Hello. My name is Haron Wekesa Wamalwa, the third born of Roseline Mukhwana and Dismas Barasa. My parents separated in the year 2003, when I was very young. Dad opted to go his way and married a second wife where he stayed for more than ten years without contacting his family. During this time our home was just hell on earth, everything was insufficient, and we had very little to eat. My elder brother and sister worked hard at primary school but were not privileged enough to join high school due to lack of school fees. After primary school they stopped attending and started looking for small short term jobs to sustain our family in terms of meals and other basic needs. To this day they still live a hand to mouth life doing casual jobs when they can find work. Mom had to hustle extra hard to feed us and there was no extra money for education.
In 2011 I sat for the KCPE (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education) exam, where I scored 296 marks, but could not join high school because my family could not afford to pay the fees. I really wanted to get an education, so I decided to return to repeat grade 8. In 2012, I redid the KCPE exam and passed with flying colors, as the first pupil in my community with 356 marks. Despite being an academic champion, I was forced to return to grade 8 because of our financial incapability. I went back to primary school in 2013 for a third year of grade 8 to learn because I could not afford to go further. I scored 406 marks and was given the opportunity to join a boys’ boarding school thanks to well-wishers who contributed for my secondary education. I sat for my KCSE (Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education) in 2017 and managed to score a B+ average.
My community was extremely proud of my accomplishments but deep down I was very bitter because I knew that I had reached the end of my educational journey. Based on my performance in Secondary school, I was awarded a placement at the University of Nairobi, to pursue a Bachelor of Commerce but we had no means of paying the school fees. My mom organized for a fundraising harambee but wasn’t successful, few people turned up and those that did contributed a total of only 4,000 KSH which was insufficient as I needed closer to 100,000 KSH to cover my fees, accommodations and upkeep. This forced my family to sell our only cow to raise fees to pay for the first semester of the first year of university.
I struggled in school and with life in Nairobi as this was my first time in a city. Sometimes I would go without food for long periods of time. I heard about ACCES during one of the long semester breaks when I returned home to Bungoma county. I applied and was among the lucky ones who received a scholarship in 2019. Once awarded, ACCES stays with students until they graduate, so they have been paying my fees since then. I will be graduating in April 2023 as an accountant thanks to ACCES. I am determined to finish university with good grades, first class honour is my dream and God willing, I will achieve this.
I plan to start a nongovernmental organization a take care of the less fortunate in the society with a motto, “preferential option for the poor ” to touch their souls, offer life challenges, mentorship program for the students and give them hope where none existed.
To the ACCES fraternity – on behalf of the entire team of ACCES beneficiaries I would like to express our sincere admiration for your outstanding efforts in ensuring that African children are educated, empowered and have the chance to be financially stable for the first time in their life. We appreciate everything that you have done since 1993 when you launched the program in western Kenya. The endless hours you have spent working here, and the professionalism you have shown have immensely motivated the beneficiaries who are ready to do the same in future.
Lastly my good friend Kevin Fadum; I want to take the time to thank you for the fantastic job you have been doing for ACCES lately – traversing the whole western Kenya for video recording is not a joke, in addition for representing ACCES family in Canada very well. May God bless all of the ACCES donors, your families, and your endeavors.