Empowerment is the theme that makes Cradle to Career different from so many other programs. It is the return on investment the world receives from each child who is given a chance and an education. Cradle to Career invests in these children and the world benefits.
Fr. Henry Simaro runs schools that focus on education. But he expects more from his students. He expects them to give back. There are the obligatory chores when studying at his schools. The chores seem to take place with smiles on the children’s faces, probably because they appreciate the education they are receiving.
What is unique is the “pay it forward” philosophy that is required when the students enter college. Cradle to Career asks each college students to give back to her community in return for the funding she receives to attend university in Kenya.
What has surprised us is the commitment and enthusiasm our college girls have shown. “I never knew I could be so effective giving to others without giving money,” said Grace, an IT major at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
Over three hundred orphans and vulnerable children have been touched by the community service work of our college students. Our nursing students have volunteered at AIDS orphanages and community hospitals. One of our students is working four days a week at a orphans’ home for street children. Another is speaking at area high schools inspiring students to dream big. The number of people touched by our college girls is growing exponentially.
A new generation is growing up. They are the change agents of Kenya. As they age into the professional careers and take the reins of society, our job will diminish. This new generation will thank us and send us on our way since they have been empowered to help those in need in their country.