Henry is a Primary Seven Pupil at one of the nearby Primary Schools within the community in Osukuru. He stays with his Father, Mother, two sisters and two brothers. His Father and Mother are peasant farmers who grow maize, millet, cassava, beans, groundnuts, and potatoes. They sometimes borrow money from the saving group to pay people to work in the garden as a way of controlling weeds and get good yields for home use and for sale. During holidays and weekends, Henry says; ‘I work in the garden with my mother and siblings. My mother and Father go to the garden every morning – they grow a lot of maize, beans, cassava and vegetables that we eat some and sell in the nearby market. This helps to provide for our basic needs at home and school”.
Henry (3rd from left in the middle row) with Club members attending Leadership Training with their Patrons and Matrons.
Henry adds that; “I am the Health Prefect at School and hold different positions in the clubs at school and my village. I am a member of the Entrepreneurship and Young Farmers Club at school where we have learnt to work together as children with guidance of our Teachers.
Henry and his Father sorting the burnt bricks to avoid damage by rain.
Henry recalls that before he became involved with the project he used not to go to school regularly because he could fight with his peers and be punished for it by teachers. He adds that; “My parents could not provide me with scholastic materials and, I did not know the value of respecting elders, teachers and fellow pupils. I did not know much about my responsibilities as a child. I never knew how to productively utilize my free time and I used to follow my friends to the river to fetch water and at times played in the river. There were no organized meetings in the village for children.”
Henry reflects on the time he has engaged with the project and says; “I am very happy for being a Child Partner. I now perform well in class because I go to School daily and attend all my class lessons. I have many friends now because we meet often in our clubs and during review meetings. I am now able to tell them to go to school daily and always wash their clothes and bath daily. At school, I was elected as the Health Prefect and Time Keeper. My leadership skills have improved through the trainings that SAO has facilitated in our schools.