Friday, March 16, 2012

Uweza is my strength

by Thomas Bwire

“I came to know about Uweza Foundation last year during its official launch in Karanja. Since then, I became part of the family and I have never looked back.”  Meet Henry Onguti Thomas, 28, a parent to Reagan Onguti aged 8 years. Henry is a happy father to his son, Reagan whose success story is gradually shining on him at this tender age both in his school work and in extra curricular activities.

Henry (left) and Thomas speaking at the Uweza Community Center
Following the launch of the Uweza center, there was no turning back for Henry whom after attending a parents meeting, made a decision to allow his son participate in the Uweza Foundation programs.  Reagan, now in class three at Old Kibera Primary School, attends the extra remedial classes held by Uweza, known as tuition, undertaken by experienced tutors in assisting kids in the program with their school work.

By letting his son join the program, Henry hoped that his son would get better foundation to help him excel in life, because going to school is essential and every kid has a right to education.  During our interview, Henry informed me that he let his son join Uweza Foundation, because of the assurance of children’s safety while at the center, unlike in the other self sponsored tuition sessions that leave parents worried of their children’s safety.

His son is doing well in school and has been in the top five positions in school exams. Besides school work, the boy is also doing well in Uweza's sports soccer program. Early this year, during the award ceremony for the soccer participants, Reagan emerged top, edging out other boys under his category and scooping up a trophy and a medal for Player of the Year for the Under-8 category.

Reagan and his mother accept the award for Player of the Year with area Chief and Uweza Program Manage
His moving words, inspired by the spirit of determination and courage, are unshakable as he is a dedicated parent, which I easily noticed when he took me to his home in Makina village. The court they live in is clean. Upon entering his one roomed house, it looks well organized.

“This is my home where I live with my wife, whom at the moment is at work and my daughter is in school though she will be here in a short while.” says Henry.

During our 20 minute stay at his house, he was able to tell me that he has lived in Nairobi since the year 1996 when he came as a young scout member to a camp at Rowland camp for scouts.  On one of the walls, hangs Reagan’s medal he won from the Uweza soccer program.  As he proudly shows me his son's medal, Henry tells me “You see, hard work pays and am I happy that I can gradually see the talent in my son."

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