Kenya: Meet one of Ondati's students....


Victoria Ouma started as a form 1 student at Ondati Girls in January 2011. She has five siblings at home, who her parents have to pay school fees for. She comes from a town about 2 hours from Ondati, where all the secondary schools charge very high fees that her parents cannot afford. Worried that she would not be able to attend secondary school because of this, she was very relieved when her grandfather found Ondati Girls for her.


(Victoria Ouma, left)

Victoria is one of the many girls to thrive under the two-fold education at Ondati. She says the best thing about Ondati is that she is taught well. Her favourite subjects are agriculture, business, history, religion, and kiswahili and she has ambitions to go overseas to university to study business or history. She also is happy that she gets a more diverse education than those at other Kenyan schools education and finds the extra business lessons and workshops scheduled at Ondati “really interesting”.

All the students at Ondati are split into project groups. Victoria is in the tree nursery group and was elected as the prefect of this group. She is therefore responsible for motivating fellow students and ensuring that they contribute to the manual work in the project, as well as keeping the project register up to date. Victoria says she has learnt many things from the project since being at the school, such as how to bud and graft fruit trees, how to prepare a seed bed and plant new seedlings, and how to manage the nursery. She has also been able to learn about the challenges and realises that businesses require a lot of attention and hard work. The trees need regular watering, especially during the dry season, and also must be protected from animals (especially the school dairy herd who enjoy the odd tree to munch on!).

(Victoria Ouma, left, receives training)

Last term Victoria was given a certificate by her teachers for being the top student in her group. This was because she regularly attended her project manual work and often did extra work when fellow students were unable to attend. Victoria is always keen to learn more about the trees and is full of questions for the teachers and experts when they come to give training at the school. This award has motivated her “to work even harder” this term.

Victoria’s parents were very proud of her when she brought home the award in the holidays. She comes from a family full of business people. Her father is a driver but her mother has her own business selling tomatoes, sukuma wiki and other vegetables. Victoria enjoys helping her mother at the kiosk during holidays, and often runs it herself when her mother is sick. Victoria is considering becoming a businesswoman herself and says that if she were able to set up a business today, she would sell clothes. Her aunt runs a clothes business and Victoria has learn from this success. Victoria says “I like the projects that are in the school and make the school successful. They will help me to be a successful business woman”.

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