Nyumbani graduate Knight reflects on her experience and appreciation for Nyumbani.
I came to Nyumbani in May 1995, when I was only five years old. I was brought in by a former Nyumbani social worker, accompanied by my grandmother who has since passed away. At first I was scared and cried. It was a new place. But I’m sure that happens to everyone taken to an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people.
Since I’ve been here, the home has changed a lot. A transition house was built for both boys and girls, and I had a chance to stay there. I learned to be independent, cook and do my own laundry. To date there have been less deaths since we now have access to ARVs (antiretroviral medicines).
Being brought up at the home has contributed so much to the person I am today. I am independent, respectful and a good role model to the other children younger than me. Through Nyumbani, I have been able to travel abroad, expand my knowledge horizon, and meet people who support Nyumbani. I went to the best schools despite my medical condition, and lived in the best way of life. I’m grateful to Father D’Agostino and the many donors who continue to support Nyumbani.
My goals in life after graduating from Nyumbani are being successful both health-wise and career-wise, having a family of my own and being a good example to the other children. Also to further my studies.
My mentors whom I appreciate so much for this life are Fr. D’Agostino, Sister Mary, Protus, the Moms and the Uncles who took care of me since I was small. They taught me to be independent, responsible, confident and a good Christian.
My hope for my future is to live a long, successful and healthy life. For Nyumbani, my hope is it will continue with the spirit of care and support to many more HIV children out there who haven’t yet been identified. I would advise young people that life has to go on; HIV does not define who you are or what you will become in the future. It’s up to you to decide what you want to do with your life.
My dream is to see Nyumbani graduates turn into good and caring citizens of Kenya and the world. I congratulate Nyumbani for how far it has come, for its 25th anniversary. Thank you for all the care, love and support. Without Nyumbani, I don’t know where I would be.
Fr. D’Agostino taught me to believe, be patient and never give up. Also that everything is possible in life and let no one or anything bring you down. And always pray to God and all will be well.
*This piece was originally published in Nyumbani’s Summer 2017 Newsletter