Claris is 23 years old and has been registered with TMT since 2007.  We interviewed Claris in September 2014, and this is what she said. .
I lost my parents when I was three and since then have been looked after by my grandmother. I started primary school in 1999. In 2007, while I was in Class 7, The Mango Tree started working in our area, including my village. The Mango Tree provided me with school uniforms, social worker visits and regular health check- ups. When I got sick they provided me with medicine and paid for hospital appointments. These were things that my grandmother could never afford. Later, The Mango Tree paid my school fees at St Paul’s Nyandoche Girls secondary school. I managed to achieve a C- grade at KCSE.”

In January 2014 Claris started her voluntary community service placement. Those secondary school students who have achieved sufficient grades and who would like to go on to higher education are required to work as a volunteer for The Mango Tree for at least one year - as well as the opportunity to gain some valauble work experience - it's one way in which the young people that have been supported can "give something back" to their communities.

Claris says “I worked briefly at the TMT office as a kitchen assistant before being going to work at Mama Herina’s foster home as a home-work support tutor and female mentor. I am now a mentor and homework assistant to 15 younger female orphans. Many of the girls were very behind with their studies so we are helping them to catch up and to take pride in their school work. I live together with the girls, listen to their challenges and help them to manage and cope. As an orphan myself, they listen to me and see me as a role model, believing that they can also complete secondary school and go to college. I plan to start college in 2015. I think I would like to become a teacher or a social worker.”

The Mango Tree’s Alternative Family-based Care Home Programme is reducing early marriage and teenage pregnancy among vulnerable and orphaned girls. They attend school regularly, and grades and performance have increased considerably over the past three years. Last year, one of the girls supported under this programme was selected to attend a national secondary boarding school. ‘National Schools’ are the top academic level of Government school in Kenya.