Born in Uasin Gishu together with his elder brother, Ryan Ngigi has grown up seeing his parents go from struggle to struggle, trying to help other people.
It is a culture that he says slowly by slowly got into his mind.
When he finally joined Alliance High school, he did not hesitate to be part of the team that put joy and smiles on other people’s faces after helping them out.
Ryan says he learned of the school’s Social Welfare Society from his elder brother, who is currently in form four in the same school.
His elder brother, who also inherited the culture of helping from his parents, told him that the club was a really good one where members help people which they consider their background.
“I feel like if I didn’t have my parents, I would really need somebody to help me, see me through the issues that we go through in life as human beings, and that is the perspective I try to think as a human being,” Ryan a form three student at Alliance High School told Scholar Media Africa.
His gesture of helping could see him help people with legal justice in the future should his interest in pursuing law after high school bear fruits.
Ryan, whose parents earn a living from business and university lectures, also helps back home in Nakuru, where they live.
For example, he belongs to an Anglican Church of Kenya youth group.
Born to help
“As human beings, we are brought on earth to help people whenever we can and make sure that we pull each other up. What touches me the most is to see the helped being overjoyed and happy. It rejuvenates and satisfies me, and that’s what interests me about helping people,” he says in an exclusive interview.
Social Welfare Society
The Alliance High School’s Social Welfare Society caters to the welfare of other people, especially the needy in society.
The administration also involves the students in other activities, including heart-to-heart runs and other donations, to ensure that people get basic needs that the school has but the needy people in the community lack.
On Thursday, March 16, 2023, the school visited Nairobi West Prison and donated over 130 mattresses to help those in prison.
The donation was made successful through the partnership between Alliance High School and the Youth Safety Awareness Initiative (Crime Si Poa) under its Phoenix and After Care Program.
The school patron at the Social Welfare Society says that the club works in collaboration with other partnership and sponsorship departments to help identify causes to support.
“Whenever the students come in, they are given mattresses. So once they clear school, some choose to go home with the mattresses.
Because we have inculcated into them a culture of giving, the majority of them choose to leave the mattresses behind so that we can share,” Lilian Okullo, a teacher of History subject at the institution, told Scholar Media.
Being a national school, it attracts learners nationwide, including the very needy ones.
She says that the Social Welfare Society also supports these needy learners, embracing the adage, “charity begins at home”.
“Irrespective of which background students come from, we try to make them comfortable whenever they are in school. We helpstudents unable to afford fare back to school or whenever they are going back home,” she says of the club’s support to students who come from distant places like Turkana but cannot raise enough funds.
Other occasions of helping
Apart from Nairobi West Prison, the school has also twice distributed mattresses at Kamiti Maximum Prison.
Furthermore, every Sunday afternoon, the school also partners with Thogoto Home for the Aged, visiting to feed and help with cleaning the elderly living there.
The administration says that the club’s objective is to encourage the act of giving, especially among the boys at the school to help them become better men in society.
To other schools
“To encourage other schools that instead of burning the mattresses or any other items they have and aren’t using, we feel it’s rather good to give it to the people who might need it more,” Mwangi Karimi, Deputy Principal at Alliance High School, said in a media briefing.
Mr. Karimi hoped other schools in the country could also consider helping prisoners in their respective counties.
According to him, every school has several students who leave some of their items after their four years of high school, which can also support the needy.
“You cannot know who will be in prison and when there, you never know what might happen. That’s why we decided to make an impact on those who are suffering,” Mr. Karimi noted.
According to Inspector Enock Ogetto of Nairobi West Prison, the facility currently has nine hundred inmates.
With more inmates joining the prison daily, he says it’s a challenge getting mattresses for all of them at a go and only hopes that other people will emulate the same generosity as Alliance High school to make all inmates comfortable whenever they are sleeping.
“When we get donations like these we add them to what we already have and again as a welfare section, the law permits us to write to friends and well-wishers that they can support the welfare of the prisoners,” he said.
Insp. Ogetto also noted that the institution requires soap and tissue paper as they are the basic things used daily, save for food, which he says the institution has in plenty.
The Persons Deprived of Liberty Act, 2014, allows for partnerships and support for whoever wants to do so.
Peter Ouko, Executive Director and Founder of Crime Si Poa, said it was easy to partner with Alliance High school because he is an Alumnae and understands their academic and philanthropic leadership.
On the other hand, they chose Nairobi West Prison because they learned that it required help.
“Young people’s lives are rotting within our prison system. If you look at Nairobi West, the majority are hawkers, car wash guys who are being kept here even though the constitution says anybody who is supposed to be jailed for less than six months is not supposed to be in prison,” he said.
He revealed that Crime Si Poa and its partners are following up with the judiciary to ensure a crime-free society and that everyone accesses justice.
Efforts to save lives
Crime Si Poa was formed in 2007 and focuses on informing, reforming, and transforming lives.
The team works on the preventative side, involving community outreach in schools, communities, and the streets to tell people not to get involved in crime.
“We don’t want people coming here. We are trying as much as we can and we call on everybody to help them not to come here. Majority of people in prison are aged below 29 years. 75% of prisoners are young people,” Ouko added.
Phoenix and After Care Program helps inmates through psychosocial and spiritual sessions aimed at impacting and creating mental health and fortune in them.
It also offers reintegration support and an aftercare package to prepare inmates for eventual release and connect returning citizens with their families outside the prisons to start their lives afresh.
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“The reintegration process starts the moment someone comes into prison. That’s when you can help transform that life and they come out and become very productive people. So we shouldn’t stigmatize people when they return. We encourage everyone to embrace them,” he said, urging people to show love to any returning citizen.
Nice story Tebby
Thanks for your compliment.
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