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Sunday, July 14, 2024

40-year-old housemaid goes back to school years after caring for others, wins full scholarship to university

A 40-year-old housemaid named Gladys Gaki has returned to school after years of caregiving to earn a diploma and was awarded a full scholarship to further her studies at the university.

Gladys faced adversity during her childhood when her mother left her at a river bank. She experienced sexual abuse and suffered the loss of her businesses and home, which led to her sinking into a state of depression.

She was rescued by a clergyman and his wife, who ensured that she went back to school at the age of 40. Despite all her challenges of not having a home, food, and all the other basics, Gladys persevered in her quest for education.

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Gladys earned a Diploma in Criminology from Tharaka University, Kenya, and successfully graduated with a certificate in Criminology and Security Studies from the same institution. ”Against all odds, see the doing of God. I am currently doing a Diploma and in the second semester,” Gladys said.

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”It has not been easy; the days I slept outside unable to pay rent. No food, ooh God is faithful. I did menial jobs during my free time to put a meal on the table; laundry, shamba, and loading and off lorries,” she added.

She enrolled back into school 26 years after she dropped out due to circumstances beyond her control. While in the university, Gladys wrote a letter to the university’s Vice-Chancellor noting that she wanted to delay her studies due to financial challenges.

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“People from all walks of life came through for me. At times, I could report to campus with zero fees, and somehow God came through for me. I completed early this year and was advised by my lecturers, the Dean of students, and the Registrar Academics to enroll for Diploma,” she said.


The vice chancellor at Tharaka University got Gladys’s letter and decided to award her a full scholarship to study for her bachelor’s up to her master’s degree level.

“I have attained a Diploma in Criminology and Security Studies. After all the struggles with school fees and upkeep, the Vice-Chancellor saw my determination and thirst for education and offered me a scholarship in December last year,” she said.

Gladys expressed her gratitude to the university for the scholarship and promised to do her best not only in the school but even out there in the community by giving back. She added that she will actualize her dream of earning a doctorate degree.

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In a similar story, a 32-year-old woman named Ntombizodwa Merriam Mahlangu who worked as a housemaid has won sponsorship from her employer and has graduated from the University of South Africa.

Ntombizodwa Merriam Mahlangu earned an outstanding Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Public Administration and Communication Facilitation from the University of South Africa just 9 years after she served as a domestic worker.

As a young girl, she had always dreamed of earning an educational degree. However, she lost both parents while she was young and a lack of resources and development in the rural areas, a poor education system, financial difficulty, and an unplanned pregnancy stalled her progress. Read more about Merriam HERE.

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