With 37% of students living in the Kibera slum not finishing secondary school, Thomas was destined to be part of the statistics. This was until one unexpected interaction changed the course of his life.
At 14, Tommy had finished primary school, worked hard and scored good grades. His family however were poor such that they could not afford the cost of secondary school education. The family faced a daily struggle to buy even the most basic needs like food and clothing. Devastated, Tommy resigned himself to the fact that he would never finish his education.
This focus on survival changed due to the kindness of a stranger who upon a chance meeting gave Tommy the funds he needed to go back to school.
For Tommy this wasn’t just money – it was hope.
To this day, no one knows the name of the Irish man who helped him so Tommy has never been able to tell him the life change the funds provided him. Tommy not only was able to finish secondary school but went on to achieve a scholarship for Bachelor of Arts in Sustainable Human Development.
Now in his late 30’s, married, with two beautiful children Tommy is armed with a passion to provide others the same hope that he was given. In 2010 Tommy founded a community based organization called Mirror of Hope that is solely dedicated to empowering vulnerable children and women living in the Kibera slum by using the philosophy of ‘a hand up and not a hand out.’ Mirror of Hope offers school sponsorships, school holiday programs, vocational training for women and HIV/AIDs awareness programs.
Tommy is an engaging speaker and has a passion and energy for what he does which cannot be described in words. It is captivating. His ability to share his life story in such a raw, authentic and vulnerable way allows him to fully connect with his audience. He motivates and inspires everyone around him.