Hope Rises from a Dump in Kenya

Kenya – Although it’s still dark, Juja Road is filled with early-morning crowds traveling to work and school from the slums of Nairobi. Many backpack-laden children hurry off to school, creating a sea of brightly colored school uniforms. 

Dorah was one of those kids traveling along Juja Road to the Mathare Community Outreach (MCO) School in the Mathare Valley slum. She would often leave at 6:00 a.m. to catch a dangerous, public van. When her family had no money, Dorah would walk almost four miles to school.

Dorah grew up in Dandora, a slum settlement near Nairobi. As the city’s largest dump, piles of garbage line the sidewalks, causing a pungent smell to fill the community. Her mom worked as a teacher for one of the MCO schools. Her father, a mason, struggled to find consistent work. 

The Dandora slum was a chaotic, dangerous place to grow up. Dorah survived by spending most of her time at school or church. When she was 12, Dorah recalled: “One day while at home, a man attempted to rape me. I was lucky to escape.”

Over the years, God grew a passion in Dorah for medical engineering. It began in 2018 when her grandfather developed kidney disease. He had to go through dialysis regularly, but the dialysis machines at the hospital never worked. As a result, Dorah’s grandpa struggled to get the medical care he needed. 

Dorah explained: “Because of this, I found that I was constantly preoccupied with thoughts of being able to install, maintain, and repair medical machines.” 

Dorah dreamed of going to college. 

Dorah shared: “My father had just resigned his job to take care of his ailing father. My mom’s income was barely enough to support the family. I felt hopeless, but I kept praying that the Lord would turn things around for me and enable me to get to college.” 

Soon, Dorah learned about Bright Hope’s college scholarship program. Dorah filled out the application right away!

And she received a scholarship! 

Dorah celebrated: “When news came that I had been offered a scholarship, I was elated! I felt very humbled! It’s hard to get a scholarship. I was happy my dream had finally come true!”

Now, 20-year-old Dorah is pursuing her diploma in medical engineering at Kenya Medical Training College in Kisii.

Dorah hopes to volunteer at a hospital and at her former school to give back to the communities she loves. She would also like to donate and support needy children in the future. 

Dorah reflected: “I used to feel hopeless. I had embraced the reality that I had to cut short my dreams and work to support my younger brother so he could complete high school. Then everything changed when I got the scholarship. I felt a little bit of heaven down here!”

In closing, Dorah shared: “I am very grateful and humbled to have received the Bright Hope scholarship. I would like to thank the sponsors who give their money to make these sponsorships possible. You have touched my heart! You are causing dreams to come true! There are many young people whose dreams are shattered when they cannot go to college. But Bright Hope supporters have given many of us a chance. May the Lord bless and increase them!”

Bright Hope Staff
Bright Hope Staff