I think I have found a recipient for the first bike (Eatmore Sprouts & Greens, being cycling enthusiasts, have sent donations to gift bicycles to assist people here). I haven't offered it yet, but this young man seems to be a perfect candidate. Don't worry, my eye is on lifting women, but for this first one... As with anything, it is never as easy as just handing something over. There is a lot to consider to ensure you don't do more harm than good. You have to worry about jealousy, dynamics, culture, theft, just to name a few of the complications. This young man has proven to have very good character and because of his position, I think it will work out.
He has just graduated university. He finished Form 4 (grade 12) in 2001 with a "B"... I'm not exactly sure what that means as Kenya has quite a complex scoring system, but I do know that he would have been invited to a university, but at full fee. His parents could not affort the tuition, so he "just stayed at home" and tried to find work. For four years. Finally, when it was clear he wasn't getting ahead, he went back and repeated Form 4. Just take that in for a minute. He went back and sat in a classsroom with Form four students. This isn't like going to college to upgrade a few courses. It is putting on a school uniform and going to school every day. Anyway, that blows me away.
This time he scored at the top of his class and was again called to University... this time with a scholarship where 70% of his tuition was covered. He has now graduated university, with a degree in teaching, at the top of his class.
As an inexperienced teacher, though, he has accepted a job in a private rural school. The offer was very good -- 10,000 Ksh a month. He thought he must be very lucky. It takes four to seven years to get a position in a government school where your salary is higher and paid directly by the government.
At the end of the first month (payday is comes at the end of every month), September, he was paid 2,000 Ksh and promised the rest was coming. It is now January. You guessed it... Nothing. He says it is difficult to stay motivated and to teach when you are hungry. But he perseveres. He is looking for another placement, but in the mean time he needs to gain experience.
He starts teaching remedial classes at 7am and after teaching all day Forms 1 through 4 (grades 9-12), he finishes teaching at 5pm. He told them he was not willing to work on weekends. He walks just shy of 4km to school every morning and home every evening as he has no money for a matatu or even a boda boda. In his spare time he does some work for Tembo -- translating teaching material from English to Swahili, teaching basic book keeping and project training (bee-keeping, poultry, etc.).
He has been engaged to a lovely young woman for 6 years... they are just waiting to have money to be married. He knows he will be a Professor one day. He will not give up.
He told his whole story with a smile.