“I hope that I can start my own business, because I now have the skills required and I’m still learning more.” Maryanne
Maryanne is 18 years-old and studies hospitality at Kimlea Girls Technical Training College in Kenya. Before she began her studies, she ran a green grocer business near her home, which she started using the little savings she had.
“My dream for the future was to get some education and start my own business, and also help the needy. But the challenge was I did not have enough money for my education,” she says.
With a scholarship, she was able to attend Kimlea, a school she had wanted to attend after seeing how much one of her friends learned there. “They have specialized teachers, they have facilities to teach and it is the only college where you can attain your goals in catering and hospitality,” she says.
At Kimlea, Maryanne has learned many new skills such as stitching and baking. She has also received encouragement from her teachers. “My micro-entrepreneurship and accounts teacher has inspired me by explaining to me how I can start my own business, and how to overcome challenges in the marketplace.”
In addition to learning practical career skills, Maryanne receives guidance from a mentor, who provides her with emotional support and helps her navigate obstacles both inside and outside the classroom.
“She has helped me overcome challenges in my life,” Maryanne says. “When I remember her words, I am motivated to study hard.”
Maryanne has been sharing the skills she learns at Kimlea with others in her community. For example, she has taught one of her friends to do stitching, so that she can earn an income. She has also volunteered her time to visit a children’s home, where she taught them how to bake.
Reflecting on how access to vocational training has helped her, Maryanne has one message for those who donated to help provide for her scholarship: “Back then I had no one to rely on, and I had no hope,” she says. “But you have come into my life, and it has changed.”
Since she has begun studying at Kimlea, Maryanne’s goals for the future have grown even larger. “My dreams have changed, because I have learnt new skills in baking and food service that are going to help me when I start my business, which is a shift from the green grocer. I can now start a small hotel,” she explains.
“I hope that I can start my own business, because I now have the skills required and I’m still learning more.”