Essays

How Do You Measure Friendship? by Roseline Chepkoech

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How do you measure friendship? Without sounding selfish and contrived, I think we largely value our friendships by what we get out of them. Emotional support. Mental and cultural stimulation. Work and social connections. Companionship. Laughs . . . But here’s another way of measuring friendship: by what we give. And this just might be […]






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My Happiest Day, by Steven Mark

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We have been working with The School in a Cart in Cubao, the Philippines since 2011, raising money for and partnering with the students to give them a healthy life, a good education, spiritual awareness, and happiness. On Happiness, the children have enjoyed many holiday and school graduation parties, but when they write about their best days, they […]






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A Girl’s Education, by Dalphrone

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Dalphone was born into a polygamous family, the first child. Upon her birth, her first gasp for air, social norms declared her unworthy of respect, even unlucky, because she wasn’t a he. Before she could learn to walk, she learned rejection from her community and extended family. Dalphone’s parents, however, accepted her and allowed her to […]






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My Road to an Education, by Sang Kibet Gerson

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Thank you, Joan, for your ongoing support of Lift the Lid and at this time of Mogonjet’s Library Fund. We know Sang and all the students at Mogonjet Secondary School in Kericho, Kenya will benefit from a school library, a place to meet, a place to study, a place to read, and a place to find solace. […]






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From Last to First, by Beryl Wanami

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This is Beryl Wanami, a high school writer with promise, a young activist against female genital mutilation (see her personal story), and an inspiration to students worldwide who ever struggled in school. When she scored 50 marks out of 500 on her final exam she said, “I did not really know what was going on with […]






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My Mother, by Brigid Nemayian

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Oh, how we are influenced by our mother! By her joys and her fears. By her rules and beliefs. We first see the world through her eyes. We see ourselves through her love. Her stories stay with us throughout life, and her wisdom guides us when our own stubbornness leaves us stranded. Brigid of Namelok […]






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My Life Was in a Terrible Position, by Caren Chepngenoh

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  Caren was diagnosed with cholera and thought her life would come to an end before graduating high school. In her essay, she expresses the fear she felt, knowing death was near. She also describes how she made it to a place of peace and then health, when still shocked herself to have been given a second […]






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My Father’s Mistake, by Lauryne Mwende

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Lauryne knows the meaning of unconditional love after her father physically abused her mother, putting her in the hospital, and then deserted his family. She still remembers happy times, despite living in a slum and having one room for herself, her younger sister and parents to share. Her story isn’t just about domestic abuse and […]






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I Pray the Lord Will Give Them Strength, by Carla

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Playing in a band continues to have a huge impact on the children of The School in a Cart in Cubao, the Philippines. You can tell because they choose to write about their experiences learning new instruments, practicing, and performing in churches, schools, and now malls. For many, this is the first time they’ve had […]






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What Makes Me Happy, by Nowel Naitetoi

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You may think that Nowel is too young to know what she wants to do with her life: Debate. She is, after all only 11 years old. But then read her essay, “What Makes Me Most Happy,” and look at her photo, the confidence coming through her smile, and hold your doubt. We’re working to […]






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