Having grown up and lived in a slum in Western Kenya, David Omondi has first hand experience of what it is like to grow up in a single room and the difficulties of trying to do school assignments in a crowded environment.
After getting a scholarship to pursue a BSc. Medical Biochemistry Degree from the University of Nairobi, David chose not to look for a job in the city to personally profit from what he learnt in the university but to go back home to make a difference in the lives of the less privileged in his community.
After his graduation in 2010, he decided to start a community library which offers reading spaces for both school going and non school going children that can hold up to 60 people. He founded this project in Kisumu, and the library quickly became a busy place supporting young people in the community.
Following the ongoing success of the library, David began Akili Preparatory for Girls. His school offers free education to girls from the community he grew up in. He chose to work with girls because in the slum he grew up in, most women struggled to raise their children and support them through education because of poverty.
Given the lack of opportunities, the women get involved in sex work, alcohol brewing among other odd jobs to make ends meet. Their children in turn drop out of school to work and supplement the family income. David believes that by providing education to these young women, the next generation will be empowered to support themselves without resorting to harmful and dangerous informal work.
Through the school’s inception in 2012, David has supported 85 underprivileged girls to date and has recently started a sustainable farm that feeds the girls. Some of the produce from the farm is sold to buy other requirements for the school. David is passionate about providing a safe environment for the girls, and ensuring that receive a well rounded education.
On a normal day, David can be found writing reports and handling daily operations at the school. He says some of the challenges he encounters in his work is sustainability of the project and getting the right people on board. He often works with international volunteers, and has run successful crowd funding campaigns in support of his work.
David is inspired every day because he knows the impact of a single opportunity on a person’s life. He often reflects that someone helped him get to where he is through his university scholarship and that is what he’d like to offer the girls.