Faraja Dawite was just 4 years old when her mother died during the delivery of her youngest sister Neema. Faraja was left in the care of her disabled father, who disappeared just a year later. Faraja, who was the oldest girl in her family, now held many of the responsibilities of a caretaker.
In January 2008, Faraja and her four siblings came to live at Rift Valley Children’s Village. Faraja, who only spoke her native tongue, held onto her instincts of protecting and caring for the children younger than her. While still an old soul after all these years, it took Faraja time to adjust to being able to be a carefree kid whose responsibilities included playing, laughing, learning English, and no longer included feeding, protecting and raising her two younger siblings.
Faraja, who first attended school in 2009, was beyond excited to be inside a classroom, and it has been that way ever since. She has been a star student from the start, scoring in the top of her class year after year.
Faraja now has dreams, goals, and expectations for herself that extend far beyond being the provider for her siblings. She has already created a lifelong bucket list that includes meeting the Prime Minister, visiting New York City, seeing a Broadway show and attending the Olympic games (as a spectator. She readily admits she is no athlete). She plans to graduate from university and pursue a career in government or become a teacher, having yet to fully commit to either idea but knowing both are possible. Faraja also dreams of becoming a mother one day, for as she says “family is the most important”.
Whatever Faraja chooses to do in the years ahead, we know that she will see success. It is children like Faraja that exemplify the core of our mission: providing futures that would otherwise be nonexistent.
By supplying children a safe, permanent home that allows kids to be kids, we are helping children not only accomplish what was previously impossible, but allow them to create dreams that they had never even imagined before.