Success story Margaret Danford



“No matter the challenges you might face along the way,

just keep your eyes focused on the goal.”

This is the piece of advice I was given by my head teacher and I live by it. Born in a poor family where affording three meals per day is a nightmare is the circumstance where I was born in. Therefore, after studying for seven years at Mwangwei primary school, I had to repeat while in class seven, not because I had failed but because I knew after completing class eight then that could be the end of my education. It is therefore during this period that Verkaart Development Team (VDT) came to my rescue since they had constructed some classrooms in the institution. Therefore, after becoming the best girl in my KCPE examination in the year 2006, I was absorbed into the VDT program and I was taken to Kingwede Girls High School in 2007. For all the four years at Kingwede, Mieke and Cees Van der Voort kept on visiting me every moment they were in Kenya. It is through them that I got encouraged and motivated since I knew that the only weapon that I could use to get out of poverty was through education. Therefore, throughout the four years I utilized the opportunity I was given so as to achieve my very best as it was the only way to appreciate what Cees and Mieke had done for me. I was very much determined and strived to make a difference by breaking the cyclic cycle of poverty. In 2010, I did my KCSE examination and guess what??……I emerged the best girl in the school with a mean grade of B+. After that I worked as a volunteer teacher in the year 2011 and 2012 at Kiruku Secondary School so as to encourage other students who came from unfortunate families. In September 2012, I joined the University of Nairobi for a Bachelor Degree in Education. Mieke and Cees van der Voort came to my rescue again and they catered for all my expenses that were required at the University with the help of Yvonne Wilmot, Aad and Dineke Pesant who together cooperated to ensure that everything was going on well. I then completed in May 2016 and graduated in 2nd September the same year with Second Class Honors (Upper Division). What if VDT and Voort-in-Kenya program did not come to my rescue??…….am certain that the story could be different. Currently am working as a graduate teacher as I wait to start my Masters in Education in the University of Nairobi in September 2017.

Apart from enabling me to access secondary education and university education, the VDT and Voort-in-Kenya has opened my mind to think big and dream big. I am looking forward to alleviate the various afflictions affecting my people and especially girl child education. I sincerely take this opportunity to express my gratitude towards VDT and Voort-in-Kenya programmes for their unwavering support for girl child education in Kenya. It is through these programmes that you have opened doors for many in Kenya. My crown of honor goes to Mieke and Cees van der Voort since it is through you that I have realized my goals I had set in my life. I will always appreciate the sacrifice that you made to ensure that I realized my dreams. Receive the honor papa and mama for taking me from nobody to somebody. I also appreciate Yvonne Wilmot, Aad and Dineke Pesant for the great role that you played. It is through your kind support that I am who I am today.

I am proud to be associated with VDT and Voort-in-Kenya projects and I will make sure that I will also support a girl child in her education too for the betterment of the whole society while also influencing people towards making the right decisions in life.