We are honored to share the testimony of a young man who interned and worked at our office in Kenya. He has made great progress in his life, despite the hardships of living in the slums and on the streets as a youth. May God continue to bless him as he uses his gifts and talents in other career interests in the future.
by Dennis Kamau
I am 23 years old, and I aspire telling stories through films and photography that challenge the way we live and see things.
I was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, in the Mathare slums, one of the largest slum areas in Africa. Being raised in the slum by a single mother made life very hard. She was the sole breadwinner in our family. She was struggling a lot to make sure she placed something on the table for us. I was the eldest of four children. The reality of life forced me to the streets, where I thought I would get refuge. I went to beg for money, but the street life exposed me to other dangerous activities, such as stealing and doing drugs. These habits sunk me deep into the harsh street life.
After a couple of years I was rescued by Made in the Streets (MITS), a non-governmental organization. For 20 years now MITS has been devoted to loving and serving street kids and giving them opportunities to build their skills through a training school, helping them begin new lives in the outside world.
While at MITS I learned about the love of God, about life, and through that, my life was redeemed. Somehow God began opening up my mind, and I was able to see a bright future ahead.
The organization slowly began incorporating different learning activities: carpentry, mechanical skills, agriculture, catering, and IT among others. This was a way of instilling important skills in us.
At different times MITS used to take us to camps and field trips. It was at these moments that I could take a camera and begin taking photos just for fun. Upon going back after a fascinating trip, I would put together the photos then present a slideshow after morning
As the time went by the idea of art of photography grew, and I developed an interest in technology. This attracted me to attend IT classes at MITS, where I was able to advance.
Then MITS took me to an outside college to learn more about photography and film production. After finishing my course I got an internship at GNPI-Kenya with the help of MITS. The internship lasted for six months. During this period it was a challenge for me to impress my supervisors with my job skills, owing that I was very young and new in the outside world. I am very grateful for my internship at GNPI and for my time on staff there. I will always thank God for that opportunity. Being at GNPI allowed me to meet people with diverse ideas and helped me to grow strong in different ways, including my field of work and my socio-economic life. I have come to love my profession so much that I feel fulfilled when I am doing it.
God really changed the course of my life
to make me a person
who lives and works with purpose.