Mesret’s father left her mother and three sisters when she was a small child. Life was very hard for the small family in Kenya’s dry north. Around the town of Marsabit, tribal wars are common. Tribes fight over water, grazing land and livestock. Mesret explains that she dreams of a time when the Kenyan government brings peace to the area.
Mesret has always been very good in math and always hoped to go to secondary school, attend university and become an accountant. However, her mother cleans homes for a living and she did not have the money to send Mesret beyond the 8th grade. Though she had not seen her father in many years, she courageously approached him and asked for his assistance in paying her school fees. Though her grades were very good, he flatly refused. In her words, “at that point, all I could do was pray,” and pray she did. Two weeks later the Daraja Academy interview team arrived in Marsabit, and her prayers were answered.