Interview by Paustine Kigen, CRF Staff | Kenya

“My name is Rivald Owala. I come from a family of five. My dad died when we were young and left us under the care of our mother. A week after the passing of my dad, the wall of our house collapsed on us. This was after some heavy rains that had continued to weaken and destroy our home over some time. We almost died that night when the wall collapsed, but we were fortunate that it collapsed outwardly. God saved us.

We were forced to seek shelter from my grandfather’s house for a month as my mother tried to build a home for us. Things were not easy because my mother did not have a job but used to pick tea leaves for our neighbours to get some small money that was never enough for the family. The money was not even enough to buy food for the family. I felt the struggles that my mum went through, but we had no one to assist us.

At the time affording education was even out of the question because if we had nothing to eat, where would we get money to pay fees and buy books and uniforms? I was schooling at a neighbouring public primary school at Chebara, but I was never in school; always being sent home to buy books and pay fees–something that was never forthcoming.

My life changed when one day my mother met with Aggrey Maitsi whom I came to understand later that he worked for CRF. After hearing what my mum had to say, he promised us that I was going to be sponsored. I waited for two years before I could get a sponsor. But the long wait was worthwhile because I was given books and uniforms plus food to carry home. I could not imagine. I was really happy; I remember coming to school at 6 a.m. because I did not want to waste the God-given chance. I left home before my mum was awake; Aggrey found me standing at the school compound waiting to be shown the class I was to join.

Every time I see my CRF sponsors assisting me, I feel like I have a dad and mum because without them I would not be here today. I am working hard in school because I would not like to disappoint them especially after giving me the opportunity and sacrificing to see that I stay in school. 

I would love to join Suzy Peacock High School after passing my grade 8 exams early next year and to train as a neurosurgeon when I finally join university. When I get employed, I will ensure that I assist other kids like me as a way of giving thanks to God and CRF for helping me. Each day I pray for CRF to continue helping children like me because without them some of us would have never seen doors to classrooms. CRF Sponsors! Be blessed abundantly.”