Student Spotlight: Irine

This month, we shine a spotlight on a remarkable student from Nomadic Primary School - Irine. She is 13 years old and lives in Turkana East. Despite facing significant challenges, Irine has consistently impressed her teachers with her academic achievements and exemplary behavior.

Irine on her first day of school

Irine started school in 2015 and made it to the third grade when her educational career was unexpectedly cut short. Bandits raided her family home in the night, killing Irine’s two brothers and stealing all their livestock. Her family was left with nothing, forcing Irine to drop out of school and work as a housekeeper for several different homes to help support her family. Her parents, lacking formal education, have been laboring to gather firewood, but her father's illness has limited his ability to contribute, placing the burden primarily on her mother.

Even after leaving formal education, Irine remained dedicated to learning, immersing herself in books about diverse subjects. Her dream to become a doctor one day never wavered, fueling her relentless pursuit of knowledge during the five years she was out of school. At 13, according to the customs of her pastoralist community, she's at an age where marriage is often considered. However, Irine's determination caught the attention of the Village Youth Fund, who stepped in to offer her a scholarship, enabling her to resume her formal education rather than becoming a child bride.

Now back in school, her teachers tell us that she exhibits an exceptional work ethic in her studies. Irine’s determination to continue learning on her own while out of school has also paid off, as evidenced by her recent achievement of securing the top grade in her class on the midterm exam. We could not be prouder of Irine, and we have no doubt that she has a bright future ahead of her. One of our field officers Gibson Ewaar recently sat down with Irine to congratulate her on this achievement and ask her some questions.

Irine on her first day of school

Gibson: Hello, Irine! I am thrilled to meet with you today for this special interview. Being selected as the Student of the Month and having a dedicated article about you is a fantastic achievement, and we're eager to learn more about you.

Before we jump into the questions, I want to assure you that this interview is all about having fun and getting to know you better. There are no right or wrong answers—just your unique perspective and experiences. If there are any questions that you do not want to answer, you can just say “pass” and we can skip to a different question. This interview should take around 10 minutes. Do you have any questions for me before we get started? Are you ready?

Gibson: What is your happiest memory?

Irine: I was happy when I got a scholarship.

Gibson: Who is your hero or someone you look up to?

Irine: Doctors.

Gibson: If you were president of Kenya one day, which laws would you pass/ what changes would you make?

Irine: I will make changes helping my parents.

Gibson: What’s one thing you are really good at that you think others might struggle with?

Irine: Mathematics

Gibson: Can you tell us about a time that you felt really proud of yourself?

Irine: When I came (to school) late and became the first one in midterm exam (highest score in the class)

Gibson: If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what advice would you give the younger version of yourself?

Irine: I will advise them to study until they finish their studies. 

Gibson: What do you think you will be doing 10 years from now?

Irine: I will be studying to become a doctor.

Irine also tells us that her favorite activity is playing football (soccer for our American readers). The entire team at the Village Youth Fund extends heartfelt gratitude to all the donors whose generosity made it possible for us to support Irine's return to school. Stay connected with us by subscribing to our newsletter for regular updates on Irine's journey, along with stories of other remarkable children benefiting from VYF sponsorships.

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