CNN Award Winner 2022, Nelly Cheboi reveals how Raila Odinga helped her with Ksh 300K when she was stranded.
The winner of the 2022 CNN Heroes award, Nelly Cheboi, said that Raila Odinga facilitated her journey to her to travel to the US to enroll in a scholarship program.
speaking to Success Afrika in an interview Cheboi said that if it weren’t for Raila, she would still be in Kenya.
“I went to Maryhill Girls High School, got an A in my studies, and was to travel to the United States for my scholarship. I had a deadline of two weeks to report.
My area MP organized my passport, but I was stuck, I had no visa or travel air ticket until I met Raila, who gave me Ksh 300,000,” she recalled in the mid-December 2022 interview.
Nelly Cheboi received a full scholarship to Augustana College in Illinois in 2012 to pursue computer science.
On Sunday, December 11, a Kenyan software developer turned philanthropist won the 2022 CNN Hero of the Year Award, earning a Ksh74 million prize.
Cheboi won the competition held at the American Museum of Natural History after beating out 10 other finalists, according to Anderson Cooper, a seasoned CNN journalist.
Cheboi left her lucrative software engineering position in Chicago in 2019 to launch TechLit Africa, a non-profit organization that builds computer labs for Kenyan schoolchildren.
“I feel so accomplished seeing kids that are seven years old touch-typing, knowing that I just learned how to touch-type less than five years ago,” she remarked.
In 2018, she began transporting donated computers back to Kenya in her personal luggage, handling customs fees and taxes herself.
“At one point, I was bringing 44 computers, and I paid more for the luggage than I did for the air ticket,” she revealed.
A year later, she co-founded TechLit Africa with a fellow software engineer after both quit their jobs. The nonprofit firm accepts computer donations from companies, universities, and individuals.
Her organization currently serves 10 schools and hopes to partner with 100 more within the next year.
“My hope is that when the first TechLit kids graduate high school, they’re able to get a job online because they will know how to code, they will know how to do graphic design, they will know how to do marketing,” Cheboi stated.