My name is Trizah Khanali Muchesia. I’m a beneficiary of St. Aloysius Gonzaga High School in Nairobi. I graduated from the school in 2017. Just like many of my colleagues, in January 15th 2017 I got a chance to do my community service at Glory Primary School in Kibera. Community service is six-month community immersion program that prepares us for life after school as we transition to universities and colleges. It also echoes our school motto of learning, loving and serving in order to be men and women for others. I must admit that at first I was scared because I had never worked in any institution before. I didn’t know what to expect, but with the encouragement and support I got from St. Aloysius I was ready to take up the challenge head on.
As fate would have it, I was lucky to get a chance to work as a teacher. The experience of teaching both small and older kids really molded and shaped me. In small ways, I was beginning to realize the impact I was having in my community. Interestingly, I got to discover that people need support in order to reach their goals. I would feel happy whenever I would enter into the classrooms and kids would be smiling, which was an indication that they were ready to learn. I was confident that whatever I would teach the kids would follow, because to them I was a role model. This experience gave me a sense of responsibility. I saw how kids would feel happy when I marked their books and give them good remarks. The best part was when I introduced a new concept and the pupils got it immediately. This would make me feel proud of myself. I would feel encouraged and this gave me the strength and reason to wake up every morning and go to class.
During the month of April holidays when schools were on break, I was shifted to go and work at Missionaries of Charity in Kibera. This is a faith-based institution that supports people with physical and mental disabilities. When I first entered this place, the sight of patients seated on the floor and on wheel chairs immediately caught my attention. For a moment I was horrified! But then I got to appreciate how lucky I am that I can walk and take care of myself. The experience I got while working and interacting with these patients made me embrace humility. It also taught me to value every little thing that I have and not to take life for granted. I witnessed how these patients valued every little thing they had. I saw how they valued every little thing that they were given. They were always happy for every little thing done to them yet here I am complaining and whining over little things. Amazing! I remember one patient in particular who confessed to me that he enjoys when people come to visit them. This has made me value life. Because people working in this place value life, they serve the patients with the respect and dignity they deserve. That struck me as well.
Now that my community service is done, I thank God that I got this chance to serve my community. I’m particularly happy that I served in two institutions that gave me amazing experiences. Serving young children and handicapped adults has imprinted a burning desire in my life – a desire to continue being there for the vulnerable people in the society. It reminds me of my story and how people – both known and unknown to me – have stood with me throughout my life. Therefore, something has been implanted in me and I want to continue growing it. Since I have the chance to join university and change lives, I want to pursue a course in psychological counseling. The rich experience I’ve had has made me believe that this would provide me with the best avenue to continue serving people in my community and the entire society. Thanks to St. Aloysius for this incredible opportunity and thanks to everyone who has shaped my life.