The EACDT exists to improve the lives of the children of East Africa.
Here, you will find the emotional and uplifting stories of some of the kids we have the great fortune to work with. Learn about their stories and how their teachers are seeing them develop.
Born in 2001, Yvonne was raised in Kangemi Slums.
She attended Kihumbuini Primary School where she first became engaged in our programme.
She writes this:
“My two sisters and I have been raised by a single mother. Our family is very poor because my mom is jobless. That made me drop out of secondary school at Form 4 to look for a job so I could help pay the bills. Currently, I work as a sales lady in a boutique. Ever since primary school, I have been practising the character traits in my day-to-day life.
The coaches were very instrumental to my growth. Before the programme, I was a very shy girl. I couldn’t talk in front of our class or any group of people. However, applying the character traits changed me. Now I can confidently make speeches in front of a gathering and I interact well with other people at work.
Growing up as a teenage girl, I faced many challenges to a point of almost giving up. Some days we went without food but the coaches encouraged me not to give up. Some of my best friends were pregnant while they were still teenagers.
My future aspirations are to live a better life than the one I inherited, become a role model and a source of inspiration to many young people who have hard times as I did. I would particularly like to mentor girls in Kangemi because I know the challenges kids in slums experience. EACDT coaches did wonders in our school. Without them I don’t know if I could even have reached Form 4.”
Peter Oloishorua Kakaya
Born in 1999, Peter was raised in Isinya, Kajiado County and was engaged by EACDT during his school years. After secondary school he enlisted at Kibabii University where he is now in his final year pursuing a Degree in Criminology.
He writes this:
“I come from a very humble family and live with both parents in a polygamous type of family. I am the third born and the only child to have gone to university. The EACDT programme has been one of the most important and life-changing trainings I have ever gone through. It has shaped me to be the person I am today. The coaches encouraged me to face life with positivity, become socially intelligent and to work hard. That is why I do casual jobs as a night security guard during academic breaks to get some money for my upkeep at the university.
I literally practise all the key character traits every day.:
- Gratitude and Social Intelligence have really helped me to build good rapport, make new friends at home and university, be socially influential and develop leadership abilities. This year I got elected in the student elections as a Students Faculty Representative for 2023/2024.
- Determination has helped me continue pursuing my dreams without losing focus. It is not easy to overcome chains of cultural and economic challenges in our Maasai community without someone having your back the way the EACDT coaches did to me, while Self-Control has helped me avoid dangerous activities, such as drugs and substance abuse which is rampant in the University.
- Curiosity enables me to keep on learning through consultations and research, seeking information is so empowering in every area of life.
I always believe that what tomorrow holds is better, despite the situation where I come from. I’m looking forward to completing my degree, to having gainful employment, to continue my journey in cricket as a player and to give back to my community as a trainer for the junior cricketers. I will always share the importance of character with others, including my future kids.
Thanks to EACDT for the wonderful lessons about life.”
Esther Vuguza was born in 2002. She is the fifth born in a family of 5 siblings. Esther came from a broken family and her parents divorced when she was still young. She was raised by a single mother who passed on when she was in her third year at high school. form three. The father never supported the mother in raising the children. Esther lives with her elder sister who has been her guardian since the demise of her mother.
Esther learnt at Kawangware Primary School where she graduated in 2016 with good marks that earned her admission at Moi Girls High School Nairobi, a national school. She graduated from high school in 2020 and hopes to be a cabin crew in future.
Esther has had remarkable growth and transformation through the programme. She joined the programme as a young timid pupil in class 4 whose life had been adversely affected by the absence of the father and the abject poverty at home. Our coaches and character tutors became her friend, confidant and mentors. By the time she was in class 8, Esther had become a confident girl with great determination for success in academics and life at large.
Esther learnt basic cricket skills and played the game at school but her latent talent and passion was in music. Our programme encouraged her to pursue what she loves and Esther became a good violinist at primary and secondary school. She represented her high school in music and drama festivals to national levels. Esther’s character development and transformation through the programme endeared her to many people including our trustee Mr. Julian Ince, who fully sponsored her high school education.
All through high school, Esther remained active in the programme and she attended holiday sessions as well as holiday academic tuitions organized by the programme for students sponsored by our partners. Her passion for music and encouragement from EACDT saw her join Ghetto Classics Orchestra sponsored by Safaricom. She started training with the orchestra in Korogocho slums in Nairobi soon after high school and by the end of 2021 she passed her auditions and joined the main orchestra.
Esther is currently working as a barista in one of the best coffee lounges in Nairobi. She secured the job after one the employer approached EACDT for referrals of potential employees. Esther emerged the best in the interviews and she has remained a valuable employee in the firms. She now serves the firm as a barista, a roaster and does records keeping including stock taking and generation of invoices. She carries our flag high at work and in the community.
“EACDT has greatly impacted my life. First, the programme encouraged me to develop my talent in music and complete my high school education on full scholarship.
Secondly, I was able to cope well with major challenges in my life such as being raised by a poor single mother and without fatherly love; trauma from the fire that burnt our dormitory in high school and killed my 10 colleagues-I was lucky to jump out of the dormitory; the stress and depression in high school when I lost my mother and my academic performance started dwindling.
The character traits have positively shaped my life. For example, curiosity helped me ask questions and seek information that enabled me to pass my examination. When I left high school and started another phase of life as an adult, I came to appreciate the role of gratitude, enthusiasm and optimism in society. I never fail to show gratitude when something good comes my way. My optimism in life and passion in what I do has made other people, even strangers, love me and earned me appreciation at work place. Besides, I am not easily swayed by other people’s negative opinions. I cope with different situations in different environments and the most beautiful thing is always to come up with a better solution.
The programme encouraged me to play violin to the best of my ability and I am glad to be part of Ghetto Classic Orchestra. I also sing and dance all of which help me express myself as well as entertain other people. I am working towards creating time outside my work schedule to go to the community and teach other kids how to play violin.
So EACDT has been my pillar in many ways including giving me skills and values that I find very useful at my work place. Discipline matters a lot and I strive to uphold it. I am confident and able to speak to gatherings during events and exhibitions by our firm. I engage different type of people.
Thank you EACDT for the wonderful work you are doing.”
Esther’s story shows the transformative impact of the programme both in nurturing talent and enhancing employability of young people from disadvantaged communities.
George was born in 2002 in a family of seven siblings. George was raised by a single mother in Kawangware slum after his parents separated in 2003 when he was one year old. George’s mother passed on in 2019 when he was in form one and his elder sister became his guardian. They live in Kawangware slums. George’s sister/guardian struggles to feed the family and pay rent for the double-roomed house made of an old iron sheet house that they live in. The landlord often threatens to kick them out and sometimes he locks the house but later on empathizes with them because he knew their late mother for many years.
George joined our programme while in class four at Kawangware Primary School. He has continuously participated in the programme even while in secondary school at Ruthimitu Mixed Secondary school where our coaches voluntarily run sessions. George’s secondary school education was fully sponsored by Mr Matthew McCormick, an associate of EACDT. Mr Matthew met George during a cricket tournament and he was pleased with his character and his talent in sports. Besides settling the school fees, George says that the sponsorship has enabled him to get lunchtime meals at school. The meals at school were often the only meals he had during the day.
George says that the programme has helped him in different ways including character development, nurturing sporting talent, building resilience, giving back to the community and his progress in education. An incident that highlights George’s resilience was when he was involved in a very bad motorbike accident in March 2021. The accident was the second one after an earlier motorbike accident in which he dislocated his shoulder. He broke both arms and a leg and had head injuries. The person who found him at the scene of the accident took him to Kenyatta National Hospital but dumped him at the reception. He remained unattended for a long time before family members learnt of the accident and secured his admission. George had three operations and a metal implant was fixed on his shoulder and another one on his arm. The second operation he had to fit a metal plate in his arm was not successful and so it needed repositioning in a repeat operation. The EACDT, through the support of our partners, cleared all hospital bills, bought him crutches and catered for his food during recovery.
The values that we teach in the programme including empathy, generosity, team work and gratitude was on display during Gerges treatment and recovery. George needed blood donation because he lost a lot of it and his colleagues in the programme were immediately available to donate the blood. Throughout the difficult time in the hospital, optimism and determination meant a lot to George. The entire EACDT fraternity and our partners remained equally optimistic that he would sail through victorious. To our delight George resumed cricket practices and he now plays for Kongonis Cricket Club. He also volunteers as cricket coach in our Community Cricket and Character Development Program.
“My life has been greatly transformed by the programme. I was able to complete my secondary school education through sponsorship by a partner of the programme. I was eating one meal a day or sometimes lacking meals but when my fees were paid, I was able to have meals at school every day and I say many thanks to EACDT.
The program has changed my behavior and attitude. I had friends who were thieves, some died and some are in jail. If I were still their friend, I could have ended up like them but because of EACDT, I used self-control and abstained from such evil acts. I cannot join companies and I am able to differentiate between good and bad friends thanks to the program.
In addition, self-control has enabled me to control my temper and remain emotionally stable. I also have a lot of perseverance and this character trait was helpful when I had a motorbike accident. I am also determined to achieve my goals in life and I will never give up.
The program has helped become a good cricketer. Through discipline and outside the field, I have managed to score 100 runs as a batsman, taking 13 wickets, 10 maidens, 60 overs,100 runs in half a season.
In this life, I strive to give my best without expecting anything in return or do the right things without supervision from anyone. I remain hopeful that my contributions to the community through coaching will make our community a better place.
May EACDT continue changing lives in our communities.”
Lavendah Alivitsa Idambo
Lavendah was born in 2005 and she learnt at Kawangware Primary School. She passed her exams and joined Highridge Girls High School. Lavendah has four siblings including two step brothers. Lavendah joined the programme in class 4 at the age of 9 years. Since then, she has continuously participated in the programme and currently, she is a player and peer character educator in our Community Cricket and Character Development Programme.
Lavendah’s academic journey was tough due to poverty at home. She reported to secondary school without school fees and was soon sent home. Fortunately, her positive growth in the programme and good academic performance earned her full scholarship from the EACDT programme director Mr. David Waters MBE. The scholarship covered her school fees and all other expenses including clothing and stationaries.
Lavendah says that her strong character foundation has helped her overcome challenges in life including when she critically fell sick at school and was sent home to seek medical attention. She also missed classes and examinations while representing the country in international cricket tournaments but she would work hard to recover the lost time and pass her subsequent examination.
The programme built Lavendah’s leadership quality and the teachers noticed her leadership capabilities. Her class teacher, Madam Brenda Oduor, encouraged her to run for elections as a dining hall prefect when she was in form 2. Lavendah won the elections and was appointed as a dining hall prefect, a position she held for three years. Lavendah also played for the school volleyball team and she was a member of the school mathematics club.
Lavendah had her first cricket session as a young pupil in class 4 at Kawangware Primary School. Before then she had never heard of cricket. She joined our session and became very enthusiastic about cricket. Lavendah has grown into a talented cricketer. She joined the Kongonis youth development team and later joined the national ladies’ team in 2019. Levendah’s life has transformed greatly from a girl who hardly travelled outside Kawangware slums to a lady who has represented Kenya in international cricket tournaments in Rwanda and Uganda. Lavendah went to India for a one-month advanced cricket training.
Lavendah is very grateful for the values that she has learned in the programme and for the opportunity to give back to the community by mentoring other young boys and girls as well as teaching them cricket. Lavendah is very proud that her peer-to-peer character mentorship had yielded positive results. She gave an example of a girl called Dinah who she mentored and helped overcome depression. Dinah lived with a single mother who was a drug addict and very violent towards her children. Dinah had contemplated dropping out of school and running away from home due to her violent mother. After several sessions with Lavendah, Dinah became more social, confident and optimistic about life despite difficult life at home. The fights between Dinah and her mother were reduced and she was able to complete her secondary school education.
Lavendah is currently studying for a certificate in Social Work and Community Development at East Africa Institute of Certified Studies in Nairobi. She also works at a plastic manufacturing company in Nairobi, a job which she secured through referrals. She plans to further enhance her cricket skills and continue representing Kenya in international tournaments. She remains passionate about giving back to the community by volunteering in the programme and supporting other underprivileged kids to develop character and cricket skills. She also hopes to uplift the lifestyle of her family in the future and move them out of the slum.
Now aged 21, Byron was born and raised in Kangemi Slums.
He attended New Kihumbuini Primary School where he first took part in EACDT’s Schools Programme before moving on to secondary school. He is now a dancer in a group called Stomerz Ultimate Dance Crew that appears regularly on Kenya Television Network’s Saturday evening broadcasts.
This is what he has to say:
“The character traits I developed from EACDT have been so effective for me personally. They have helped me to change my life. They have helped me with my attitude, shaped the way I relate to people and, since I chose to be steadfast in practising self-control and determination, they stopped me from using drugs.
Besides helping me become a good character, EACDT also taught me to play cricket. I play for the Kongonis Cricket Club and also coach as a volunteer. But on top of this I umpire cricket matches whenever I get the opportunity. This, with my dancing, helps me earn a living.
I am so grateful for the platform EACDT gave to me and my friends.
Without EACDT I probably would have been a drug addict by now and a person without goals, ambition and vision in life. My dream is to learn about cameras and television production despite lack of finances at the moment.”