Laurette faced poverty and hardship from a very early age. Both of her parents were peasant farmers in Western Kenya, and struggled to meet the basic needs of Laurette and her younger brother. They would often go days without a proper meal, and had to borrow food from relatives. The family couldn’t afford to purchase shoes or clothing, so the children went barefoot and wore makeshift clothing made from rugs.
At just eight years old, Laurette’s mom passed away from pneumonia. Laurette had to step up and help raise her younger brother, who was just five years old. She would accompany her father to work on farms, and do many of the household chores.
Four years later, when Laurette was 12, her dad suddenly passed away, too. Orphaned, Laurette and her brother were shuffled between family members. It was an incredibly difficult time for both children.
Thankfully, Laurette never gave up hope, and worked hard towards a better future. She did well in elementary school despite her circumstances, and was invited to study at Starehe Girls’ Center, an excellent boarding school. She was unable to afford tuition fees, but God blessed Laurette with her Chalice sponsor. Thanks to her sponsor’s support, Laurette was able to afford tuition, school supplies, food, and household basics for herself and her brother.
Laurette aced her final high school exams, and set her sights on attending university. “Having lost her parents to illness, the dream of a becoming a doctor was born in her,” says Sr. Jane, our Starehe Girls’ site director. “She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine at one of the most prestigious universities in all of Kenya,” Sr. Jane smiles.
Today, Laurette is 19, and excelling in her program. Her loving sponsor’s continued support allows her to study without worry, and provide for her little brother, who’s currently in high school. When Laurette becomes a doctor, she can’t wait to give back to her community.
“We will forever be grateful to Chalice sponsors for supporting dreams and transforming families,” Sr. Jane expresses. “God bless!”