Friday, 4 October 2013

Street boy who dared dream



Daniel in the company of his guardian, Ms Pelagia Kokuhirwa (second right), and representatives from The Small Things Organisation , Bethan Crisp (right) and Emilie Elmhorn (left), at the family compound in July this year.

Musoma. At last, Daniel Meshack, a 17-year-old student who had been reduced to a street urchin following the death of his parents in succession has a new lease of life.
He is gradually putting behind him the miserable life he led when the mother died in 2007, and his father a year later in Dodoma.
An Arusha-based organisation that provides education and support for vulnerable and orphaned children has offered to meet his education expenses at Tabora Secondary School.
Daniel secured the place at the school after excelling in the Complementary Basic Education of Tanzania (Cobet) meant to take care of those who missed out in the early schooling phase.
Daniel’s story came to the limelight in June last year after The Citizen on Saturday sketched his suffering and what he then described as a burning ambition to go to school.
Following the death of his parents, a neighbour took him to Mwanza with an intention of helping but he died in a motor vehicle accident soon after, throwing the boy’s life into uncertainty yet again.
He would go on to become a street urchin in Mwanza, later making his way to Musoma, where he continued to scavenge for survival. Another good Samaritan picked him up from the streets, in a turn of events that would open a new chapter in Daniel’s life and his dream to pursue schooling appeared a possibility.
The boy lurched on the opportunity and did not take time to demonstrate his ability as he quickly won the accolades of his teachers. “He went on to become one of the brightest pupils in our school and we are happy that he will have a bright future ahead if the trend continues,” said James Makanya, his former primary school head teacher.
Last year, he was offered a chance at Tabora Secondary School but failed to raise Sh500,000 required to enable him to pay fees and pay for incidentals. Nevertheless, he reported to school with hope keeping him focused on his desire.
Our reporting in February of his plight drew sympathy from an NGO –Small Things –that committed to support all the four years of Daniel’s secondary schooling.
Founder and director of the Organisation, Rebecka Ross Russel, told The Citizen on Saturday via email that they were anxious to meet Daniel and see how best to help him meet his goals.
Ms Russel also runs a small non-profit organisation working with Nkoaranga Orphanage near Arusha to help orphaned and abandoned children meet their potential.