Alumni Spotlight: Rebecca E. from Turkana – Strathmore Transformed Me

Rebecca Eyanae, an alumna of the Bachelor of Business Information Technology (BBIT) class graduated in 2017 with a lot to be thankful for. Her experience at the University, she describes, has been nothing short of exciting and eye-opening.

Rebecca has enjoyed a tenure of academic success, combined with her first air travel experience. She is grateful to her lecturers, her mentor and her peers for enabling her to sail through her four years.

What is your family and education background?

I am the second born in a family of six children, and I come from Turkana County. Both my parents are alive; however, I was raised by my uncle who believed in girl-child education, and chose to take on the responsibility of educating me. He also mentored and inspired me to work hard, creating a strong will in me throughout my education period.

I performed well in the primary national examination and got admitted to Turkana Girls’ Secondary School where I scored a mean grade of B+ in my secondary national examination. My school fees was paid by Mama Mzungu Foundation – a charity organization located in Turkana – that aims to help needy but bright students, especially girls, to complete their high school education.

How did you find out about Strathmore?

I learnt about Strathmore through my high school principal, Sr. Florence Nabwire, who was aware of the university loans and KIVA organisation loans. She shared my contacts with Special Project Manager, Ms. Lilian Munene, who helped me obtain a KIVA loan and mentored me since I joined the university until now.

How has your experience at the University been?

Life at Strathmore has been smooth for me due to the university’s structure which promotes a community life and consequently provides an ideal learning environment. Some of the systems that helped through the years included: mentoring, career services, the clubs, access to lecturers and a work-study programme. I wish to add that through my experience in mentoring, I acquired a spirit of service, hard work, generosity, justice and chastity which are still part of my life to this point.

The Career office organised career fairs that exposed me to various future employers such as KCB Bank and Safaricom Limited, whom I interned for in 2016 and 2017 respectively. I learnt a lot from working with them in terms of technicality and professionalism.

What was your final year project and why the topic you chose?

I decided to focus on water challenges in Lowdar town, Turkana County’s headquarter, for the two compulsory Information System projects I did in second and fourth year. My research aim was to find IT solutions that will help in solving water challenges that the municipal LOWASCO (Lowdar Water and Sanitation Company) is facing in its effort to supply clean and adequate drinking water to the residents. I am still working with the council on this.

What international experiences did you enjoy?

I always dreamt about going abroad; while I was a kid I spent nights watching planes in the sky at night and would get excited while at the same time scared. Strathmore gave me that chance, to travel in the air, through Safaricom Limited #Twaweza.

I was also selected to attend the KTH Global Development Hub in Sweden last year. The selection process was tough but I thank God I was successful. I was exposed to a developed world, a world where people’s behavior and thinking appeared different. I did not want to leave this world. I learnt from Swedish culture especially to be time-conscious, confident and believe in myself in adding value to society.

My wish is to create career awareness through engaging the existing companies in Turkana County, to help the students get exposure globally. I intend to involve myself in research that will bring a positive impact to Turkana County.

Why did you join CSC?

I decided to volunteer at the Community Service Centre (CSC) in an effort to have all impact on communities in Kenya. Through the MACHEO mentoring programme, I helped with mentoring students from Kibera schools. I find a lot of fulfillment in giving what I myself receive, which is my way of giving back. I also mentor young girls from Turkana County.

What are your future plans after graduation?

I am currently applying for a Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT), an opportunity offered to me by the Faculty of Information Technology (FIT) here at Strathmore. I am so grateful to FIT for this opportunity. I will also do further research on the water challenges in Turkana County.

My plan is to learn, apply and improve lives. That is what has kept me going as an individual, the driving force behind the resilient nature of any pastoralist community.

Strathmore University truly transformed me.