Tracy Khakali, the fifth born in a family of seven children, was brought up by her late single mother from the age of seven. “It was a very long journey fraught with difficulties” she says. Her mother, who was a vegetable vendor, struggled very hard to make ends meet. She would wake up very early in the morning to go to the wholesale market to buy stuff to sell. She would task one of their elder brother or sister to prepare them for school, that is if school fees was available. More often than not they would be out of school for one reason or another. She managed to go through primary school. After sitting for the national exams, she attained very good grades that enabled her to be admitted to one of the best provincial schools, but unfortunately she could not join due to lack of school fees. She stayed home for two years as her mother struggled to raise money for her fees.
While waiting to join secondary school she would help her aunties plough their small piece of land. But what was realized from the farm was not enough to take her to school.
She joined secondary school in the second term of the year 2010.
“I was thrilled to join secondary school”. But her joy turned into sadness as she would be sent home every now and then. She did not have what was required in school most of the times. “This would go on till the second term of the third year in secondary school when my mother came home very happy. She told me that an organization called Kijiji Cha Upendo would pay part of my fees as from then henceforth”, Tracy says.
Kijiji took over the burden of paying her fees while she was in third form second term. KCU team visited her in school and talked to the school administration. The school agreed to let her board in the school. Once she settled in school her grades started to improve.
Towards the end of that year tragedy struck; Tracy’s mother who was ailing passed away. There was the burden of the younger brothers, there was house rent to pay and food to buy for the family as some of her brothers were still depending on their mother.
“I was always on my knees praying for my brothers, sisters and Kijiji Cha Upendo as things were not looking up”.
The school administration was patient as Kijiji went on to pay her school fees arrears. Somehow her brothers and sisters at home also managed to raise money for rent.
God was answering her prayers; just as He remembered her by bringing Kijiji Cha Upendo who not only settled her fee arrears but also gave her mother support to run her business .
She was not well prepared as well as she would have wished for the exams but she wrote the grade 12 examinations having faith that God would help her attain good marks.
She attained a grade C+, which allows one to join college but does not attract a Government scholarship.
Just as she thought that she had struck a dead end God once more came through for her from a very unlikely source.
A beneficiary was offered a chance for an orphaned girl child who had scored well in secondary school examinations. There was none in the circle of her friends.
Tracy eventually became a beneficiary as the lady threw the chance to KCU. Tracy commences her third year in college in August 2016.
“Kijiji Cha Upendo has made a big difference in my life, not only have they helped me get education but importantly they have given me a voice; and sure I will use it to bring change in my community”.