I Read, I Write and the Feeling is Awesome

Jeniffer Sindiri | April 27, 2013

Jeniffer Sindiri and her classmates in a CWS adult literacy program. Photo: CWS

Jeniffer Sindiri and her classmates in a CWS adult literacy program. Photo: CWS

There is much to be said for the liberating power of education, which begins with simply learning to read and write.  This is a story Jeniffer Sindiri shared with us after she enrolled in a CWS adult literacy course in East Africa.

I enrolled in a literacy class in 2008, after attending a life-changing meeting that was convened by CWS.  At my age, I was a little apprehensive as I thought school was only good for little children.  But on meeting Magdalene Wamwea, one of Kenya’s pioneers in adult literacy, and on seeing the countless benefits I stood to gain, one thing was sure: I wanted to go to school.  I wanted to learn to read and write.

I knew this wasn’t going to be easy with my husband especially because I had young children and a family to take care of not to mention the large herd of animals that was under my watch.  Even with this, the new spirit in me kept nudging on.  I eventually enrolled in adult class after long periods of negotiation.  I would wake up before 5 a.m. every day to milk the cows and attend to family chores before joining adult class in the afternoon.  Learning was fun.  Everything has been a wonderful experience.

Adult learning has enabled me to interact with fellow women in the neighborhood in ways I had never imagined.  Beyond reading and writing I have acquired useful business skills.  Last year I asked my husband if I could join him in his retail shop and he accepted.  I have gained more respect from him.

One year later, and the feeling has been awesome.  My husband and I are among the successful business people in this area.  This has earned me the position of secretary for Kanani Women’s Group.  I didn’t know that in me lay such huge potential.  Next year I plan to enroll for the advanced micro-enterprise training in Naivasha.

Jeniffer Sindiri, adult literacy class graduate, Kenya