AGE 13, GRADE 7 (2016)
Evalyne, a quiet seventh grader, is a happy student at the Kakenya Center for Excellence (KCE). At her previous school, she had a very long walk and often could not pass difficult parts on the road when it rained, causing her to miss weeks of school at a time. Between her many chores, like fetching water from the river, and the long walk, she had very little time to study or do homework. Like many Maasai girls, Evalyne was expected to become a homemaker, with little value placed on her schoolwork.
Since being admitted to KCE, Evalyne has time to study and feels safe in the boarding school environment. She loves mathematics and is a top student. In her last exam, she scored 96% out of the possible 100%. Evalyne aspires to be a brain surgeon. She has seen many people die due to a lack of available healthcare. Many in her community are poor and cannot afford treatment even if they make it to a hospital. For this reason, Evalyne says when she becomes a brain surgeon, she will build an accessible hospital for her people.
When asked the most valuable thing she learned at KCE, Evalyne says she did not know that female genital mutilation was harmful and illegal, but now she knows that no girl should undergo the process. She has also become more confident. Like many girls in the school, Evalyne is happy about their new dining hall. “Before we used to eat outside and sometimes the sun was too hot or it would rain while we were eating. I want to thank the donors who helped the school build this dining hall.