Alumni Spotlight; Paul Makini speaks of Taking ICT Mashinani to Kisii town
After several years of struggle, everything seems to be coming up for Paul Makini; a Strathmore University alumnus who was among the first students to work for Community Service Centre (CSC), which was initially known as Community Outreach Program (COP).
Born fifth in a family of nine members, Paul first came to Nairobi in 2005 from Kisii where he lived with his parents. He chose to reside in Kibera due to financial constraints. He had heard of Strathmore University while still in High school, and worked hard to live his dream of studying at Strathmore; little did he know that this would be the turning point of his life.
In the year 2005, Paul joined the university to pursue professional courses at the School of Accountancy (SOA), where he took up CPA and CISCO courses. Raising school fees was a major challenge and as a result, Paul approached Martyn Drakard, founder of CSC for assistance.
Martyn, full of the desire to restore hope in the alumnus life, introduced Paul to CSC and encouraged him to work as a part time teacher in Kibera, consequently using his salary to pay for his academics. Paul was among 40 students who were the first to work for CSC. He worked as a class 8 Mathematics teacher at Toy Primary School Kibera, at the same time serving at the Strathmore University library.
Community service at the primary school stirred up his zeal to serve the needy, as he could understand all too well what service and reaching out was all about.
People are suffering and we need to help them out of their situations and make life better for them said a compassion filled Paul.
Through the vast experience earned while serving at CSC, Paul was driven to start an ICT outreach programme back at his home in Kisii.
In December 2007, Paul started African International College of Management Technology; a computer centre that equips students with computer skills. Initially students paid Kshs. 5,000 to attend the course for three months. From his profits Paul introduced fully paid scholarships for needy students in the community who were not able to take up the courses.
The scholarships are availed to 15 different secondary schools and are offered to the 10 best needy students, based on their mock exams results.
Around 700 students have since graduated from the college. Paul plans to expand the college to accommodate a larger capacity so that it can produce more than 5,000 students in the next five years.
So joyful and with a face beaming with delight, Paul gives gratitude to CSC, not forgetting his role model Martyn Drakard for believing in him and giving him a chance to grow when he had nowhere else to turn.
Community service is a calling and begins from within your heart. You may not see its benefit at the beginning but with time you develop positively and somehow you desire to give to others. Am happy to give and I hope my peers can learn from me and be of influence wherever they will be.