Peter Kamau’s Verslag in het Engels:
My name is Peter Kamau Gikonyo. I was born and brought up in Ngoi. Ngoi is a village in Mpeketoni. I come from a very poor background. My parents are peasant farmers. We depend on the little food we get from the shamba. There is only one farming season and if the crop fails like this year, it means trouble the following one. The produce we get from the garden is barely enough to cater for the basic needs of the family. Our gross daily income is less than one Euro.
I was a pupil at Ngoi Primary school. At the time the school was mud walled and grass thatched. It is now a very beautiful school thanks to the help of the donors from Holland. My parents could barely afford the primary school fees. Many are the days we slept hungry due to lack of food. My dad had to work as a casual labourer in the neighbours’ homes for food and to raise school fees. His daily pay was approximately one Euro.
Our mud walled and grass thatched house leaked so badly that we would wake up at night during the rainy season to move the bed to a secure area. I thank Mr. William and my sponsors for the iron-sheets and for helping as construct better houses. We walked to school bare footed and buying school uniform was a headache for my parents. Circumstances could force my parents to sell our food stock and even take some to school as school fees. We did our homework during the day because there was no light at night. We spent our evening outside to take advantage of the moon light.
I did very well at school. Our headmaster was very proud of my performance. He was however worried because he did not know what would happen to me after primary school due to our family's poor condition. I remember in class six I received a reward for the best pupil in the division. There was no doubt that I would be able to pass to join secondary school.
Mr. William, teachers and students from Holland came to build our school. That is where I met Mrs. Barbara and her daughter Marianne who were part of the team that were constructing classrooms in Ngoi. During their visit my mother became very ill with cerebral malaria. Her heath condition is bad and she often has to go to hospital in a very critical condition. I remember at the time she was taken to hospital unconsciously in Mr. William's Land Cruiser. Our last born Paul was only three months old then. Mr. William, Mrs. Barbara and her daughter Marianne paid all her hospital bills and took care of her until she was well.
Mrs. Barbara and Marianne got very concerned with our family. She sent numerous letters and presents through Mr. William. Mr. William visited our family, brought us food parcels and wanted to know how I was doing at school.
Our Headmaster, Mr. Irungu, also sent many letters to my sponsors explaining our humble background and my excellent performance in class. He also requested for help with secondary school fees which my parent could not afford at all. That is when Mrs. Barbara and Marianne promised to look for another sponsor for me.
I did very well in the final exams and got an admission letter from Mpeketoni secondary school. This was a very difficult moment for my parent because there was no way they could raise the school fees. The happiest moment was when we received the news that Mrs. Barbara had found another sponsor for me. This was a miracle for our family. All the school fees, school uniforms and pocket money were provided. My sponsors and Mr. William were very concerned about my academic progress. Their kind help, words of encouragement, their genuine love and numerous visits to school made me pass through secondary school. I was the best student in our school in the final exam and the best in the district.
High school life was very good for me. Everything was provided. However, every time I knew that I could not have made it to high school were it not for the kindness of my sponsors and Mr. William. Some of my former class mates in primary school lost hope along the way. Some opted for early marriages because of lack of hope. I don't take it for granted that I got the chance to join secondary school.
My dream was to be an electrical engineer. After I had passed well in secondary school my sponsors visited home and promised to actualize my dream. I went to the University of Nairobi to pursue a degree in Electrical and Information engineering. I must say that this was my first time to go to the capital city. This was unbelievable to me and our family. Sometimes I could not believe my eyes seeing the beauty of the city and the university and remembering where I come from. My sponsors spent a fortune on my education at the university.
I am now a very happy young man for graduating from university. I am a graduate engineer. My parents and the entire village are very happy because I am the first engineer from our village and from Ngoi primary school. I could not have come this far without the support of my sponsors, Mr. William and the people of Holland. I could still be idle in the village with no hope for the future. There was no hope of me ever going beyond primary school. My sponsors and Mr. William brought sunshine in my life. They made my dream of being an engineer come true. I cannot adequately express how I feel right now. I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of our family and the entire village to thank Mrs. Barbara and her family, Voogd family and Mr William for bringing light to our village. My life will never be the same again. I would like to use my education to help others like you have set an example. I would like to thank well wishers and the donors for the work you have done in Mpeketoni. May God bless you.