A STORY OF GIVING BACK – MEET AIDUALUMNI GIFT POLA K AND THE ELIMU PROJECT
Empowering young and bright students, giving them access to education so they can live up to their potential is at the core of what we stand for at Aiducation International. Still, seeing what our AiduFellows and Alumni are able to achieve thanks to the support through our AiduMakers is times and time again a humbling and inspiring experience. Despite their young age and often big hardship they went through, these passionate and bright young people, work hard and keep coming up with new ways to help others and give back to their communities and society.
AiduAlumni Gift Pola Kiti
Please meet Gift Pola Kiti. an AiduAlumni who is now in her second year at the African Leadership Academy and founder of the Elimu Project. ‘Elimu’ is a Swahili word for Education, a topic that Gift Pola has always been passionate about. Based on her own experience of having struggled to pay for her school fees due to lacks of funding, just 4 years ago only a scholarship from Aiducation International allowed her to finish her secondary school. Inspired by the help she received she now founded this project.
Elimu is aimed at supporting bright and needy high school students in Kenya and across Africa. Gift Pola is still continuing her education at the African Leadership Academy, but despite that and her young age, she is already now turning into a role model for others, becoming an agent of change in her own society. She is a great example of how the positive impact of education grows exponentially and has the power to touch many people’s lives.
We connected with the active young woman via email and asked her to share a bit more about her inspiring project, motivation and future plans.
Aiducation International (AI): Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and the Elimu Project.
Gift Pola Kiti (GP): My name is Gift Pola Kiti a student from the African Leadership Academy from Mombasa, Kenya and the founder of Elimu Project. I am the fourth born of a family of six children. I was inspired to start the Elimu Project by the spirit of gratitude. It aims to help bright needy students raise money for their education and Mangdalene is our pilot project. I chose Magdalene because she reminded me of myself. Four years ago I was just like Magdalene and many others out there. My family was facing financial constraints and I thought my dream of becoming a doctor and a role model in my society had come to an end. Because someone cared and gave through Aiducation International I was able to receive education and I am currently pursuing my dream and hoping to achieve even more after the African Leadership Academy.
AI: What motivated you to start this project? And what are your goals for the future?
GP: Elimu Project was started in the spirit of paying forward the support, because most of us have had people supporting us in our education in one way or another and since you can not track down every generous person, it is only right to pass it on to others in need. The project is starting in Kenya, but once Magdalene’s initiative is completed, Elimu is aiming for students all over Africa.
AI: What have been your biggest challenges?
GP: My biggest challenge is that it is so hard for people to give. I have sent numerous emails to friends and even relatives they respond and say they will look into it but then you do not see any change. The other challenge is that sometimes i get quite stressed about it, but my optimism keeps me moving because nothing is impossible if you believe and I have learnt not to limit my challenge, but to challenge my limits. After all, taking up the Elimu Project was supposed to be a challenge to me. It is really doing a good job at that, but I believe I shall overcome.
AI: Which role did education and the support of your AiduMaker through the scholarship program of Aiducation play in your life?
GP: If it was not for Aiducation, and my AiduMaker who believed in me, I would probably not be where I am today with the opportunities I have been exposed to and that is why it has also inspired me to start being a change maker myself.
AI: What advice would you give other young students today?
GP:They should work hard and never take for granted whatever opportunities they get. They should always remember where they came from and strive to be agents of change at an early age, even by helping their fellows in class. They should try to challenge themselves early, so they can have a grace period to make mistakes and learn from them. They should aim to inspire before they expire. And lastly be positive or be quiet, what we say has effect on our actions and success.
AI: Thanks so much for your time and all the best for Elimu.
If you want to find out more about the Elimu project and support Gift Pola in her efforts please go check out her Facebook page here or donate and support the project directly on the crowd funding site indigogo here