Then and Now: A life transformed by sponsorship – Mercy Achieng

Then and Now: A life transformed by sponsorship – Mercy Achieng
Mercy’s HHFL journey from life as a helpless orphan to a university student 

Written by Mercy Achieng

2006 – that was the year I thought my world had crushed. Mum passed on, leaving five siblings and all we knew at the time was that it was over: School, city life, happy times, were over. At that time, further education was an unaffordable illusion and I often feared that I would end up like many of my cousins; who drop out of grade seven, join grandma in upcountry and eventually get married at a tender age having failed to further their education.

Through this stormy phase of life, Mama Hanne & Baba Ted found us. Helpless as we were, they saw a future and better life for us. They vowed to sacrifice their entire life, for the sole purpose of making our hearts smile, educate us and make us realize that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

My second parents, Mama Hanne, Baba Ted and Mama Marianne, my long-term sponsor, gave me a home, supported me throughout high school and most importantly taught me to have a purpose in life. This family, HanneHowardFund-Lenana is the only family I have.

I am now in what I call the ‘bright phase ‘of my life. I am in my first year at Strathmore University, one of the most prestigious, most expensive universities in Kenya, a center of excellence! I am pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce and Management Science thanks to The First Group Academic Scholarship Fund.

One month into my degree course, I got my first contractual paying job with the Faculty of Management and Commerce in the university as a faculty student assistant. With the high tuition fee, this was a huge relief. I am able to pay for my living expenses like transport, food and pocket money. Spending time at work during the day meant that I had to enroll for evening/night classes. I initially felt intimidated by over half of my classmates who were very familiar with the corporate world but I soon realized that potential is all that matters, and I had to come out of the shell I hid in.

I joined Strathmore Community Outreach Programme (COP), whose vision is to become a vehicle of change in Kenya’s society through initiation of projects and activities that aim at tackling problems and challenges within our communities and providing solutions that improve the quality and sustainable lifestyle for these communities. In COP we go out every Saturday for outreach work; environmental clean-ups, offer guidance & counseling to kids in streets and children homes among others. Charity begins at home, thus being a COP member, despite the clubs tight schedule, I have to market HanneHowardFund-Lenana. We, among all other organizations need the outreach from Strathmore. This coming August holiday, depending on COP’s theme of the month, COP might find a slot for HHFL.

I am sure it will be an amazing experience for the entire HHFL family! Giving back to the community is something that I have known to be the best expression of love because it leaves a lasting impression that you have made a heart smile!

A better future and success is my goal. I am working smart in school, attaining good grades, socially improving my life and making it a blessing and service to others, as inspired by Mama Hanne & Baba Ted. Dr. Martin Luther King Junior once noted that not everyone can be famous but all can be great because greatness is determined by service, you only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.

Sponsorship is the reason I am here today. 

Please consider sponsoring an HHFL child today and make a difference that could change the life of another smart, committed and deserving child forever. 

HHF sponsor

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