This blog entry is written by one of our pupils at St Bernadette Mary School, as you can see Levis encounters hardship on a daily basis
My name is Levis Karisa. I am a standard 8 pupil at St. Bernadette Mary School, I live in Mtepeni.I come from a humble family of eight children where challenges of the day are obvious. To begin with, my father is mentally ill while my mother is suffering from Tuberculosis.
My father’s condition denies him completely an opportunity to play his role as a father. He is not able to provide basic needs like clothes, food and shelter. Sometimes he talks alone and behaves badly. In the earlier days his brothers tried to help him by taking him to the hospital for treatment but their effort fell in vain. Today as I write, his brother have neglected him. Two weeks back, we had taken him to a free clinic at Mzambarauni in Mtwapa but little was achieved. I feel sympathy for him.
On the other hand my mother coughs continuously because of tuberculosis. She has tried to use different medicine from within but her health status is worsening. At home we direct all our prayers to her because we believe that God can heal her, sometime when I see her carry a basket full of mchicha (pig weed) to the market for sale tears roll down my cheeks, but she has to do this to provide the family with food and other basic needs.
At a times I and my brothers go to look for casual work from our rich neighbours so that we can get money to help our mother. We normally dig or weed in the shamba for those people.My brother in form two at Lake School Secondary has dropped out because of lack of school fees. No one knows what to do. He is at home working in shambas for the neighbours. This is an effort to get school fees.
On the other hand my life as a pupil at St. Bernadette Mary School is very different to my life outside the school gates, I enjoy many benefits , I am offered with free education, good learning materials like text books, free school shoes and uniform and a cup of porridge during break time. There are also good games. On every Friday pupils usually go to neighbouring school called Mtepeni Primary for games and sports. Other benefits that I get from this school are free medical care, guiding and counselling done by the teachers. There are good teachers who are very helpful to the children, today I know how to use computer.
I have interest in music, education and sports. Music is good to me because it passes information to people and also it entertains. I like sports so much, I usually play football and would like to continue playing in the future. Games keep me physically fit. Playing makes me avoid bad company.
I am interested in education because it is the key to success, in Kenya without education in Kenya life becomes very difficult. With all these problems, I know that I have to work hard in school so that I can be a better person in future. I am one of the candidates who will do the Kenya National Exam in November this year.
Despite all these challenges I have never forgotten to pray. I know that all these problems will come to an end one time.
God bless me and my family.