Glory heard it on the radio, the opportunity that would help her family escape poverty forever.
Despite battling recurrent bouts of malaria and tuberculosis, the unemployed single mother did everything she could to get her daughter Noreen to The School of St Jude, which was offering free scholarships for a high-quality education.
“I was very sick, but it was testing day, so I got up before the sun, dressed Noreen and started asking everyone, where is St Jude, because I didn’t know,” Glory said.
“We walked all day and when we got there Noreen went in the line and I just fell down on the grass and slept all morning and afternoon.”
Noreen had been top of her class in her government school and passed the academic testing with flying colours.
As the family had no reliable income, were living in one room and sleeping four to a bed; they qualified under the school’s stringent poverty requirements.
“I was so happy when she got in, I was crying and laughing and I really say that my health was better after I got that news,” Glory said.
Noreen is now in Grade 6 and excelling. She is the self-proclaimed best singer in upper primary as well as an enthusiastic participant in the traditional dance club and debating.
Last year, Noreen brought home two big prizes; one for being a stand out performer in the debating competition and the other for always singing the national anthem with gusto.
Now that Noreen is in upper primary she boards during the week at our Moivaro campus.
Boarding at St Jude’s provides Noreen with a range of educational, nutritional and welfare benefits including her own bed, breakfast and dinner, electricity and running water and homework support from boarding parents.
Every Friday afternoon, she takes one of our big yellow buses home to Sakina where Glory is waiting, eager to hear about what she has learned that week.
Glory says that she is happy when Noreen is home and is so proud that her young daughter is able to tutor the other, older children in the neighbourhood. She can’t wait to see her graduate.
Noreen is not sure what she will do after school – with her brilliant mind, loving mum and some help from St Jude’s, not even the sky is the limit.
“Probably, I will be a doctor and a businesswoman, I want to be a politician and astronaut but I know it is hard and also a photographer, just for some of the time,” she said.