Graduate Profile: Francis Deya Aila
Ripples Make Waves: A Life Changed by Your Support
Meet Francis Deya Aila
Francis Deya Aila, 22, graduated in 2017 after spending just one year connected with the Center. “Mama Dolfine found me at the last minute of my education,” Francis writes, “because my parents were not able to pay the school fees or cater to my school needs.” The Kenyan educational system demands significant financial commitments from students for fees, uniforms, books, and testing—amounts so burdensome that many children are unable to attend school, or must stop their education prematurely. “At that moment,” Francis says, “I almost dropped out of school… I met Mama Dolfine and she said, ‘If you want to learn, you will until there’s no school ahead.’” Francis recalls that he originally doubted the seriousness of her promise, thinking “Does she mean her words: no school ahead?” Today, however, he has confirmation that she meant every word.
Looking back, Francis wrote that the encouragement and mentorship he received from staff and students at KEC “Changed my life completely.” This support allowed Francis to persevere through the challenges of traveling the long distance to school that year, and to remain on school grounds from 6AM to 7PM every day. “I have received much support from Mama Dolfine,” Francis writes, “that made me radiant.” Additionally, Mama provided essentials such as clothing, shoes, and even food support for his family, which allowed him to focus on his studies. “This shocked my parents when I went home heavily loaded,” Francis says. “They did not expect so much support from her on top of the payment of my school fees.”
Since his graduation Francis continues to be funded by KEC, as he attends Egerton University for a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering. When asked what inspired him to pursue this field, he spoke of his experience tending to the crops at Mama Dolfine’s farm. Growing tomatoes, kale, beans and maize helped Francis to “know the worth” of agriculture. Francis looks forward to working in the agricultural sector, and serving his community with his degree.
In closing, Francis identified the disciplined yet fair environment that Korando provides as the key to its success. “For one to be a finished product from Korando,” Francis writes, “he or she as to be patient and comply with the rules and regulations, which are simple and clear.” And of Mama Dolfine, Francis says “[she] is also a loving and kind mother, not rushing to judge but she does the opposite—that is forgiving and giving another chance.”