~Submitted by Lily Lahiri
When I first started attending UCUCC, I was delighted to learn of our church’s support for Rabuor Village. When Loyce Ong’udi returned from Rabuor, she shared the story of finding her mother caring for Natasha and other young children in her own home. The compassion of Rosemell, taking in and nurturing these little ones started us on our way to the establishment in 2012 of MEC (Mwanzo Education Center) which served at that time as an early childhood development center, providing nursery school services to children of ages two through six.
Over the years many of us have watched Natasha grow up and rejoiced to see her in our donor celebration video, as the Student Body President welcoming the entire student body, parents and guests to graduation, and leading her peers in dancing and poetry recitation.
Young Natasha is a standout leader in her school, aspiring to be both a pilot and a computer engineer. She is also a product of her community whose members are constantly initiating creative solutions to the myriad challenges they face. As such, growing up in that community, and being the bright girl that she is, we should not be surprised to learn of her energetic initiative to contribute to the efficient management of her school. As Student Body President, Natasha has enlisted a team of students to carry out many important duties in the school. The document above is a small segment of the spreadsheet she created and used as her notes to report to Teacher Erick Otieno. This spreadsheet covered a full page, front and back, with 21 students representing grades one through five, and the type of responsibility that each student carries. Each student regularly reports to Natasha who then shares their reports with Teacher Erick. She carries her leadership role with dignity and competence. I am so proud of our teachers and our students for working so capably to develop student leaders such as Natasha!
Natasha is a young scholar whose story many of us have become familiar with, but she is not unique in her passion for learning and leading. In 2021, she entered grade seven, and in 2022 she and her classmates will be in the grade eight class that we plan to launch at that time. It is the hope of the Mwanzo Board of Directors to have an initiative soon to build scholarship support for our graduating grade eight students who to be able to pursue their education through scholarships to secondary schools. It is my personal prayer that, having begun this good work with our partners in Rabuor, we will continue to press on, and this generation, that has suffered so much through the HIV/AIDS epidemic, climate change, and COVID-19, will thrive and fulfill our vision:
“A vibrant, restored Rabuor and her neighboring communities, offering new beginnings for generations to come.”