The Family Group Foundation (TFGF) alumnus, Brian Kyalo Mwandika is a first year student at Moi University, pursuing a degree in Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneural Studies. The Family Group Foundation Sponsored his secondary education at Alliance High School, where Brian scored a B plain in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE). At the TFGF Brian was among the students who participated in an intensive scholarship program designed to promote leadership, character building and prepare students to advance positive change and economic development in their communities.
In his own words Brian gives an overall account of his 4 year mentorship journey as a TFGF scholar.
I am Brian Kyalo Mwandika, son to the late Mr. and Mrs. Mwandika from Kitui County. My mother passed away when I was 4 years old. My father took me to stay with his aunt, because soon after my mother’s passing he also fell ill. My father passed on 2 years later. This was hard for me. At times I would ask myself why I had to lose both my parents, I would remind myself that everything happens for a reason.
At the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination, I led in the district examination with an overall score of 397 marks. After the results were out the question that befell me was, ‘What next?’ At this point, I wasn’t very sure that I would go to high school even after receiving an admission letter from Alliance High School. A harambee was held that would help me raise fees to get admission to form one. This is when I came across the Family Group Foundation Scholarships which I applied for and l was successful in joining the scholarship program.
When I joined form 1, I didn’t know what exactly to do. Confusion and anxiety had taken the better part of me. It was then that the Family Group Foundation called us for a 3 day mentorship workshop. I began to see the light in my life. I could now understand the reason for being in school which led me to be focused, set goals and finally instill discipline at school since I knew character shall keep me.
In my second year in high school I realized it was not enough to set goals but had to do more. I learnt this through the theme then: ‘Achieving goals in life’; at first it seemed hard but I had no options and neither did I have a plan B. Since I had no second plan I realized never to give up and I knew if it’s to be it is up to me. All this led me to learn to be a prayerful person. Prayer took center stage in my life.
In form 3 I was now a grown up. The childish behavior that I had in form 1 and 2 had to be erased, senior school opened up a new chapter, as I began to see myself as a leader and not just a leader but a better leader. Mentorship proved to me that team work can work things better. Together everyone achieves more a ‘TEAM’. It is courtesy of the mentorship program that I knew how to work smart and develop consistency in making wise decisions, time management and finally realized that bad company ruins good character. I became very sensitive as to whom I chose to become my friends.
In my final year, the mentorship program taught me to finish strong. This came as a result of developing a unique way of learning and remembering all that I had learnt. I developed a positive self-image. In the subjects that seemed difficult for me, I formed discussion groups with students stronger in the subjects that I was weak in and we shared and exchanged learning materials. Indeed I was recharged.
When you see a tortoise on top of a tree, somebody placed it there. I conclude that no matter what the circumstances of the jungle, I shall not eat grass, not because I am proud but because I know who I am.