Saturday, September 1, 2012

ICT Centre Aid youth career Opportunities

By Bett Kipsang'
Access to current information in the remote arid areas can be as hard as squeezing water out of a piece of rock! The story of David Toroitich 22, from Maundu Meri in Rumuruti Division paints a grim picture of a community living far from the information age, where internet and newspapers are as scarce and hard to find as water.

David went to Dol Dol secondary school, where he studied under difficult financial situations. Hard work and determination saw him complete in 2009 with a C+ in the dreaded KCSE.
His parents are small scale farmers, keeping a few cattle, goats and sheep on a small piece of land. David is the second born in the family of nine and his father being polygamous has eight more children from the other family. 

All Davids siblings have faced financial difficulties in the pursuit of education. One of his elder brothers only completed form four and stayed at home for lack of school fees. The other one has managed to complete a teachers trainings collage recently. It was a big challenge to raise school fees, they almost dropped Midway. ‘‘To easy the burden for the parents, children in our family are admited to college in alternating sequences where one is admitted and the rest waits for him or her to finish before the other one is admitted’’ David said.

‘‘I have been working as untrained teacher in Minjore primary school, for the last one and a half years’’ he said.

 David has always had a burning ambition to pursue a career in journalism, but he did not have an idea of how to get a place in college and even if he found the place, raising fees was another mountain to climp. At some point he applied for admission in a private institution  and was admitted. His brother advised him to try any government institution, saying it was better off in terms of fee payment. His brother however never had the information about any of the government institutions offering journalism courses. 

‘‘As a coincidence i tuned the radio one day and overheard of a traffic update, that there was a snarl-up near the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication’’. Said David. With curiosity he travelled for over twenty kilometers to Sipili looking for a place where he could access the Internet and check for the website of the institution. 

In Sipili, David bumped into the Ngarua Maarifa Centre, ‘‘I thought it was another cyber business in town’’ he said. He was assisted with the contacts for KIMC. He called and got information of a September 2012 intake and that the advertisement will be published in the local dailies in June. Staff at the maarifa centre promised to get him the advert because David come from far and may not get the daily news papers on time. ‘‘I dont know how else i could have gotten the newspaper, i wanted to send the teachers who frequently goes to Nyahururu town to get me a daily newspaper but it became very expensive because i did not know when it would be published’’ he said. 

A parent whose daughter is currently studying at the institution and is a regular visitor to the Maarifa Center brought the advert.  David collected in two weeks time then made the application. He had crossed the first hurdle, with a sigh of relief. 

On 7th of August 2012, David received a call from the post office asking him to go and collect his parcel. He rushed there and opened the admission letter to the collage of his choice in great delight. He immediately scanned through the letter and the eyes stopped at the fee structure, David almost gave up because he was well aware of the position of his family! 

The fee was too high for his parents to afford. He however took the letter home, sat over it and discussed with the rest of his siblings and parents. They resolved to give it a try. David took off on a journey of Kilometres to visit the Maarifa Centre again. This time to report the news of his success and seek further information.

The news was received at the center with jubilation. It was a good testimony of how the centre is serving the hardly reached populations in the vast Semi-Arid Laikipia west. One of the staff at the centre called a lecturer to inquire for accommodation in the college and opened a social media update to show David the new college hostels where he will be residing. 

Though David is still pessimistic because of the financial difficulties, he has received a lot of insights including advice on how to seek financial assistance. An area chief who was downloading university fees structure for his daughter advised him to get the CDF application for in a nearby shop and biggin the application process. He was also connected to one of the KIMC lectures who can assist him immediate he arrives in Nairobi. David has been to Nairobi twice on school tours. 

The N’garua Maarifa fraternity is wishing David good luck as he set out to pursue his career ambitions.

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