William: One Student’s Attitude of Gratitude


William is an orphan whose personal motto is ‘to achieve the best in life’. He lives with his uncle and four brothers. In 1997, his mother became ill with tuberculosis, but the family could not afford to pay for her treatment and she passed when he was ten years old. Seven years later, his father would die from alcohol.

William’s academic achievement was impressive and he soon completed primary school. Although he had passed the KCPE (Kenya National Entrance Exams) his uncle could not afford to send him to secondary school. He could only send one of the five boys to school. William decided to give up school so that one of his brothers could go. William remained at home and worked. He earned $1.25 a day making charcoal, digging ditches and herding cows. In July 2009, William heard about student scholarships by Asante Africa Foundation. Soon after, William was awarded a scholarship.

“I am grateful that I was able to go to school. I did not have to pay a cent. The scholarship provided a school uniform, materials, food, boarding and personal items for school. I am the first to go to school in my family. Now, I am completing high school and that is a miracle. I am most thankful for that.”

William shares his thoughts below in a recent interview:

What is your belief? I believed that if you are disciplined, you can achieve anything. People describe me as a disciplined and visionary person. People describe me as a leader.

What keeps you strong? I know that I am not here by mistake. Even if my parents have passed, I have a mission to accomplish. I am Massai and my community has taken care of me. Many orphans do not get food, clothing and are often abandoned, but I feel as though everyone is with me.

What is your mission? My mission is to help people who are needy and to express love for people. I have been helped and I feel pain when I see someone who is suffering. We learn from what we have experienced. I want to reduce poverty and create employment opportunities for people.

What’s your message to other children who have lost their parents? Be courageous and continue in life. The loss of your parents is not the end of life. You can always learn and help others. Look ahead and do not be discouraged. Don’t let your dreams die.

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