Meet Trizah Auma, one of the many young girls who come out to play and attend the Girl Power sessions at the Kibera Court. The sessions are an opportunity for Girl Power members to teach what they learn to the community. Trizah's story is not unique in Kibera, but her consistent attendance to our sessions and her determination makes her very special.
Trizah is a Std 3 pupil at St. John a non-formal school, lives in Kibera slums within Nairobi. At nine years old she has to take almost one and a half hour distance to walk to school that is still within the slum .she wakes up at 5:00 am so that she can make it to school by 7:00 am. Born the fifth out of six siblings, has a great dream of becoming a teacher and she also likes dancing, mostly in church.
Speaking to her during our daily sport project activity at Kibera tennis court. Trizah said they have a lot of challenges in the slums” Life in the slums is not good although we are used to it. There is a lot of insecurity, diseases, poor drainage system, poor sanitation, clothing, access to clean water and food. She lives with her mother, who is a tailor, after their father left for another family. Physical and emotional abuse from her mother and neighbors are also what she has learned to endure. Asked why she comes to the Kibera Court to attend our sessions, she smiles and says simply, "I'm always happy when I come, and I make many friends and forget that I'm hungry."
When I asked Trizah about her performance she said that she does not know. She has never had an exam. “We lack money .Most of the times I don’t do my exams since I have a very large debt of ksh.1050 at school. Sometimes we even go to bed on empty stomach and when I get sick I don’t go to the hospital although its free, but they don’t allow kids without the company of the parent to access treatment.”At St. John academy they pay ksh.400 year and Trizahs debt had accumulated up to Ksh.2050 which took her mother long to pay up to ksh.1000 resulting to her not sitting for her exams for a long time.
Trizahs elder sister got married at fourteen years old and her other elder siblings dropped out of school at a tender age to work so as to support their mother in raising the family. Their father doesn’t support them financially and he rarely come visiting. The support that she really need is for someone to sponsor her education since she is afraid her dreams of becoming a teacher might not come true.
“Our father does not support us financially. The money we get is not even enough to support our basic needs like food shelter and clothing. I would love it so much if I get a well wisher to support my education. “I would really love to be a teacher one day.” Said Trizah.