Millicent has two younger siblings Jeff and Melvin. Before their parents passed away, the three children lived in Kibera, a shanty town in Nairobi. She attended Kibera Primary school. Her parents even though poor worked hard and made sure they instilled the importance of education on their children.
After their parent death, their dreams were shattered. They went to live with their grandmother in the rural area of Boho, Siaya District – Western Kenya. They never wanted to leave Nairobi because it was the only place they knew but they had no choice.
At their grandmother’s hut in rural Siaya, Millicent and her two brothers Melvin and Jeff slept on old mats weaved of papyrus fibers with secondhand bed sheets. The children had no mosquito nets to protect them from insects, and they all fell ill to malaria repeatedly. Millicent had few clothes for herself, only a dress, which was tattered, and old her school uniforms.
Two months before Youthful Faces met Millicent, she had been taken by her aunty to become stay home maid where she worked for long hours. She was only 9 years old. As Millicent’s cousins left for school every day, she was left behind to clean the house and babysit her two-year-old cousin.
Millicent’s brothers Jeff and Melvin were also not attending school. They were busy helping their grandmother at their farm. When Youthful Faces met them they were desperate, instead of their family giving them what they needed most – love and a peace of mind, they took advantage of them by putting them to work.
Because her family’s only access to water was an unprotected, swampy area 100 meters from their home, Millicent also suffered stomachaches. She was malnourished, vulnerable to disease and lacking any confidence in her future.
“It felt very bad seeing my cousins go to school,” says Millicent. “When my uncle and aunty were away, I tried to create some time to read one of my cousin’s school books but I was kept busy by my two-year-old cousin.” That was Millicent few years after she had been taken by Youthful Faces and given a new viewpoint in life.
Today Millicent attends Duha high School in Siaya. She loves playing table tennis and volley ball. Millicent has progressed well with her education. Last school year she placed 15th out of 80 pupils in her grade. This is from a girl who did not attend school for two years.
Thanks to Youthful Faces, Millicent & her brothers believe their lives have completely transformed. They all are in boarding schools. When they are on their school break, they are at their grandmother’s house, where they sleep on real beds not on old mats, they cover themselves with real mattress and they have treated mosquito net for protection.
Without Youthful Faces intervention, Millicent would not have seen the inside of a class room. She would still be working for her aunty as a stay home maid – cooking, washing cloths and taking care of her cousin.