Emmanuel Mwero was born in 1985. Until he was 12 years old he lived with his family in a rural area in the district of Kwale. The family often went hungry – his mum would go out into the bush looking for wild fruit and vegetables while his father made the journey to Mombasa to try and find casual work.
Eventually the whole family moved to Shanzu, Mombasa so that they could all be together and also close to other family members. Emmanuel’s older sister and brother managed to get poorly paid jobs to help support the family. Emmanuel got a job mixing cement. He would work from 8am to 6pm for a wage of 150 Kenya Shillings (about £1) a day.
A few months later Emmanuel was given a place at Mikoroshoni Primary School, going into Standard 3 class. By the time Emmanuel was in Standard 8 he was always 1 st or 2 nd in his school exams and also came 2 nd in the KCPE (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education) exam which all Standard 8 pupils throughout Kenya take.
Because he had worked so hard, a supporter in UK decided to sponsor Emmanuel for 4 years to go to Secondary School. He was given a place at Tudor Day Secondary School in Mombasa. Each morning he would be there for 6.30am and have lessons until 4.30pm. He would then stay another 2 hours to do his homework – there was no suitable place or light at home.
After finishing Secondary School Emmanuel’s sponsor was able to sponsor him for 3 more years to go to Mombasa Technical College on the Food and Beverage Course in 2008. At first he didn’t enjoy the course but when he started his 3 month placement at the 4 star Whitesands Hotel he loved every minute of the “hands on” experience. He worked in every department – the kitchens, the cafes and the restaurants. He particularly enjoyed the making of all the cakes and gateaux. While two of our supporters were staying at Whitesands Emmanuel was allowed to come out of the kitchen to meet them. He emerged looking so immaculate in his uniform and with such a huge smile on his face.
He successfully completed the course and was given a casual job at Whitesands. Unfortunately at that time Kenya was having problems with terrorists and the hotel trade rapidly declined and hotel staff were not all needed. But Emmanuel never gave up. He is a young man who never asks for anything. He appreciates all the help he has been given. His personality, honesty and determination to make the most of his opportunities endeared him to many people both in Kenya and his sponsors here in UK.
Emmanuel now has a wife, Mary and a little girl, Yvonne who is 5 years old. He makes sure that Yvonne attends Nursery School. He is building his house and has a small village shop. He now has a permanent job in the new 5 star Pride Inn Hotel in Mombasa as a supervisor in one of the restaurants. He was recommended for this job by one of the Whitesands restaurant managers who thought so highly of Emmanuel – a hard working, trustworthy and reliable young man who is an asset to any workplace.