Hafsa Wanyama is a remarkable woman. Having grown up in Kitale, an agricultural town in the western part of Kenya, she became a parent at the age of 17. By the age of 25, Hafsa was a single parent of two children. With the support from her mother, she was able to go back to school and in 2018, moved to Australia to study a Bachelor of Applied Science – Community Services at Torrens University.
This chance for a secure future meant that Hafsa had to leave her two children behind with her family. The decision was difficult, it meant that she would miss out on seeing her kids grow up. She wouldn’t be there to see the many ‘firsts’ that children go through. Though this was sad, it pushed Hafsa to work hard, for the sake of her children and their future.
“I hope one day they will understand that I sacrificed a lot to ensure their future is secured. They are living happily with my family and I'm proud that I can provide for their needs.”
When Hafsa came to Australia in 2018, she began her studies alongside working at Hannah Place. Hannah Place, a service that is part of Centacare, provides support and accommodation to young people who are pregnant or parenting and need support to maintain the bond with their baby.
It was here that Hafsa really felt at home. Working for these programs, where the team felt like one big family transported Hafsa back to Africa where her family and children are.
“The young mums I help bring back memories of when I was a teen mum.”
“Working at Centacare has enabled me to put into practice the knowledge I have gained in class.”
Hafsa has not only gained skills and knowledge from her studies, but she has also been able to learn from her own experiences and personal journey being a teen parent. This has brought her closer to the work she does. Work which includes supporting people who are experiencing homelessness and helping them connect to the community. Drawing from her own experiences and remembering the sacrifices that Hafsa made for her own children to ensure their security has made this work particularly fulfilling for her.
Learn more about the course that Hafsa is studying at Torrens University here.