16 Mar My Story: Elijah Mangori
Elijah is a part of the Orphans and Vulnerable Children Program that Grace Church supports in Kenya. This is his story.
My name is Elijah Mabonga Mangori from Kinyogori high school. As a child, I lived with my grandmother from my mom’s side. When I was growing up, I didn’t know my mom or my dad- only my grandmother. However, in 2006, my grandmother passed away. My dad lived far away, but, after her death, I traveled to live with him.
My dad….it’s a long story, really. Let’s just say he’s not in a good way. He drinks a lot; he is usually, always very drunk. I wasn’t happy living with him. We began to disagree and fight more and more often because of the way that he chose to live. I remember one night in particular, we had a huge argument, and he locked me out of his house. I had to spend the entire night sleeping outside; he refused to let me back in the house. This is when I decided that I needed to find a new situation. It was that bad at my dad’s home. One of the members of my church took me to be like his son. I started living with him and his family. The church helped me to enroll in the OVC program, and now I have an advocate who helps me go to school.
You have to be strong and have faith. I’ve learned that through my church. Now, I’m a sunday school teacher for some of the younger kids at church. I always knew that someday I wanted teach sunday school. I’m giving back to my church because of how they have been there for me.
I’m excited about my future. Now that I’m in a good high school, I can focus more of my time on my schoolwork. I’m also a part of the track team at school now; we wake up early in the mornings to go running.
Someday, I want to join the Kenyan Army. In this world, we have many challenges. But we have a chance to make the world a much better place than it is now.
The opportunity for children like Elijah to enroll in a quality high school that offers boarding is invaluable. Many children have less-than-ideal home lives, and they only become more affected as they grow older. For them, to live at school and focus on their education and on new friendships is a chance for them to choose a lifestyle that’s different than that of their parents.
However, enrolling in a high school like this is virtually impossible for many of our OVC child partners. Both the admission and ongoing tuition costs are too high for them or their parents. As valuable as an elementary education is for children, high school is even more so.
There are currently four child partners who are the age to attend high school, but are waiting to be supported by an advocate. The cost of support for a high school student is $50 per month. If you are interested in partnering with one of these students through OVC Kenya, you can complete the application here.
If you are a current OVC advocate and your child partner is nearing the 9th grade, please prayerfully consider the ways that you can continue to support him or her, even as the monthly payment increases to $50 per month. The promotion date for our current 8th graders is August 1, 2015.
Thank you for walking alongside these students. Their journeys have only just begun!
For more information about the OVC Kenya program, check out our website.