This is the story of Martha Lazaro Msacky, a 23 year old Kisa Alumna. She is the second born in her family, but the first to reach a higher level of education. Martha is now in her second year of study at Mwenge Catholic University, pursuing a Bachelor Degree in Mathematics and Statistics (BSMT). She also likes fashion and business and says “I got that spirit from my parents”.
When she was young, Martha witnessed many girls in her community, including her own sister, getting pregnant at a young age. Her parents were so disappointed and sent her sister to stay with her grandmother in the village. Learning from her community, Martha wanted to ‘be the change’. She worked hard in school and she was so grateful to join the Kisa Project at Edmund Rice High School in the Arusha District.
Martha says that through Kisa she became a good leader and a role model to girls and friends in college. She is very creative and resourceful with income earning projects, while at the same time performing well in her classes. “Apart from being busy with fashion and business issues, I will never stop focusing on my studies, as I wish to finish college with a good GPA.” Through business, she relieves the burden on her parents as she earns pocket money for herself.
Through Kisa, Martha also learned how to be proactive in communicating and building relationships with different people. Through connecting and sharing with others, she learned many things. For instance, she became experienced in plaiting hair, by visiting famous salons in town. During weekends and holidays Martha would volunteer at different salons. “If you want something go for it! Whenever there is a will there is a way,” says Martha.
During Kisa Alumnae Network (KAN) meetings, Martha shows her fellow Kisa graduates cultural items she has made herself. She motivates them stay focused on pursuing their goals and to be creative in discovering ideas and projects that will help them employ themselves after college.
Martha still faces various challenges in the process of learning. She said her first year of study was not easy as university life was new to her, and it was hard to understand some of the lectures in class. Balancing her studies with her side business making her handmade products and saving money are other hurdles. But as times goes on she is coping better with the university environment.
Martha is very optimistic and patient, and believes that one day she will reach her goals. “After finishing my studies, I will have enough time to do many more projects. Everything is possible with hard work, prayers and determination to reach your goals!”