Aida Kariuki graduated from Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA) in 2007 with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Social Service.
The girl's parents say she nurtures dreams so high despite there being no means of achieving them. They consider her completing university education a miracle.
Aida failed to secure a position in the public universities after completing her secondary school education at Loreto Convent. She nevertheless decided that she would not settle for anything less than a degree.
She applied for a degree course in Social Sciences at Catholic University with no idea of the source of her school fees. Her parents had already retired and were in casual jobs. They tried to dissuade her when the admission letter for Catholic University came but she remained firm in her ambitions.
Aida met Mrs. Rattansi, the director of Rattansi Education Trust while looking for a source for her school fees.
She says, “The Trust gave me KSh10,000 since it had already disbursed a lot of money and guided me on how to go about acquiring HELB loans. I got KSh30,000 from HELB and my father raised the remaining fees for that first semester but that was as far as he could go.”
Second semester came and other than funds from HELB she had no means of raising her fees.
“My outstanding balance was KSh105,000. I talked to the financial administrator in the college and I was allowed to sit for the end year exams,” she recalls.
She however dropped out of school in the second year when her outstanding balance hit KSh 200, 000. Fees balance attracts interest and the best she could do to save the situation was to drop out so that her account would freeze.
Since she was receiving bursaries from the Ministry of Education and other sources, she could not be allowed to access funds from Rattansi.
“I sought employment and got a place where they paid me KSh6,000 per month. I saved every shilling to clear my fees and when it came down to KSh60,000, I was allowed to go back to class,” she says.
For her third year, she got a KSh100, 000 scholarship. Again at a time when she was about not to sit for her final exams, the Rattansi Trust came in and settled the fees for her last Semester.
She says,“I consider Mrs Rattansi a God send. She is behind everything that I have become. I’m currently working with an organization, Victory Sports Camp that organizes local and international camps for youth and children. She is actually changing lives. By touching my life she has touched lives of several people who I work for.”