Each and every day, The Mungere School teaches students whose parents couldn’t afford to educate them beyond elementary school. The teenagers are well aware of the unique opportunities given to them and wear their red sweaters with pride. As part of an English writing class, Form III student Zacharia Yakon movingly described his family’s situation. He wrote of the poverty they faced when he was a child and how his parents battled to overcome their plight. Zacharia used a class on narrative compositions to tell how the family was forced to live with friends because they had nothing. He goes on to describe how his father sold water on the streets for years in a bid to build a home for his wife and children. The family never forgot the kindness showed to them by the community and made sure that those who helped were eventually rewarded.
Read Zacharia’s personal narrative here:
My name is Zacharia, I was born in 1996. When I was young my family was not able to have their basic needs whereby there was no money, no farm and no food or house.
We were living with my father’s friend whose wife was not happy to see us living in their house. My Mom knew this and there was a lot of stress.
My Dad worked very hard selling water on the street for little money. They used half and saved half but it was difficult. One day, my Mom told my Dad, “My husband, what kind of life is this?” My Dad answered, “Why, my lovely wife, I know it is not good for us to be here, but let us stay a little longer so that I can get enough money to buy what we have planned — to have a nice home and a farm.”
My Dad sold water for two years and he bought a piece of land. He worked again for six months and he built us a nice house. One day, he settled down with his friend who sheltered us in his house. He told him, “My friend, I have nothing to pay you. Rather I need to say ‘thanks a lot for helping me and my family.’”
His friend was happy to hear that my Dad had built the house and said, “I wish you a nice life and continue to love your wife as you loved her here and take care of your family.” They shook hands and hugged each other while smiling.
We collected our belongings, like clothes and some chickens and their eggs, and we moved to our new house. Life started to be good and my Mom was very happy to see that. My Dad continued to sell water for two more years and he bought a farm.
He and my Mom discussed cultivating that land and it was decided that my Dad would stop selling water and invest in agriculture. He went to the friend who had sheltered us and asked, “Can you teach me about agriculture?”
His friend taught him everything about cultivation and the following day my Mom and Dad went to the farm and started cultivating and growing different crops. After three years he became more powerful and when I was seven years old they took me for my first day of school.
One day my Dad bought a nice watch and two rings. He went with my mother to his friend who had sheltered them when they were poor. His friend was very excited to see my Dad doing well for himself. He hugged my Dad and his wife hugged my Mom. After the greeting my Dad took out the box and gave the couple the two rings he had bought as gratitude for helping when we had nothing.
Everyone was so happy and we celebrated by eating rice and drinking juice.
- Story by Jane Wharton and photos by Victoria Majeika