Still, he persisted

Aug 08, 2017
By Flavia Lanyero; Edited by Leanna Cappiello

Because Sylvesti’s parents were unable to provide 8,500 shillings ($2.50 US), he was unable to take his primary exams. Now, having to repeat the class, Sylesti still doesn’t have school requirements like books, pens, shoes or even a school uniform.

“I would feel happy and eager to learn if I had school requirements,” says Sylvesti.

Sylvesti’s home isn’t conducive for learning or healthy development. His four siblings and parents share a one-room house. Because there are no beds, they all sleep on the floor, covering themselves with an assortment of tattered clothes. And when it rains, the floor floods. This is where they call “home”.

Sylvesti’s father, Charles, doesn’t have money to improve the conditions of the house for his children. “On a good day I can get about 5,000 shillings ($1.40 US),” he says. “But this is not enough to feed the family, buy them clothes, pay school fees or even take them to the hospital.”

For now, Sylvesti and his siblings just live one day at a time. They feed on maize, corn and beans for all their meals. The children are often infected by jiggers (a parasite) which are rarely treated, with medicine being so out of reach.

Despite his harsh reality, Sylvesti isn’t deterred from pursuing his dreams.

“Going to school makes me happy. When I finish school, I want to become a policeman so that I wear a nice uniform like them and get a salary. I also want to build a house for my family and buy a cow for milk,” Syvesti says.

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