Lotoishe is a young man who has already overcome significant barriers in his life, and who is now well on the way to a future of his own making.
He and his family live in a village named Mwandeti, around a two hour drive from Smith Secondary Campus, where he began his A-Level studies in July. “I heard about the school through my government school headmaster. On the day of my interview for St Jude’s, I started my journey at five o’clock in the morning. I had to walk for two hours to get to a bus station,” Lotoishe said.
“Two of us from my previous school did the interview at St Jude’s, and I was lucky enough to be selected. The day I was selected, I was so happy.”
Lotoishe, the eldest of five children, was a top-scoring student at his local government school and dreams of becoming an Engineer, and of improving life for his family.
“When I got to St Jude’s I was surprised to find a lot of teachers. There are many good science teachers, but at my previous secondary school, there were barely any teachers.”
Usa River, where Smith Secondary Campus is located, may seem far from home for Lotoishe, but he’s now closer than ever to reaching his dream.
More than 15 relatives share small mud huts in Lotoishe’s boma — the traditional name for a Maasai dwelling — and their first-spoken language is Maa, the native tongue of the Maasai.
A narrow, unsealed road wedged into a large valley connects Lotoishe and his fellow Maasai community to urban Arusha. His mother, Nanare, walks for three hours uphill to fetch water at a communal tap.
“Our life is very difficult because we do not have enough money. I must walk very far to get to food and water, so my children eat food once a day,” Nanare explained.
“I spend every day doing chores for the family, fetching supplies, cleaning, looking after the young children. It is a hard life but I love my family.”
“Because we are Maasai, wealth is measured by how many animals we have. We only have two cows, we sold the rest to afford Lotoishe’s government school expenses.”
“I know my son will do well and he can make a good living one day. Education will help him get there and we know he can help us all to do better. We are so proud.” she said.
Lotoishe is one of 32 Form 5 students at St Jude’s whose academic scholarship is currently unsponsored. You can help to change his life, sign up to sponsor today!
*Quotes translated from Kiswahili and Maasai*