NAIROBI -- I was born in a pastoral community in the arid, northwest region of Kenya. The community is always moving here and there in search of water and pasture for their livestock. When I was six years old, the majority of my parents’ livestock died due to a drought that hit the area and they were left with few animals.
As I was the first-born, my mother forced me to walk to a nearby school so that I could get something to eat and bring some home for my younger brother and my sisters. This is how I started my schooling. I used to go and hide in a nearby bush until the other pupils were ready for lunch, and then I would chip in and join them.
One day I was caught by the teacher who was on duty. I was chased away and told that if I needed food, I should be attending classes like all the other pupils so that I could get a school meal. The following morning early, I came to school and went straight to Class One. Since I was hardly wearing any clothes (let alone a school uniform), the teacher took me to the staffroom where the other teachers were amazed to see me wearing only torn short trousers, with a bare stomach and chest.
One of the teachers, Mr. Patrick Agwatta, volunteered to buy me school uniform. I was enrolled as a Class One pupil although I was bigger than the other pupils, and I could join the others for lunch. The food I received was from a WFP school feeding programme, and I used to take home corn soya blend and cereals to share with my younger brother and sisters. Since this was the only food we could get, I used to attend school every day without being absent, because if I was absent we slept without food.
The same month my parents decided to move away in search of pasture but I remained and stayed with my teacher, Mr. Patrick.
WFP school meals brought me this far, and I finished my schooling because of them. Now I’m an employee of WFP and proud of working for the organization.