Eric was born into a life and world that is a million miles from the one that so many of us know. He came into a world of abject poverty in the remote countryside in the great Eburu Escarpment, Nakuru County, Kenya. Eric’s father toiled in the heat, harvesting sand from dawn to dusk just to be able to provide a solitary basic meal for his family. One of seven brothers and sisters, anything other than working the land to help with his family’s survival was a distant dream for Eric. That dream seemed even further away when his father sadly passed – Eric was barely five years old.
Eric and his brothers and sisters became adults that day and sought out whatever work they could, often walking miles to do hard manual labour on other people’s farms. None of them made it past primary school, as a carefree childhood slipped through their fingers like the sand they harvested every day.
Then in 1997 the flames of politically instigated ethnic tensions swept through the region and Eric and his family were forced to flee their home, leaving behind what meagre possessions they had and relocate in Morop, a foreign part of Makuru County. Scrapping for whatever land was available, the family finally settled on a small plot of unproductive earth with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
Dreaming of a better future, Eric moved in with his brother, a casual labourer at Mwariki Settlement Scheme, a peri-urban slum area in the Nakuru Municipality, so that he could continue with his schooling. Life though didn’t seem to want to play ball and the pressures of living below the poverty line and the need to survive meant the vicious cycle continued. Eric however, would not be ground down and he somehow managed to keep his school work going, studying when close to exhaustion and often with little if nothing to keep him going other than his dream.
The first break of light in Eric’s life came when, through his hard work, he came top of not just his school but the entire eleven schools in the Ronda region with a score of 404 out of 500 for his KCPE. This amazing feat led to Eric connecting with the PdE and EnKI team in Nakuru and soon he found a sponsor, Carolyn Jenkins, whose generosity has helped turn the tide of poverty for Eric and provide him with the means to achieve his dream. Through his sponsorship, Eric was able to work his way through secondary school education at Ndururumo High School, excelling as a straight A grade student and Head Boy. In 2012 his dream came a step closer when he won a place at the University of Nairobi dental school to do a first degree in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery where he is now in his sophomore year.
His long awaited dream of becoming a surgeon and helping people is now becoming reality. Eric is an inspiration to us all, reminding us that belief and dedication can break through almost anything, we are very proud to have Eric and his Carolyn Jenkins, his helping hand, as part of the EnKI family.