“Hello…a very good morning to each and every one of you. I will start by first introducing myself, my name is Catherine Sereta a fellow who is very much happy today and excited for myself and my fellow fellows. I was a volunteer at GEWEP that is Girl Child Education and Women Empowerment Program and I got into the fellowship through Paul, the team leader at GEWEP and I could not be more grateful to him for introducing me to such a movement of gamechangers.

I will start by saying that one of the things  that motivated me to join the fellowship is love for my community especially through
education. Coming from a pastoralist community which is marginalized, which education is not that important to girls, and I was happy to be involved in changing and touching lives through education especially to young girls. That itself was also my other motivation, going to these young girls and telling them that despite going through various challenges like lacking learning materials and not going to school every day you can still make it.

I am here as a true testimony that despite all these you can still become an important person. I believe that through this one year I have made a change or two through just motivating these young girls that it is indeed possible to make it in life. So, I can also say that this fellowship has made me grow as a person in the sense that it has helped me in my academic journey. Just before I joined the fellowship, I had started a course in project planning and management, and I was able to put into practice what I was being taught in class.

This was through the programs that were being done with GEWEP and GRIC. What I can proudly say is that the As and Bs that I have on my result slip right now, I owe it to the fellowship because it has really contributed to my education. Another thing that I have gained through this fellowship is I am now a BoM member at two schools that is my former primary school Olepolos Primary and Namelok Girls Secondary just a just started girls’ school at my community. Through the training and capacity building on the role of BoM in schools by GRIC, I am now able to share with my fellow members of the things I learnt while at the Fellowship. Some of the challenges that I experienced is of course the connectivity issue. This was a major challenge on my end especially because sometimes I could not fully attend the classes and I would miss out on some important points. Another challenge was fundraising for my project dubbed Adapt a Lamp Initiative. I couldn’t raise the 50 thousand needed but I am still in the process of fundraising, and I will soon deliver the 50 solar lamps to the learners at Nasaru Primary School. On my way forward, I hope to continue with My Adapt a Lamp Initiative on the other schools partnering with GEWEP and I will one day make it my project as a way of giving back to my community.

I also hope to continue with my mentorship programme and continue to preach to these young girls that nothing is impossible in life only if you set your mind to it. I am also in the process of forming an alumni at Olepolos Primary School especially now that I am a board member and maybe fundraise money for either fencing the school, buying books for the kids and there is a lot to be done. Finally, I want to appreciate the GRiC team, Wangui thank you for always believing in us, Lucy, Magda, Samwel thank you all. To all the other fellows, Danson, Brian, Pateli, Jane thank you for journeying together on this great course. Most of all I am grateful to God for giving me the good health throughout the year. I will finish by quoting Nelson Mandela, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world’…Thank you all and God bless you.”