Seven students from the Village Polytechnic describe their respective courses of study and life in the Village.
Rachael – Fashion Design, 1st year
“I chose fashion design because it was most interesting to me. I spend my time at the Polytechnic taking practical and theory classes for fashion design and general classes. We do practicals for about three hours per day. This is where we learn how to make garments. My favorite items to make are trousers and dresses.
My favorite part about life in the village is being able to learn. If I was not in Nyumbani Village, I would not be in school right now. I like being at the Polytechnic because I gain more practical skills. In the future, I would like to attend a university, like Mombasa University. I want to be a fashion designer in Nairobi.”
Bridgit and Elizabeth – Hairdressing, 2nd year
“At the Polytechnic, we take hairdressing classes and others like entrepreneurship and information, communication, and technology. In hairdressing, we practice elements of beauty therapy, like relaxing and braiding hair, blow drying, and doing manicures. We do this for two or three hours per day. We like hairdressing because it has a big market in Kenya. Being at the Polytechnic gives us an advantage because we have hard skills and we can go to work right away.
If we were not in the village, we would either be street kids or already married. We might have three or four kids. Because of the Village, we have the opportunity to become self independent. When we get married someday, after we have an education, we will be able to make our own money and not have to be spoonfed money from our husbands. We do not want to be idle. Bridgit wants to work for someone else until she has saved enough money to open her own salon. Elizabeth wants to try living in Nairobi to experience another type of life. We are very proud of ourselves.”
Peter, John, Nicholas, and Joshua – Metalworking, 3rd year
“We all arrived in the village the same month in 2010. We are great friends. Currently, we study metalworking and we just finished our third year. We like welding, because it is a valuable, moneymaking skill in Kenya. At the Polytechnic, we learn how to make windows, doors, trusses, and gates. Our favorite is windows. When we leave Nyumbani next year, we want to start our own businesses in the Kitui and Machakos areas. Hopefully, we can do it with the help of the micro-finance program to help us buy welding machines and starting material.”
Thank you to these seven students for sharing their stories and also to Village staff for helping coordinate this content!