“People never forget how you made them feel….” Maya Angelou
I hail from Western Kenya, where I always look forward to visiting. We usually enjoy sitting under tree shades of astronomical Mango Trees. Each Village has at least two and under each tree, you will find wooden makeshift benches where villagers sit when the heat from the scorching sun is too hard to bear. Our village’s beauty is epitomized by a special Mango Tree, one of its kind planted by a woman whom I have put on a pedestal and in whom I have visceral admiration. She has not only inspired me but also challenged me to be a person who gives back to the community.
The Mango Tree was started 13 years ago by Consolata Achieng Kunyada and her husband Peter Kunyada. Consolata has always had vehemence for helping needy children. Way before her starting the organization, she was helping street Children In Karen and saw that she wanted to reach more to not only street children but to orphans too. Consequently, she went upcountry and started the Organization where she would bring the needy children in, and through donor funding and well-wishers, she would provide shelter to them in foster homes and pay for their school fees until they cleared their university education.
As we speak, over 700 orphans have benefited from her Organization, most of them have completed school and now support their own families and also fundraise for other needy children. The Organization has also started operations in Malawi and hopefully, it will help more orphans. Consolata is also building a secondary school for girls with the objective to provide pastoral care for them, it is called Mango Girls Secondary School. The school will accommodate 360 girls, 30 girls per stream of four classes each.
In this month of March, I choose to celebrate Consolata as a hero who #ChosetoChallenge the obstacles not only hers but gave the power in hundreds of many young ladies and taking action for equity of the genders by educating them.
I wish all the women Happy Women’s Day 2021, #ChoosetoChallenge.
Tori Emily Akinyi
Graduate Trainee Ronalds LLP