Twenty-four-year-old Geoffrey Ade, is the Youth Development Officer for FKF (Football Kenya Federation), a position that puts him in charge of all the youth players in the Kenyan national football teams. Never in his wildest dreams did Geoffrey imagine himself working with a football organization and surely not at a national level.
A former student of Mathare Community Outreach (MCO) Joy Primary School and a beneficiary of the Bright Hope college scholarship, Geoffrey is an active participant in one of the local churches that partners with Bright Hope to bring hope to those living on less than two dollars a day.
“I am a very active person in church,” he said. “I lead the services, I also assist in cleaning and setting up on Sunday mornings before the services begin.”
Orphaned as an infant, Geoffrey was raised by his maternal aunt and her husband from the age of 4. They lived in Mathare Valley, a poor slum area with most of its residents living on less than a dollar a day at that time. “I was happy my aunt and uncle took me in and became my parents,” he said. “Everyone thought of me as their biological first-born son.”
Geoffrey graduated from high school in 2011 and participated in different activities, hoping he could go to college.
“I always had a passion for business,” he said. “I wanted to go to university and study commerce but did not have the money needed to join college right after high school.”
Geoffrey volunteered as a social studies teacher for grades 5 and 6, and later as an untrained business teacher for MCO Secondary School. During this time, he applied for a college sponsorship.
“I was very happy when I realized that I could finally start pursuing my dream,” he said.
That year he started a diploma course in Business Management at Kenya College of Accountancy (KCA) University. During his studies he worked for an IT company as an administrative assistant, his very first paying job. He graduated from college in 2015 and continued working for the same company.
Geoffrey got his big break in 2016 when he landed a job with Football Kenya Federation as an administrative assistant. Last year, he was promoted into the youth development officer job. Geoffrey currently manages the under-13s and under-15s national football teams in Kenya and helps with the under-17s as well.
“This job has given me an opportunity to travel both within and outside the country,” he said. “Last year I travelled with the under-17 team to Cameroon, I also went to London with the under-13s.”
When asked about his future, Geoffrey says he is currently saving up so that he can pay for his Bachelor’s degree in commerce. His story is a big encouragement to other Bright Hope scholarship recipients as well as to the children he works with.
Geoffrey says he is grateful to the generous donors who help enable young people further their studies through Bright Hope. “I am grateful,” he said. “They make dreams come true, may God continue to provide for them.”