills
Our mission of transforming Africa’s future rests on the shoulders of brilliant individuals like Moriaso. By raising $25,000, we can empower 100 more youth to become change makers through the LEI Summit in November of this year. Invest in our youth, invest in the future!