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Beyond Adversity: The power and impact of giving

Nov 25, 2020

Kipuyo is a young Tanzanian girl who is one of Asante Africa Foundation’s faces of success. Her story is one of resilience, grit, and determination in the face of social and traditional pressures. The foundation has been an instrumental partner – giving Kipuyo the tools she needed for her achievements.

Kipuyo’s struggles

Kipuyo’s struggles began after her mother died when she was five years old. Her father wanted nothing to do with her and sent her to live with her grandmother. Kipuyo found love and acceptance in her new home, but it was short-lived. Her grandmother passed away within a year. She was then sent to live with her uncle and his family, where she remained unwanted and neglected. The family did not believe in educating girls and Kipuyo was never sent to school. They did not want to stretch their resources and pay for her books, uniforms, and supplies. Given the financial limitations and the traditional ideas, Kipuyo missed her elementary education.

Kipuyo was determined to better her situation and walked to the local primary school five kilometers away. She pleaded her case to the head teacher, who was able to find sponsors for Kipuyo. Donations and gifts helped Kipuyo with supplies, uniform, and additional resources. It took Kipuyo two years to catch up and pass fifth grade but hard work and determination earned her one of the highest test scores in the country.

Asante Africa Foundation’s timely aid

Kipuyo had support from Asante Africa Foundation in her drive to overcome her limitations. The after school program Wezesha Vijana (Girls’ Advancement Program) teaches young girls about their rights, self-esteem, reproductive health, hygiene, and financial literacy. The program also provides peer support and educates and encourages community involvement in girls’ empowerment. The Wezesha Vijana after school program has increased girls’ attendance by nearly 78% and nearly 60% of the participants report increased confidence in managing their sexual health.

It was with these skills that carried Kipuyo through the upheavals that were to follow in her life. When she was 12 years old, her father sold her to be married to an unknown man. However, Kipuyo waited patiently and seized her opportunity to run away and found refuge with the local authorities.

Knowing her rights allowed Kipuyo to remain confident through her ordeal to seek the right help. But the release from her marriage did not end her misery. She was sent back to her uncle’s home, where she was regularly beaten and blamed. Unable to endure the abuse anymore, Kipuyo ran away to her safe space – her school. Fearing for her safety, her head teacher accompanied her to Arusha. 

In Arusha, Kipuyo was able to share her story with the board members of Asante Africa. They were able to find funding and enrolled her in a boarding school far away from her family. Kipuyo is flourishing as a student, leader, and mentor in her new school. She is part of the Girls’ Advancement Program and is using her experience to educate girls on their rights.

Kipuyo is now a junior in high school and has been focused on her education. Personal and educational supplies, and emotional support from Asante Africa has been instrumental in keeping her focused on her goals. She is currently an Academics Prefect in her school and mentors young girls on how to deal with issues related to gender-based violence and child marriage. Kipuyo also uses the skills she learned from Asante Africa’s Leadership and Entrepreneurship Incubator Summit to train girls on self-awareness and on learning how to understand themselves, on financial management, on developing respectful behavior and habits, and the importance of setting and reaching values and goals.

Thank you for your meaningful donations!

Kipuyo is thankful to Asante Africa Foundation for the physical and emotional support that has allowed her to flourish. 

She is especially thankful to the Asante Africa members “for instilling in me the confidence to pursue my dreams.” In her thanks, she assures Asante Africa members that she will increase her efforts and put in more work to do well in school and that she would never give up despite any challenge.

How can you help?

Help girls like Kipuyo to gain confidence and rise above social, economical, and traditional pressures by donating to the cause. https://asanteafrica.org/girls-program/

Your charitable contribution can greatly improve a girl’s life!

Written by Sumathi Ramanath & Genevieve Chan