13 December 2007

Kenya slum dweller gets UK degree

Maybe I'm just in a Christmas mood, but this story from BBC News has got such a real, heartwarming tone to it that everyone should take five minutes to read it and consider the power of persistence, hard-work and education to change a life:

A Kenyan slum child inspired by finding a Manchester University prospectus on a rubbish tip says he is overjoyed to realise his dream of getting a degree.

Sammy Gitau was initially refused a visa to attend the UK university as he had only two years of formal education.

He grew up in crime-ridden Mathare slum in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, where from the age of 13 he was the family breadwinner after his father's murder. He sold drugs and battled addiction before turning his life around.

The University of Manchester describes his achievement in winning a master's degree as "a miraculous journey".

"It feels wonderful; it feels wonderful," Mr Gitau told the BBC's Network Africa about receiving his MSc degree in international development project management.

2 comments:

Edis said...

Also the front page story in The Independent of 13 Dec.

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article3247540.ece

Gavin Whenman said...

I genuinely didn't know that ! Good on him :-D