Hadid-Hanging in the Balance…
Hadid’s destiny is in your hands. From the moment she walked in, I knew she was different. This was no run-of-the-mill rural girl, if there’s even such a thing. Hadid is fair-skinned, with an angular face that showcases her sharply-defined cheekbones. Her eyes are dark and alert. She seats her tall, regal, 14-year-old frame in the chair in front of me and introduces herself with confidence. After a few niceties, I ask her my first question, “Hadid, tell me something about you that I don’t already know.” I was visiting Kenya in January 2018, on my annual student recruitment trip and Hadid was one of 100 girls at a rural national school near the Kenya-Uganda border, vying for 50 highly coveted, education scholarships.
Education the Gateway: All the girls attending the Esther’s Hope Ministries student intake interviews have a formal application on file, that provides their basic data. These are academically gifted and talented girls, but they are financially strapped and desperate to get the one thing that is their gateway out of poverty, education. Hadid looks at me, and immediately takes control of the conversation, (this girl did not come to play, she came to plead her case).
Hadid’s Story: “First, let me tell you why I need a scholarship,” she says, and then the rest of her story unfolds. “My father died when I was only 4 years old, leaving my mother to fend for me. Without any kind of formal education, she was unable to support me. One of my uncles took me in and decided to care for me.” At that point I ask whether her uncle is employed, and she responds. “Yes, he is employed. He works in a hotel, but he does general labor and his wages are not enough to support his four biological children and five other relatives, myself included, who live with him. Please give me this opportunity to learn,” She pleads, “please madam (a respectful term in Kenya), I promise I will work hard.”
The Future: Hadid wants to become a pilot after she finishes college, but that cannot happen unless we give her a hand up, so that she can complete high school. For the price of two restaurant meals a month, you can help Hadid and others like her with the gift of a life-changing and life-transforming education.
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