CFCA stories

Kenya staffer and former scholar a man for others

July 8, 2013

Dreams can translate into reality, if only we can hold on and keep hope alive. Erick Musembi, a CFCA-Nairobi, Kenya, staff member and former scholarship student, knows this only too well.

"I always dreamt of working in an office, dressed in a nice shirt and seated behind a desk," Erick said. "I, however, felt that this dream would never come true.

"I had no resources to pursue my goals. I could not see any light at the end of the tunnel, but I still dreamt."

Erick Musembi at his desk in Nairobi, Kenya
Erick Musembi at his desk at the CFCA-Nairobi office.

Erick's life was transformed when he enrolled in the CFCA Scholarship Program in 2007.

A friend introduced him to CFCA and encouraged him to apply for a place in the scholarship program. He was accepted, and it changed the course of his life.

Erick is an orphan. His parents died when he was 5 years old.

Life was tough because he had no one to depend on. He has four siblings. When his parents died, his relatives did not want to take responsibility for bringing any of them up.

A well-wisher paid for Erick's primary school education, but getting through secondary school was an uphill task. He was removed from school for lack of payment of tuition fees.

Despite the challenges, he persevered and completed his education.

"In my family, I am the only one who has gone to school," Erick said with sadness in his voice.

Erick loved mathematics in school and his career goal was accounting.

"I took up a diploma course in business administration and accounting," he said. "CFCA paid for my tuition fee as well as other education supplies that I needed."

After two years in college, Erick competed his diploma.

"I was so proud that I had finally attained a diploma in accounting," he said. "It was a dream come true."

Amos and Erick, CFCA-Nairobi staff members
Erick, right, with his co-worker, Amos Kihoro, enjoy having sponsors visit
during an awareness trip in 2011.

CFCA scholarship students are involved in community service as part of the program. Erick assisted children and aging friends in writing letters to their sponsors. He also helped with distribution of benefits and filing.

"I was happy to be part of CFCA, and it was a great honor for me to serve the people," Erick said. "I did not know that while doing my community service an opportunity to work for CFCA would open up. When it did, I was overwhelmed with joy."

Erick started working for CFCA in 2009 as an accountant at one of our local offices serving the Nairobi project. He is responsible of preparing budgets for the beneficiaries, issuing checks and assisting the subproject coordinator with administration duties.

"It gives me great joy to serve in CFCA," Erick said. "Giving the families we serve hope and just listening to them, makes a difference in my life as a person.

"CFCA was there for me. They handed me a lifeline, and I am humbled that I can now be that same lifeline to others."

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Education is the greatest hope children living in poverty have for a better life. The Unbound Scholarship Program helps deserving students pursue their educational goals of finishing high school, technical training or university. Not only does it provide assistance with tuition, transportation or books, but it also provides students with much-needed encouragement to complete their education. Learn more »

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