‘ A LIFE OF PURPOSE’ By mercy karanja

This is my story, a black African woman born in rural Kenya invited to support work in Bill & Melinda Gates foundation in Seattle, USA. Growing up in rural Kenya to a farming family, with no electricity or running water, my early life involved picking coffee, working the land with hand tools, fetching water uphill from the valley everyday among other household chaos. This was the normal life in the rural community for every family, hard work, with meager returns. I was convinced life could be better than my experience. That fueled my passion to study agriculture with the urge to improve the lives of rural communities.
I attended a primary school with no textbooks and no record of graduating students to high school. My older siblings attended a better school about five miles from home. When it was my turn to be enrolled, asked my father whether I could go to the nearby school. He told me this school had never graduated a student to high school. I said excitedly, then I will be the first! My father agreed! I went on to be first student to get distinction in the life of that school. The headmistress of the best high school in Kenya then, came to my home to enroll me to high school and see this “unknown primary school”. This enabled me to pursue my dream.

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