"Growing up in the Maasai culture wasn't easy for former sponsored child Teriano Lesancha. Now a top student in Canada, she's looking forward to going home"
Andrea Curtis: Childview Magazine 2010
Teriano is a former sponsored child from Kenya who recently graduated from Ryerson University in 2012 with a degree in social work. Through her persistence and help from World Vision, she was able to fulfil her God given talents and be the first girl in her entire community to graduate from high school and the first person from her village ever to go to university over seas.
Her story has been an inspiration to many, including artists such as Sarah McLachlan, who she met in person at a concert in 2011
Her incredible story has also been captured by the mass media. She has been featured on Capital Talk K24 TV Kenya, CBC New Toronto, Ignite 107.com, TedXRyerson, various blogs and newspaper articles. She is also the subject of a documentary still in the making.
Read more about it in the Toronto Star article Toronto Star article.pdf
Read her Biography
Teriano Lesancha, a graduate from the School of Social work at Ryerson University is an excellent example of hard work and determination. Born and raised in Lodaariak, a small village in Kenya, Teriano is the first to ever graduate from a higher learning institution. This is a great achievement not only for her, but for her community as a whole. Teriano began her education at Ryerson University in 2008.Her interest in the anti-oppression framework enabled her to have a better understanding of the challenges associated with growing up and living in the Maasai culture as a woman. Determined to change her own experience of a near early marriage for other young girls, Teriano became an advocate for the girl child in her community. She stubbornly opted to pursue an education and turned down the marriage offer presented to her, a decision that was later appreciated by her parents. Her mother offered her utmost support, but it took some convincing to get her father on board. Teriano attended a boarding school during her high school education and had the opportunity to meet with other young women who inspired her to attain higher learning. After successfully completing High School, World Vision financed her college education. Her dowry would have consisted of 5 cows, a figure that was doubled by Teriano’s first salary as a community development coordinator with World Vision Kenya. A role model and pioneer of change, Teriano was determined to inspire and give hope to her fellow youth to follow in her footsteps. Her dream of establishing a foundation that will work to improve her community is being realized. Plans are underway to establish a scholarship foundation that will allow education to become a reality and possibility for many in Lodaariak. With the help and support of her family, her village and Ryerson University, Teriano is proof that it really does take “a village to raise a child”. Teriano understands that she has achieved this historic goal against many odds – social and financial – and has set for herself the task of working to ensure that the road she has carved out can be followed by many others. She is not quite done. She intends to dabble in the political world, by becoming a member of Kenyan Parliament, build a hospital that is such a necessity in her community, and create the first University of Lodaariak.