Macheo Achievement Program Success
Success after success can be the simplest description of the Macheo Achievement Program, which continues to add value to the lives of students coming from less privileged background. With a total of 125 secondary school students from 7 schools in Kibera, Mukuru and Kangemi slums, the program is proving to be a real solution to the many problems that students from these areas face.
The program, started in the year 2012, commenced with a total of 15 students from 2 schools in Kibera. Over a five year period, Macheo has helped over 100 students to finish their secondary school education with a number of them enrolling in Strathmore University to pursue various degree, certificate and diploma programs, and another group joining other colleges or universities across the country.
The objective of the Macheo program is to reduce the dropout rate of students from secondary school, and to improve the rate of transition to university education. This has been achieved in most cases.
What makes the Macheo program special is the fact that Strathmore University students volunteer to teach and mentor the high school students on the ups and downs of campus life. In the words of Archangel, a form four student in the program from John Paul II secondary school in Kibera, the mentors are the best people she has ever met.
Every Saturday, students are taken through sessions on life skills that equip them with the knowledge necessary for improving their attitude through the difficult circumstances they face and how to look at life positively; these lessons will help the students even after completing their education.
The university students who volunteer in the program are taken through a series of trainings that equip them with knowledge on how to advise, guide, encourage, challenge, inspire, correct and even motivate the Macheo students.
Testimonies from students such as Brian Wambua – a Bachelor of Commerce student in his 2nd year and a former Macheo student – describes his dream to join a university, and how an offer from Strathmore University was a blessing.
Jeff Obonyo – a Bachelor of Arts Communication 1st year student, and a former Macheo student – said his desire was to mentor secondary school students just as he was mentored. Through the Macheo program, Jeff decided to be an agent of change in a young person’s life.
Recently the Macheo team put up a study center on the compound of Kibera’s Christ the King Catholic Church, which offers a comfortable study environment for many students who do not have such a place at home. With this new development, Macheo is reaching out to many more students who cannot be included in the normal program.
Through Macheo hope has regenerated because of the support students enjoy through paid school fees, medical support, extra tuition, mentorship and character talks.
On 14th October 2017, Macheo held its last session of the year. Renowned writer Wilfred Wachira, author of the book The Slum Dreamer, took time to encourage the students on the many possibilities they can engage in as they prepare to get into university, citing examples from his own personal life story.
Article by student Oliver Odoyo