(Cynthia in the middle)
Our names are Olivia Hill and Hilary Susnar, and we are raising tuition money to send Cynthia to school. She is currently attending the Ombogo Girls Academy in Kochia, Kenya, a girls boarding high school.
We came to know Cynthia during our time in Kochia through a study abroad trip we participated in through Western Washington University. While there, we spent quality time with the girls, which ranged from attending their academic classes to spending the night in their dorms talking about Nicki Manaj and giving tampon tutorials.
Cynthia is a sophomore at the top of her class and is highly regarded by her classmates. In addition to her commitment to her studies, other students at Ombogo talk about how she is the funniest girl at school. As the oldest child in her family, Cythia is striving to be a good example to the rest of her siblings as she is the only one currently enrolled in school.
It came to our attention one day that Cynthia's family was struggling to pay her school fees because she was sent home at the beginning of the school year, two weeks into our stay. Digging deeper into her story, we came to know that both her parents are farmers and lack the finances to send their children to school. Along with this, she lacks support from her father as the first girl child in her family.
Hilary pledged her support after finding out that Cynthia was sent home, knowing that she may never be able to come back to school. A secondary education at Ombogo is $650 per year, which is a big financial commitment, especially for a college student. Knowing this, I had previously been moved by Ombogo and the opportunities the school gives to young girls in Kochia. In addition, my sister is currently a sophomore in high school, so it was easy for me to connect with her story. Even though both Hilary and I are college students, we realized our responsibility in supporting young women's education when we have the rare chance to support someone we know and love personally.
If you choose to contribute, all of the proceeds of this campaign will go directly to Cynthia, excluding the small amount taken for transfer fees to Kenya. Our goal is to see Cynthia graduate in 2018. You would be helping pay for three years of her education and relieving one hardship among many that her family is currently facing in an impoverished community.
We thank you for taking the time to read Cynthia's story, and any support you are willing to contribute will make a difference.
To learn more about the students at Ombogo, check out this video made by a student in 2014:
Ombogo Girls Academy
Asante Sana, Thank you very much!!
~Olivia Hill, Hilary Susnar and Cynthia Atieno
(Cynthia's glamorous selfie)