The Daraja Academy seniors are currently on campus studying for the KCSE, a test each high school student must take at the end of their secondary school career.  The younger students, however, have been home for a few weeks now. One of Daraja’s very own interns, Ashley Nicole Johnson, reflects on her visit to Form 3 student Irene’s home.

“Daraja means bridge, and I am Daraja.”

Ireen’s sister, Purity, in front of her family’s home

It took me some time to figure out how that applied to me personally. I feel a part of Daraja by living in this amazing place with these incredible girls. I am inspired daily by their perseverance, their drive, their will to succeed and what seems like an effortless ability to be present and happy in each moment at Daraja. When I first got to Daraja as an intern, I read through each girls’ application to gain perspective about who the Daraja girls were, but it wasn’t until a home visit with a Form 3 that personal experience could fill in the blanks of my research.

6 hours, 3 matatu rides, and a 4.5 mile walk at night in the rain down a muddy, dirt path, and I found myself in the company of Irene, Leah (another Daraja int