Meet Alice Njeri, one of seven recent graduates from Kijabe College of Health Sciences thanks to gifts to Friends of Kijabe.
Her story reminds us of Jesus, the good shepherd, who leaves the ninety-nine to seek out the one sheep in distress. Even in her darkest days, God was making a way!
Born in Kiambu, Kenya, Alice has wanted to be a nurse for as long as she can remember.
“I don’t know why, but when we would share about our dreams in school as young children, I always said I wanted to be a nurse. I didn’t have any nurses in my family or amongst my friends, but the desire never changed.”
Alice attended a public primary school in Kiambu, but when it was time for secondary school, her family had no money to send her.
“I finally started at an Indian school to help the needy. I had to stop due to lack of finances and my family had to sell a piece of land for me to restart. It was very difficult for me there. I didn’t know many of the things my classmates did, and I never had any friends.”
After finishing high school despite the incredible difficulties, Alice returned home for 3 years.
“I looked and looked for work, but I couldn’t find any. I felt hopeless and cried often. It felt like everyone else had moved on.”
When asked how she made it through this time, Alice replied, “I just held on.”
In 2017, Alice’s family sold their house and land to give her and her siblings opportunity. Alice applied to Kijabe’s College of Health Sciences. She was thrilled when she received an acceptance letter.
“It was the best moment. Now my life was moving again.”
However, Alice’s hopes were soon dashed. The money that was supposed to come regularly from the sale of the land had been completely squandered by a family member.
“I had no money and no way to continue. There was nothing.”
As Alice was backing her bags to return home, she received a call from the principal of the school.
“I met with the founder of an organization called ‘Friends of Kijabe’. There is money there available to help you. You can stay.”
In complete amazement, Alice returned her things to their place and walked into class the next day.
“I was very thankful. I didn’t understand how people I had never met were willing to help me have this opportunity. I studied hard. At least now I had a chance.”
Due to COVID and finances, it took almost 4 years for Alice to finish a 3-year program, but in April of 2021, she completed the nursing program and graduated.
Alice is now working at Kijabe hospital in the Neonatal ICU and Maternity department. She lives in a small house in Kijabe and sends every shilling she can to her mother, grandmother, and 3 siblings still in school in another part of Kenya.
She spends her days learning to care well for her patients as a nurse, listening to podcasts or music when at home, and reading books. When asked how her life is now, her eyes come alive with a deep joy that knows pain.
“It is still hard. I am often alone, and the money is still not enough for all my family’s needs. I am also paying back loans each month that I acquired from the government during my schooling. But I really enjoy my work, and the future is bright for me.”