Everyone deserves a second chance to ‘get it right’

Everyone deserves a second chance to ‘get it right’

Meet Daniel Kariuki, an HHFL youth whose life has taken many twists and turns. Daniel did not complete high school and decided to run away from the project for a whole year. He took to the streets, dabbling in gang life. On his own accord, Daniel decided to return to HHFL early in 2013 with a renewed commitment to himself and his future. A born leader, mentor and influencer, Daniel showed us that he was indeed ready to change his life around for the better. After several months of volunteering at HHFL to re-establish trust, he enrolled in an artisan course to become a chef and is finally “getting it right”.

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Written by Daniel Kariuki, HHFL college student

Over the past six months I have been attending Amboseli Institute of Hospitality and Technology in Thika to become a chef. At school, I have been awarded two certificates and this gives me a lot of confidence.

I have just returned from a three month internship in Mombassa, the Kenyan coast. It was my first time away from my family. As I waved goodbye to my family and the kids at the project, I felt scared because I have never left Nairobi but I was also excited about what lay ahead of me.

In Mombassa, I worked at a hotel called Darajani Hotel. On arrival, I was happy to meet a classmate who welcomed me for three days while I looked for my own room.

During my internship, I worked in the restaurant serving and arranging tables for two weeks. After this, I worked in the kitchen where I was assigned to the hot kitchen for a month and a half. I learned how to bake breads, cakes, and biscuits. I was so happy to learn how to make bread because when I was young I used to wonder how bread was made!

Although I made a lot of friends from different communities in Mombassa, I am very happy to be back at home.  I have learned a lot both in class and during the internship. I have experienced life ‘on the other side’ and have made bad mistakes – many that I now regret and wish I could take back. I know now that life on the streets is not where I want to be. So I thank HHFL for giving me a second chance and allowing me to go back to college. I promise not to disappoint myself, our donors or my family anymore.

Vocational-2014 Feb-Daniel Kariuki1

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