Sammy with some of his siblings

My name is Sammy Maziya and am 17 years old. I was born at Ndonya, Mtwapa location in Kilifi district. My family is of a single mother, originally eleven members but three have since left home. My mother does peasant farming or hawking fruit & vegetables depending on the season of the year. At home we eat ugali and vegetables e.g mkunde (peas leaves) and sometimes boiled cassava. We are used to going asleep hungry because it started ever since I was born. We sometimes eat twice a day but most days it is once. Being the eldest at home, I am forced to work during weekends in order to assist my mother in meeting some of the needs at home.

Sammy's sparse home

Where we live now, I sleep on a floor using sacks or nets and lessos which we use as blankets. I used to sleep on a mattress when I was very young, it was a family mattress but since Class 2 until now I have never slept on a mattress at home. I have been to many schools as we never had the money to cover the fees but my longest duration at school was Mtwapa Primary School for four years.  Thankfully a friend of the school founders, Edna & John Mellor visited our home in December 2008 and have since been paying our rent which has helped our mother.

Edna contemplating village life

Then in May 2011 our problems with school fees disappeared after I gained a place in Class 5 of St Bernadette Mary School. I decided to work even harder after knowing the importance of education and knowing that I am the only one to rescue my family from poverty. St.Bernadette Mary School changed my attitudes from bad to good and made me to understand the importance of doing good things. This school is where I knew God and learnt how to pray and everyday my stomach was replenished with a large helping of Ugi. Also five of my siblings attend this school and my mother works on the Shamba at The Good Life Orphanage three days every week.

Mama Edna & the family

I wish to join secondary school so that I can achieve my goals. I know very well that education is the key for success in life. After secondary school I hope to join university. My goal is to be an engineer or a lecturer who will teach engineering in universities.

Sammy Mgoti

All that, in God blessings.