In 2019, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Public Health, from Kenyatta University. Being passionate about public health, I felt a strong urge to continue with my education in the same field. Knowing very well how master’s degree is a very expensive affair that I couldn’t afford to pay from my pocket, I began scouting for scholarship opportunities. I took a leap of faith and embarked on crafting my scholarship applications. At this time, I had already identified a number of scholarships I wanted to apply. I did more than 10 applications, hoping to bag one. For me, I was upbeat and I thought “the more the merrier.” I was so sure that with over 10 applications I submitted, I could at least land one scholarship opportunity. But I was wrong! My email was spammed with “We regret to inform you that you have not been selected”. How depressing!

My dream to start my master’s degree in 2020 was completely quashed, even dashed. I would call it a year but promised try again. And so, in 2021, I decided to concentrate only on a few scholarship opportunities in which I had some competitive edge and discarded those that I knew I couldn’t bag due to their stringent selection criteria. John Haggai once noted, “Gather in your resources, rally all your faculties, marshal all your energies, focus all your capacities upon mastery of at least one field of endeavor.” Folks, I gathered my resources, rallied my faculties and marshaled my energies towards Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship offered by UK Government and the MEXT scholarship by the Japanese Government. I placed my best bets on these two scholarships, but as usual, the response was the same. It was the same “we regret to inform you…” email. And that is how 2021 ended without starting a masters degree.

Second time lucky?

Then came 2022. I made it my resolution that I must start my masters this year. With sheer determination and with utmost clarity of what I wanted; I began preparing for the opening of the CDLS applications in February 2022. I resolved to concentrate my energies on this one scholarship, this time very upbeat that I will get it. Working together with my friends who are also beneficiaries of this scholarship, we reviewed the application and greatly improved it. From the bottom of my heart, I extend my sincere gratitude for the support they gave me. Elizabeth and Stephen, I owe you one.

As if it was a birthday gift, voila, I received an email (the email coming on the 1st August, a day after my birthday) that I had been selected for the Commonwealth Distance Scholarship to pursue an MPH (Masters of Public Health) at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. I was overjoyed. I couldn’t hide it. If there is anything I learnt in life, then it is the power of the tongue. What you profess, you possess. And with sheer determination, being strategic and discerning where, how and when to launch your arsenals, anything is achievable, even those that appear elusive. At last I got this competitive scholarship. I am so proud of this achievement. It was no mean feet.

Published by Oduor Kevin

ODUOR KEVIN is a Public Health Specialist with considerable experience in the health care industry. He has worked in various organizations, leading projects and programs aimed at improving the health outcomes of people living with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and the general population. Oduor Kevin is currently the Chief Programs Officer at Stowelink Inc, a youth-led organization with a single most focus on addressing the burden of NCDs. Oduor’s experience in project management is attributed to his work at Population Services Kenya (PSK) where he served as a member of the National Coordinating Committee for Kitu Ni Kukachora project. Further, in 2019, Oduor Kevin was appointed as Kenyatta University Campus Director by Millenium Campus Network (MCN) to supervise and lead Millennium Fellows in their Social Impact projects. During this assignment, he successfully supervised the fellows and delivered them for graduation under the banner of Millennium Fellowship.

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