Teaching By Example

June 15, 2020

Maria, a brilliant, young girl from the Masai community is a member of our Choice Club Mentorship Program. Maria lives in Narok with her parents and eight other siblings. We singled Maria out from the rest of the club members because she always has a kind word to say after the club meetings and is quick to contribute to the topic of the day. Maria comes from a very humble background, and every so often, we assist her with school supplies. She comes to school with an empty metal box that doesn’t even contain a piece of tissue. Once the schools closed because of the pandemic, Maria still finds a way to stay in contact, even if it means begging for a phone from the local chief in her village.

This past week we made a journey to Narok to visit Maria and her family. They have been hard hit by the Covid crisis; they barely have food to eat, and Maria’s father is in bed seriously sick as a result of the cancer.

Getting to Maria is a hard task; their village does not have roads. Once we left our transportation, we walked for over an hour to get to their home. The walk was a difficult one; the sun, always hot in Narok, was even hotter as many of the trees have been destroyed by the charcoal the villagers are burning to earn an income. There was no shade to wade off the sun. It was a relief when Maria and her mother finally reached us, and we went with them to town where we shopped for the family. Maria’s mother was besides herself with joy. She said she has been struggling to feed the family and having a sick spouse only made matters worse. She said her priority was making sure that the father of her children ate; her kids out of necessity, had become a secondary priority.

The look on Maria’s mother’s face when we shopped for them was enough to make us cry. She said she had not seen that amount of shopping in all of her life; she kept looking at the trolley full of supplies and shaking her head. Maria said they slept on the floor without any mattress; they laid a polythene bag on the floor, and the girls shared pieces of blankets. Getting 3 new mattresses and 3 blankets was a miracle for her. Maria said at least her younger sisters would be comfortable in their little hut.

Maria was concerned that she would not be able to pass her studies because there is too much distraction at home, and she barely has reading materials. She cannot access the Internet because she does not have a phone, so while other students are receiving reading material from their teachers, Maria has not been helped.

I talked to the deputy Head Teacher of her school, and she agreed to have Maria stay with her at the school and support her until they sit their exams. Maria is in the final year of her Secondary School. The head teacher is currently residing at the school and Maria will be joining her soon~ that was great news for all of us and a huge relief for Maria.


Madam Caroline, Deputy Head at Shiners school

with her children. She will host Maria.



Maria (in a hoodie) and the Mum with Grace of Valvisions Foundation.


Shopping for home and bedding supplies with Maria in Narok town. 

Maria with blankets and mattresses donated by Valvisions Foundation. 

Maria’s mother gifts Grace of Valvisions Foundation

with beads as a gesture of appreciation. 

Escorting Maria and her mother to the bus-stop as they head home. 

Shopping done and Maria and her mother wait for transport home.


We also made a visit to Pokot to visit and support the girls who have been part of the Helen Valverde Scholarship Fund. They have been giving back to their community as mentioned, and we felt it would be good to let them know we are thinking of them and appreciating their efforts during this crisis. Despite the fears we have here in Nairobi, Baringo County where Pokot is situated, has not been affected much by Covid-19. They have very few cases of the outbreak, and we noticed many people walking freely without wearing masks. We sensitized the girls on the need to stay safe and observe hygiene as stipulated by the government.  We gave them masks to use as they go around the community helping the most vulnerable girls and the other members.


Cecilia narrated the story of how a woman in her neighborhood gave birth and afterwards was using dirty pieces of fabric as sanitary towels. Cecilia took it upon herself to buy the lady sanitary towels with the little pocket money she had left over from teaching. The lady who has never used sanitary towels, despite having 5 children, was extremely happy with the gesture. She said she had no idea sanitary towels could provide such comfort and security; she told Cecilia she now had the confidence to go about her chores without worrying about the shame and discomfort old rags bring. We also donated panties for the girls in conjunction with the sanitary towels. We hope our efforts will prevent some of the girls from selling themselves to men in order to obtain sanitary towels.


Sanitary towels and inner wear the girls will distribute in their communities as they encourage fellow girls to say no to FGM and early marriages.

Cecilia and Helidah with panties that will be donated

together with the sanitary towels.

Two of the Helen Valverde Scholarship Fund Scholars get ready to

provide sanitary towels to their village.

Our Valvisions girls donating sanitary towels in their community.

Grace and the girls at the market in Marigat East Pokot. 

Distribution of Sanitary Towels.

Children receive candy.

Update with the girls. Grace with Cecilia,

seated is Alexine in red and Vemiah in blue.

Sharing a meal with our Helen Valverde Scholarship Scholars in Marigat town.

We are also supporting our teachers who have been very key in supporting the students who cannot access online lessons. Through our support, they have been able to ensure that the students get learning materials and are able to function like the rest without being left out. As we await the reopening of schools, we need to do all we can to help the candidate classes finish their syllabus. We visited Madam Caroline, the Deputy Head at Shiners school. She stays at the school premises with her children. She has offered to house Maria and tutor her as she waits to sit her final exams. We are very grateful for her generosity.


We also visited Mr. Kanji, principal at Njabini Girls School.  These two teachers are still in their workstations despite schools closing down. All the other teachers are at their homes, so we were not able to reach them though we still communicate by mobile phone.

Mr. Kanyi, the principal at Njabini Girls School.

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