Miriam Bwanamiri, 24, is a former Join My Village scholarship student who studied at Makanda primary school before being selected to attend the prestigious Santhe secondary school. Miriam, who grew up in Makanda village, lived with her mother and grandmother. “I have never seen my father all my childhood. He just left without telling my mum his where about. Growing up with a single parent who is also just a housewife, has been not easy at all,” explains Miriam.
Miriam grew up in a community where education is regarded as a waste of time as compared to farming and early marriage. But hardworking Miriam was determined to learn and she paid her own school fees by extracting and selling sisal. When she was not able to generate enough money, Miriam would report late or be sent back from school to fetch for the remaining fees balance. Soon, Join My Village identified her as a scholarship student and her future changed.
In secondary school, Miriam met a classmate named Hastings and several years later, on 11th July, 2015, they were married. “I wanted to be a role model to my family and the girls around my community. If I were to give up to the challenges I faced, I wouldn’t have been making choices today,” she says.
Indeed, Miriam is a success story: she is a trained teacher and while she awaits her posting, she is currently working at a mission hospital as a patient attendant. Her determination and passion combined with support from Join My Village have helped her succeed.
“When people were talking about marriage, I said to myself that marriage can wait and I will marry when I want. I have always dreamed of helping my mother and my family while doing something. About my dads’ behaviour, I say let the past bury itself. It’s time to move on and be a productive daughter to both my mum and my dad,” she says.