I am Emoding Nelson, sovaldi I was born in a small village called Namboani on 25 April 1994.
The area is located on the western part of Kenya on the slopes of Mount Elgon in Kimilili
I am a Teso guy. Both my mother and father are all Tesos from a sub clan called
Ikomolo and Iraraka respectively. Irarak to us is used to symbolize world animals. They
are so tough that they are like the animal itself. The Irarak people can defend themselves
with every means to make sure they win. They are also agriculturalist who plant mainly
sorghum and millet .
I was named Nelson because the day the South African president called Nelson
Mandela was being sworn in as the first president of South Africa. I can say that I am the
original Nelson as per the history.
I stayed with my entire family in Namboani for two years until my mom gave
birth to my younger sister Florence. I was two years old. My father used to stay in
Eldoret where he was working but he would come after a duration of one month. We did
not miss him too much like other children did. My sister and I lived a happy life with our
parents. We used to enjoy life so much because we were brought up by a loving and
caring family. They taught us about some cultures of our clan like naming and some
celebrations i.e. birth as a right of passage.
In the year 1998 all of us moved to Eldoret where my father worked. I started
school when I was six years old. I used to disturb my mom every now and then because I
needed to go to school like my friends. I found it easy because the school was very close
to our home. I enjoyed the nursery life because it was easy. I used to carry everything I
needed i.e. lunch box. It was a stress free life.
Our teacher, tadalafil Madam Violet used to give us a lot of field activities during P.E
lessons. We used to sing, dance, play games, model livestock and also play hide and
seek. It was really a life full of fun. My teacher loved me so much because of my hard
work and determination in all activities. Also, I was the smallest guy in our class and
very active.
At the end of first term, I was position six out of fifty eight. My teacher and my
parents were so happy. They took me out for a day and bought me prizes. They also told
me that they would buy me a new school bag for the following term. Motivation is part
of life and can make one do more better in anything one undertakes. The teaching staff in
general was so happy because of my encouraging results. I promised to work even harder
the following term. Life was easy and I ended the year in position two.
The following year I joined class one and life became a bit harder. Unlike in the
nursery, there were few activities. I started realizing the purpose of going to school and
working hard. My family supported me fully in all ways that they were able. I faced the
situation and finally I found the classwork easier for me. There is a saying that says,
"without education you are nothing in this world." Nelson Mandela quoted that
"Education is the only permanent riches that you can get from your parents." I really
enjoyed going to school so as to be an educated person in the near future. Despite the
obstacles, I did not give up on life. I was sick all the time and there was a time I almost
died in the hospital. That was not the only obstacle. Challenges are there and we are
supposed to be strong in order to overcome them. Here is part of my interesting story and
I hope you will get something out of it.
Towards the end of the year 2001, my mom started to become sick. She was
paralyzed on one side and she could not even stand or take even a single step. In that
same year, it was not lucky for us. She passed on, leaving us desperate. How painful is it
for the four of us to be left at our young age. Our youngest sister called Zuhurah was just
a year old. Our eldest sister, Mercy, was eleven. We were four in total, three girls and I,
the only boy. I was the second born in the family. We buried her at our rural home and
later on, returned to Eldoret. She left a gap that will never be filled by anybody else. Her
life is still being reflected in my mind, how she used to sing and make us happy during
her light moments. We shall never meet again on this earth but we will meet again in
Our close relatives felt sorrow for us and they even wanted to take us to stay with
them. My father denied because he could not stay away from his children. He was a
really caring dad. We used to do all our chores as well as go to school though it was hard
to balance them all. Our school was just nearby and we used to come for lunch at home
which we prepared for ourselves. Our general academic performance was affected
negatively to some extend but with time we balanced and returned to our normal position.
Later on one of our aunts called Metrine offered to stay with us. We really
appreciated her because she was of great help to us. She reduced our work which hence
gave us enough time to concentrate on our studies. She loved us so much and we loved
her so much. Unlike the other times when we used to come from school and cook for
ourselves, we just found the food on the table. We enjoyed the meal and ran back to
school with plenty of time.
Towards the end of the year 2002, a friend to my father, who stayed in Malaba,
asked him to go to Malaba to work as a driver. Because they were friends for so long,
my father did not deny the offer. They used to sing and share a lot time. They did not
believe that one day they would disagree. The man pretended to be of help but instead he
was not. The man had a Toyota Peugeot 504 which he gave it to my father to drive. He
intended for him to drive along Malaba –Bungoma highway despite the hard life on the
road. It was a really hard job but he persevered so that one day we could enjoy a good
life. The man employed my dad but paying him was a big problem. My dad decided to
ask him about the money, but the friend refused. He tricked him every now and then
which later on made them disagree. It went to a certain extent that the man told my
father that he would bury him alive which frightened my dad so much.
We had no where to go, no relative around to help us and we remained desperate.
It was really hard for us because my dad had no source of income. To our house,
diseases became like a duty that transferred from one person to the other. Disease never
left our house but my dad received no help from anybody. The move really affected us
because of climatic change and unfamiliarity with the new environment. We had to cope
with the situation. Even if troubles are persistent we should not cry because when we do
so, the tears will prevent us from seeing the bright future ahead of us. We did not know
where the food would come from, but we fed by the grace of God. There was no day that
passed without us taking in something.
We finally found help from our maternal grandfather. He helped us so much
together with his entire family. That was the family of the late RTD founder of ACK
dioceses of Katakwa Bishop Eliud Okiring. They were of such great help to us in general
and I have nothing to say but let the almighty pay them back.
In May 2003 we went back to Eldoret. When we arrived home, we found all our
properties missing. Within no time my dad got a job, which made our life a bit simpler.
He started to buy household requirements and some other things. We also went to a good
school because he was now in a position to cater to our needs. We did not miss school
which made us improve our performance. We went back to our normal academic
We were still staying with that aunt of ours and she found that it was now her
time to go and pursue her own life. We accepted her decision and let her go peacefully.
She promised that she would come to see us. We knew each other and understood each
other well. She treated us like her own children and we loved her so much. Though it
was a bit painful to see her go, we were to accept it.
We stayed by ourselves for a couple of weeks before our dad got a step mum for
us. At first, we did not know what was going on because we were still young. It was
Sunday 20th February 2005 when our new mom was brought by her church. We were so
happy to have her. We welcomed her to our home and we promised to live happily with
cooperation and help among ourselves. Unlike other step mothers, she loved us a lot and
we loved her. She actually treated us like her own children and we stayed a happy life.
In the year 2006 we came to Kimilili to live with our grandmother. I was in class
five at the time and my eldest sister Mercy was in class seven. We stayed at her house
and went to school in that town. Our grandparents really enjoyed being with us. Life at
school was very nice and I was the top in our class all the time. I really impressed my
teachers because I was small and I did not retake any of the class since my primary
school days.
In the year 2007, during the post election violence we were unlucky because our
house in Eldoret got burnt. This forced our entire family to come back to our rural place
because we had no where else to go. We were forced to start from zero again. How
terrible was that life! I think God had a plan for us because he says “I know the plans I
have for you. The plan to give you a future and hope." That is it about my life. Here is
something interesting about my academics.
I sat for my KCPE exams in the year 2009. I was very sick through the year. In
the month of July I almost died. I thank God because he was with me and he was in
control over my life and academics in general. My parents even lost hope in me again
because I never attended school for so long because of sickness. It was a wonder that I
recovered one month before the exams. I just thank God for that. I used that bit of time
maximally and I recovered the work that I had missed. My parents knew that after my
exams I was going to retake the following year for the first time because my colleagues
were learning while I was at home. I told them that I am not going to repeat because I
knew what I was doing.
The exams came and we took them as a class. Exactly after the exams I already
knew that I was going to pass. I was full of confidence. We waited for the results till
28th of December. I really surprised the world with very excellent results. How good is
it to pass your exams! My parents and teachers were all surprised that I passed even
though I was not in school for most of time. I was position one in our school and
everybody was so eager to know me. I thank God for that because if not by his grace I
don’t know where I could be. My appealing results later earned me a full sponsorship
high school chance. I was so so happy indeed.
Be strong and courageous in everything you do. Never loose hope in life despite
the challenges and obstacles which are there to strengthen our lives. Finally, Happy
moments Praise God, quite moments worship God and painful moments trust God.
Never loose hope in life. Be strong.


I am 17 years old, I live in western province of Kenya at Katakwa village.
The place is green and pleasant to live throughout the year. I am the first
born of five children. My father is a carpenter and my mother is a tailor and
a business lady.
I joined ECD class when I was four years old .Very early in the morning my
mum had to wake up and prepare for me breakfast and take me to school. At
12:00 p.m my dad had to go to school and pick me. After three months my
mum fell ill and no one could take care of me. Father didn’t know how to
cook, I had to go to school hungry in the morning and dad to look after my
mum who was admitted at Malakisi for two weeks. My father advised me on
how to take care of myself. When my father used to go to the hospital I
would remain alone as helpless as an infant. My friends started to laugh at
me but the situation became worse. I kept on praying to God since I knew
where there is God, there is a way.
My mother was discharged and I thanked God. I started jumping up and
down as a goat and I became as happy as a queen’s daughter walking in the
palace. I continued with school at Katakwa primary School up to class 7.
Then my dad also fell sick and was taken to Tororo hospital due to a Kidney
problem. The church members used to come for prayers at our home since
he was an evangelist and an active member in the ACK church. My friends
used to ask me about my father and tears would roll down my cheeks. My
mother began looking for assistance but in vain. She prayed to God to save
my father’s life.
Later my dad was admitted to an expensive hospital in Eldoret Referral. This
was the biggest challenge financially. Property at home was sold to pay the
hospital bills, we were all so depressed. It was like God had deserted us.
Despite all the difficulties we were facing as a family,
I managed to perform well in my class eight promotional test where I led
from position 5 out of 60 students. My class teacher and the headmaster Mr.
Majuro advised me to work hard and to be disciplined since it leads to
success. I pulled up my socks despite the challenges that I faced. When
schools closed, I was always entitled to cook for my younger siblings since
my parents were not always present. I remember during holidays my aunt
would visit as often. She came home with heavy luggage and we thought
that she had good staff for us. Only to open her bag, we found only her
clothing all the way from Kisumu. We welcomed her warmly though
When schools opened I was promoted to class 8, but I had no fees. I had to
earn some money every weekend by digging at my neighbors farm to pay for
my school fees. During lunch hours I had to rush home with a supersonic
speed to get some food though sometimes there was no food at home. I then
had to continue the rest of my classes with an empty stomach. Sometimes I
arrived at school late and the teacher on duty always punished me. For this
reason I began missing lessons especially afternoon lessons. Work at home
was so much that I had less study time. I dropped in class until my
classmates and teachers started wondering what was wrong with me. One
day my class teacher and principal visited me at home, I trembled and was in
great fear because I was not expecting them to come home. They asked me
endless questions and I aired out my problems. They encouraged me and
On Friday morning while on assembly, the academic teacher announced
money for the exam and I was flabbergasted on how I would get that money.
Tuesday we had to sit for an exam. During that weekend I tried all my level
best but in vain. I persevered until Monday. I woke up on Monday morning
to prepare my siblings to go to school, after I headed also to school though
late. Students were already on assembly. I waited until they all departed to
class because I feared I would be beaten. In class the teacher was calling out
names of those who had paid and I wasn’t among. The class teacher called
me out and I remember walking towards him as if I had no blood within me.
He sympathized with me and gave me kshs 200 and I was able to clear the
fee. I was able to sit with others and successfully did the exam. When exams
for that term were over I was announced as one of the best performing
student leading from above at position 3 in the whole class. After doing my
final exam at primary level, KCPE I managed to get 272 marks. I didn’t lose
hope since I knew soon I will be joining form 1 at secondary school level.
During my holidays I would sometimes help my neighbor madam Sophie to
sell in her shop.
I joined form 1 at Moding high school. My father had worked very hard to
ensure I had all the personal effects, I had been awarded a bursary of 12,000
shillings for the first term, and life has been a big challenge ever since I was
in junior class until now. Am encouraged because I believe that no situation
is permanent. Am currently in form three and looking forward to sitting my
final examination 2013. Am hoping to become a lawyer and not only help
my family but the whole community at large.


I was born a small village of Aciit, which means silence. I was born in the year 1996 on
November on 21st , among a family of six girls and three boys. I am the last among boys
and the sixth in the general family of nine children. My parents named me Wandera,
which means a son born with a necklace around his neck. This can be observed by the
black spot on my neck. Even though they have stayed in Teso land for a long time they
still observe all their traditional customs since customs are the nerve centre of the
My family and I worship one supreme being ‘Were’ which means the almighty God. My
parents have raised my siblings and me according to Christian teachings. I was baptized
in the year 1998 in the Roman Catholic church at Asing’e sub parish when I was two
years of age.
I joined primary school when I was seven years old in the year 2003 when education was
declared free by the Kenyan government. Earlier on my parents were not able to take me
to school due to the high poverty standards. The little they earned was used to pay fees
for those who were ahead of me. I managed to break a record by going through three
levels within one year i.e from nursery to standard two within the same year I had joined
school, which pleased my teachers and my family.
Some people complain about their poverty, although I feel they haven’t experienced what
I have. I remember very clearly in my lower primary I never had a uniform instead I wore
a pullover that belonged to my sister. That did not affect my education because as a kid, I
did not know the meaning of the word ‘stress’. I loved my school, but started to hate it
when some teachers started to harass me. What hurt me was that I had done nothing for
them to treat me in this manner.
I was always among the top students, which made my mother develop a positive attitude
towards my future. I started experiencing stress in standard six. This started when my
friends abandoned me after making fun of me for having one uniform. I felt lonely and
I continued with my education, although my grades had dropped which put me at the
average level. When I was in standard seven, my mum realized my problem and talked to
me about it. She told me always to be focused on my academics for excellence, and to be
determined in order to achieve my goals in future. My mum remains my role model for
she is very dedicated to her family despite the difficulties we go through.
I took in the advice and noticed a positive change in my grades. I also succeeded in my
K.C.P.E although it was not to my expectations. I received a letter of admission to from
Butula to continue with my high school education but due to lack of money I joined ‘St
Peters’ school Aterait, which is a day school.
Adjusting to high school life was initially challenging, though I eventually got used to it.
In fact, I have consistently been among the top performing students. I am currently in
form four, and my favourite subjects are Business studies, Biology and English. I would
like to pursue a Bachelors degree in Commerce or Bachelor of arts in Education. I intend
to achieve my goals by succeeding in my KCSE, which will bring joy and happiness in
place of the sorrow I have encountered.
My family has gone through betrayal, rejection, humiliation, oppression and rejection
from other people. However difficult it will be, however long it will take, I swear with a
drop of my sweat to bring a smile in the face of my family. My motto is ‘I lead while
others follow.
I stand strong with that slogan in all the activities I take part in. I am determined to bring
a difference in my family. I must bring change.


I was born the third child to Mr. Moses Isiepai and Mrs. Jane Isiepai in Kakemer village,
which is located almost to the Western border of Kenyan and Eastern border of Uganda.
Kakemer is among the prominent villages in Busia County due to its agricultural
activities such as the growing of both tobacco and maize. It is also known for its
educational centres, which have produced the few considered as broad thinkers.
As a young child, I could not understand what a good education should do. I attended a
primary school known as Ataba Oburi near Kakemer, which only had two mud-walled
classrooms for Classes 7 and 8. This made us have our studies under mango trees, which
were many in the school.
Despite the fact that I was among the top three from nursery to Class 2, I realized that I
was heading nowhere since I could still not write and speak fluent English or Kiswahili.
We depended on our mother tongue, which was really making our level of English low.
By the end of the year, I did well but I was urged by my father to repeat so as to improve
in writing and understanding my education well.
The first time I made my parents happy was when I became position one. This is because
I had improved in Mathematics and English. From that year, Mathematics became my
most enjoyable subject. Furthermore, my parents bought a uniform for me because I had
been using torn home clothes since nursery.
When I was in Class 4, I increased my curiosity by taking a lot of extra work and asking
my teachers questions. This gave me a way forward of knowing what a good education
is. When the school closed for the December holiday, my uncle, who lived in Mombasa,
requested that one of my family members spend his or her vacation with him in
Mombasa. Due to my obedience, all of my family members agreed to have me travel to
Mombasa for December vacation with my uncle, Julius Ote.
My elder brother took me to Amagoro whereby I came to know what a tarmac road is as
well as the big buses such as Falcon, which is currently known as Simba coach, the one I
travelled on. After boarding the bus in Amagoro roadblock, my brother left, as I had to
travel alone at my young age.
On the way to Mombasa, most of the passengers realised that it was my first time to
travel. This was evidenced when my mouth was wide open. Many of the passengers got
bored, but it was interesting on my side since I could not feel restless. My journey to
Mombasa was successful. As I alighted from the bus, my eyes met my uncle’s eyes. He
was happy to receive me. He guided me to his car and drove towards his home, which
was located opposite a big Catholic church in Chaaru.
The December holiday looked very enjoyable since my two cousins and I always visited
Pirate’s Beach. Initially, I could not swim but later I became an expert due to the several
visits to the beach to practise swimming.
When the time of my vacation was coming to an end, there were signs of unhappiness in
my cousins. I had to leave when the day came, but my cousins refused. This made my
aunt and my uncle have me live with them as well as educate me. This was also due to
the lack of a male child in my uncle’s family that enabled me to remain.
My aunt took me to the school she ran as the headmistress. The school was called
Marben School, located in Miritini, an estate found on the mainland of Mombasa. My
first day was bad because most students spoke fluent English. Whenever they asked me a
question, they would burst into laughter since I could only speak broken English. This
made me avoid them whenever they approached me. Even worse, my aunt who shared
with me the name “Ote,” was embarrassed more.
After one week, I realised that I could not concentrate on my studies due to poor written
and spoken English. I decided to change my attitude by speaking whatever came out of
my mouth, despite the fact that I was laughed at. I also tried to conquer my poor
handwriting. There was no day that passed without my being punished for either poor
handwritten work or greatly failing in Mathematics.
When first term was over, I luckily missed being called bottom three on parade by being
in fourth last position. Many of my classmates laughed at me, but my aunt urged me to
keep focused and determined by assigning a teacher to coach me on my studies.
During the April tuition, Mr. Isaac Achondo, the Maths and Science teacher who coached
me, truly showed me the way forward. He gave me a lot of extra work in Maths and
Science, whereby I improved well. I discovered that the more I practised Mathematics,
the more it became easier.
When third term was opened, my hard work and focus helped me improve in other
subjects. Many of my classmates began to decrease their motto of laughing at me. This
was a sign that I had begun catching up with them. They didn’t believe that I could be
among the best 40 students. In third term, I worked extremely hard to be among the top
20, although I was still dragging in English.
When I was in Class 6 in the year 2007, I improved in both English and Mathematics.
Best of all, I could top in Maths. By the end of the year, I was among the competent
students in the top 10. From that time, many of my classmates who had laughed at me
apologised. This made me realise that they regretted laughing at my poor education
During the 2007 December holiday, I had a good time interacting with my cousin Susan
Beatrice Ampesa, who was then at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and
Technology. I was able to grow spiritually and academically through the various
questions that I asked her and the solutions she availed to me. She became my mentor,
besides being my cousin.
The year 2008 began, in which I expected to make my aunt prouder. Something
unexpected happened when I was supposed to study at Marben School. My aunt had
been employed at another school called Epren Academy, located opposite Donholm
Primary School in Savanna, Embakasi. This meant that I had to travel to Nairobi in order
to study well, since she was seriously concerned with my education. My travel to
Nairobi came after the first week of January. The journey took seven hours, after which I
arrived at the beautiful city with tall buildings such as Kenyatta International Conference
The time it took for me to catch up with the environment and academics was long. I also
met other giants, but I was able to battle with them academically. I still made friends
with teachers so as to maintain my academia. I was carried away with the meals that we
could eat in Epren Academy. In every meal there had to be meat. Chips were eaten on
Wednesdays and Fridays. What I found disappointing is that many students did not take
studies seriously.
My expectation was that I would do my Kenya Certificate of Primary Education at Epren
Academy but, at the end of January 2009, my aunt was required to go back to Marben
School under new management with a new name, St. Elizabeth Academy. There was no
time to waste as we traveled back to Mombasa. Many of the students were eagerly
waiting for my aunt’s arrival at the school.
Despite the fact that I was getting on well with my aunt, I realised that she had parted
ways with my uncle. This was evidenced when my aunt rented near the school and never
received my uncle’s calls. I tried to investigate where the problem was but it was all in
vain. From then, I passed through various difficulties in Class 8. Some of my uncles
wanted me back home as they thought I was being mistreated. This concern almost made
me lose focus in my hard work but my aunt told me to persevere and finish my exam,
which finally came. All that remained was a question, “Will I meet my target grade?”
After two weeks of staying with my aunt, I went to visit my uncle and then traveled back
home. I was received warmly by my family and they were happy I was well, in fact,
better than I was before I went to Mombasa. I had to begin reserve activities as I had
begun to forget them.
My biggest worry was whether my parents would be able to pay school fees for my sister
and me. I kept praying for the purpose of reducing all my worry. By the time the results
were out, both of us had done well and I was almost to my target. I thanked God for the
high marks that I had received. My mother and father became confused on how to take
us to high school. After two days, my parents and I were relieved when two World
Vision agents came and looked at our results and told us that I had a high percentage of
getting a sponsorship. My father did all the preparations to join Form 1 whereby we were
assured by a letter that I had made it through the sponsorship. From then, my efforts and
empowerment came back as I was sure that my dream of becoming an aeronautical
engineer would not be shunned.

5. How I Turned it Around

In the year 1995 on the 4th of November I was born into the world and named
Melvin Okisai. I am the 1st born child in my family. My parents at the time lived in
Nairobi Kasarani estate. Upon joining the young couple I completed them into a family.
Both my parent were working; my mother worked as a secretary at a law firm and my
dad he was a police officer at Kasarani police station some distance from home. In 1999 I
had to be enrolled to a daycare program within the estate. The same year on October I
came home from daycare and found that my mother was not at home, this was odd
because she is always home early. Later in the evening both my parents came home
smiling and my father had a baby in his hand. I found out that the baby is my younger
brother named Trevor Okisai.
In 2000 I started my pre-school education at Beadom pre-school in Nairobi. In
the begin of 2001 my grandfather passed away it was hard for us to lose him. In 2006 my
mother lost her job caused the lawyer she worked for was jailed for fraud. In 2007 I did
an interview to get a position at G.S.U boarding school. Here my stay was short lived
this because I developed chest problems caused by the geographical area around. In 2008
I joined Muthaiga primary school. In 2009 I noticed my parents were not themselves they
argue a lot more and I had to make excuses to cover for them. When I offered to help
they told me to keep of “you were not there when we got together so do the same now
that were separating.” This was hard for me cause I felt like there is nothing I could do. In
2010 I was to seat for my K.C.P.E examination and in the same year my parents decided
to finally get a divorce. Again I had to cover for them and said to my brother “don’t
worry it only for a short while it’s going to be okay.” My father who was my best friend
became cold and distant; we rarely talked and if we did we always ended up in an
argument. In the near future I hope to bring our father son relationship back to its original
In 2011 I got my K.C.P.E results of 270 marks. It was unbelievable because not
even I thought I could perform so poorly on my exams. I was able to get a position in a
school in Teso south district named St.Paul’s Amukura high school. That year I was
elected class prefect and served well so I was promoted to school time keeper. I enjoyed
being in high school and being a prefect. In 2012 some boys and I formed a group that
terrorized the school and the community around it. Soon the long arm of the law caught
up with us and we were suspended from school which lead to some of my friends being
expelled and I lost my post as time keeper. It was a school rule go for guidance and
counseling every after suspension. The counselors made it clear to me that I have my
whole life ahead of me and what I do now reflects my future so I chose to change and
become a better person. I made my goals and worked hard to archive them, one of them
was to make up for the lost time. In October my grandmother how also adviced me on
life issues passed away.
In 2013 I was honored with a promotion to form 3 which as I write is my current
class. In the beginning of the year I developed a physics project that was arming at
helping the blind in the society. I am to present it at the annual Kenya science and
engineering fair. Since I am to complete my secondary school education next year, I pray
to pass my K.C.S.E . I would like to go to the university and study engineering so that I
develop my project and help people by making a diffrence in somebody’s life.


I was born on 1st July 1994 on a Friday at a place called
Okame (meaning to catch) Teso south district. I am the
second last born in the family of six children four girls and
two boys. My father and mother are both peasant farmers
who grow maize and cassava on a small scale. I remember
when I was two years old, my sister took me to her home
place at Nasira in Busia to stay with her. She was married
to a teacher Mr. Ernest who was by then teaching at
Akatagoroit Primary School. Here I stayed comfortably
with my sister. Then I joined Nasira nursery school in
2001. My sister was supportive in terms of paying school
fees, as she was a tailor at Nambale market. By then my
parents were not able to raise my school fees and that was
the main reason as to why she took me and stayed with her.
While in nursery I did all me best and joined class 1 in
2002. On reaching class 2 my sister started harassing me
because her husband had retired. One day my sister told me
to cook porridge and take care of her two children as she
went to the market. Due to a lot of work and disturbance
from her two children and some influence from my friends,
I didn’t cook the porridge. When my sister came back at
around 6.00 pm I was beaten properly. This made me to
escape at night and go back to our home place at Okame. I
reached home at around 9:30 p.m it was such a long walk.
Reaching home, I found my parents were asleep and I had
no option but to sleep outside. I knew if I would have
woken them up, my daddy would beat me again because he
always took alcohol and I knew that he was drunk and
could beat me mercilessly.
By the grace of God, it reached morning. When my parents
opened the door, I was there standing and wandering like a
ghost. When my parents saw me they were amused. I
started crying at the top of my voice and then collapsed.
They tried to give me first aid but it was all in vain. I was
then rushed to a nearby hospital Obekai. When I woke up
around 10:00a.m I saw my parents and sister in front of me.
After recovering I was taken home. At home my sister
apologized for what had happened and promised never to
beat me again. In the evening my sister and I traveled back
to Nasira. On reaching there, I changed my minds and went
back home with my belongings without my sister nor
brother in law knowing.
In 2004, I joined Okame Primary School in class three and
I stayed with my parents. Sometimes my parents could
disagree on some issues which sometimes made my father
to beat mum. This caused stress on my side as my mother
went back to her home place. But after two days, my
mother returned and carried on with life but with a lot of
challenges as my father could not provide anything for us.
He could even ignore us as if we were not his children.
In 2005, I returned to my sister’s home place as life at
home did not provide a conducive environment for my
studies. At Naira I joined class four. I did all my best and
was promoted to the next class. In class five, I put on more
efforts, determination, hard work and I got more assistance
from my cousin who had finished form 4 from St Mary’s
Mundika boys.
Reaching class seven my performance became unwanting
as I got a lot of competitors like Vincent and Johnmark.
But I tried my level best and became position 5 from
position 2. Due to hard work I was chosen as an assistant
head girl. I was afraid because since I started learning, I
had never been a prefect. I thought twice and decided to
take the position as I knew leadership comes from God.
While in the same class, circumcision period, one of my classmates carried a
knife to school. He wanted to circumcise those boys who were
uncircumcised. When this issue reached to the deputy principal Mr. Dan, I as
the assistant head girl was called to explain the matter. I tried to explain but
the deputy could not understand me so I was punished for failing to carry my
responsibility. I became sick and I missed doing some exams. When I came
back, I found students had gone far in terms of syllabus coverage. So to
catch up with them was a problem. I decided to go to Madam Godliver our
Kiswahili teacher for guiding and counseling and from there I was able to
catch up with others. In third term we did an exam and I was promoted to
class eight.
During second term we were told that we were going for an
educational tour at Kisumu. When I went to my parents to
collect money, one of my neighbors went and told my
parents that I just wanted money for my own pleasure. My
parents hearing this, they refused to give me money. This
annoyed me beyond measure. But my sister went and
explained the matter to my parents and I was given the
money. From this incident I learnt that some people don’t
want to see others prosper. When we went to Kisumu, we
visited many places like Kisumu Airport, Museum and
Osienala radio station. The day was enjoyable and
everyone was dressed to kill. From the tour it was
approaching third term and so we started preparing for the
K.C.P.E. When examination day reached, we were armed
very well and we sat for our exam. When the exams were
released in December 28th I had got 309 out of 500.
In 2010 I came back from my sister’s home place and
settled at our home place in Okame. The area has tall trees
and a conducive environment for every living creature.
Sometimes the area is dusty during the dry season and
muddy during rainy season. The residents are hardworking
and determined in anything they do and they struggle a lot
in improving their living standards.
On 3rd February 2010, I joined St. Peter’s Aterait though
not a school of my choice. I had been called to join St
Anne’s Kisoko girls but due to lack school fees I was
forced to join St Peter’s. The school I know has a purpose
for my life. When I reached the school compound on
admission day, I was happy and I liked the environment. It
had mango trees and flowers and the school looked tidy.
Pupils observed cleanliness as they knew that cleanliness is
nearer to Godliness. I was admitted by Mr. Ipara the
director of studies in our school. I was taken to the
classroom were I got many students but all were unfamiliar
to me. So to make friendship with them was very difficult.
But as time went by, I made friendship with Evelyn whom
we used to share academic ideas. We used to set questions
every day and marked during games time in order to
improve in our performance.
I did my level best and I was promoted to form two. Its
from here that I came to realize that I have a potential mind
for learning and leadership skills. This came to a reality
when I was chosen as the Assistant head girl. Then in form
three I was chosen as their head girl.
One thing that I liked in this school was the school motto
which says excellent through discipline and diligence. So
through discipline and diligence one can easily pass. My
principal Mr. Sospeter who is a role model and encourages
students to do well and pass. Another person is madam
Ataro who is our guiding and counseling teacher. I want to
emulate them and prosper more than they did. When I
finish my form 4 I would want to join Nairobi University to
pursue a course in Education. I want to take time, books
and all the facilities at our school for pleasure but nit for
leisure and make it treasure that no one can measure.

St. Peter’s Aterait Secondary School

I was born in the year 1995 at Moru Karisa village, Apegri location. My parents are Mrs.
Nancy and Mr Micah Oboo. Now I am seventeen years old. I joined my nursery school
when I was five years old due to my negative attitude about school. I was being escorted
with my mother every day in the morning after she had caned me.
Whenever I saw my teacher I was afraid. My teacher could only provide me with
mandazi so that I became friendly to him. After two terms we were assigned to do an
exam, which decided whether we would be promoted to Standard 1. After the results
were announced and I was position two out of one hundred, my teacher praised me and I
was given a prize, which made me work hard every day. When I reached home I found
my parents and my uncle sitting outside under a big tree that was in our compound. My
dad took my report card and saw how I performed. He shook my hand for the good job
that I had done.
No sooner had I greeted my uncle than I heard the zooming of the vehicle. On looking, it
was my Aunt Catherine who was working in Kisumu. I ran and helped her to carry her
bag that she was holding. My mother prepared supper and we ate together. The
following day, early in the morning, my aunt called me and in her hand she was holding a
pretty dress, which was shining. I was told by my aunt to go with her to Kisumu. In
addition, I was going to school there. While traveling, I saw a big house like the
Nakumatt Supermarket. When we reached my aunt’s house I was welcomed with a cup
of tea and mandazi.
Schools were opened and I was taken to join Class 1. I found myself being confused
since it was my first time to interact with unrelated people. My teacher, Mr. Otieno,
came in and gave me an English textbook, which I was told to read out loud before my
fellow students. During break hours I used to play football and would recite poems,
which helped me to identify my talent. More so, I disliked friends who were hypocritical
and those who led others into problems.
When I reached Standard 5 my aunt lost her job and we were forced to come back home.
I remember that was the end of my education due to the background of my family who
could not afford to pay my school fees. Other than that, our neighbors were jealous of
me since I was the only girl in our family who at least moved a step in education. While
at home, I joined Karisa Primary School, which was a nearby school. Every day I was
forced to go to the shamba after school lessons in order to plant maize, which I sold to
raise my school fees. When I reached Class 7 I was not able to go to school since I was
not able to raise my school fees. We were to go to school early in the morning and late in
the evening. Due to my lack of fees my head teacher chased me out which made me cry.
When I came home crying my parents would quarrel with me.
One day when I was at home, my class teacher Mr. Kenneth came to our home and he
sacrificed to pay my school fees from Standard 7 to Standard 8 due to my hard work.
When I joined my fellow students in Class 7 the best thing I could do was to compete
with them. When I joined Class 8 in 2010 I told my parents to sacrifice themselves to
look for an alternative way so that they could provide me with all my basic needs, which
will help me to achieve my goals in Class 8. I remember in Class 8 I was the only girl
who used to go to school with out putting on shoes. I used to put on sandals, which my
friends were not happy about. I used to tell them I cannot compare our home with your
homes and this was a big challenge to my life.
After my K.C.P.E. I went home to clear my own piece of land on which I planted
tomatoes. Every Tuesday and Friday I used to go to the market to sell my tomatoes. I
produced good tomatoes, which attracted many customers. One day as I was taking my
supper my uncle told me that he wanted me to join secondary school, since he knew I had
the ability, and he promised to pay my school fees. I was overwhelmed with joy to join
secondary school. When the K.C.P.E. results were announced I was in position two in
my class and everyone in my family was so happy. When the time came for me to join
secondary school, I went with my mother to the supermarket to buy the required things,
which were compulsory for every student. The following day, my uncle who stepped in
to pay school fees was admitted to the hospital. I was supposed to report to school on
Monday but I was unhappy which made me not join secondary school in the first term.
I joined secondary school in the second term and I was welcomed by my fellow students
who had joined early. Since I was kind and honest my friends helped me write notes and
they taught me what they had learned the previous term. I was picked to be a prefect in
Form 1. I used to wake up early in the morning to start my journey and was attacked on
the way by animals. Even though our home was far, I didn’t give up and learned that
hard work pays. As I was proceeding with my education, I reached a place where my
parents were not able to pay my school fees. Our principal, Mr. Okoth, allowed me to
continue learning and I could pay my school fees twice a year, which was a good
opportunity in my life. From that day, I learned that opportunity comes only once.
8. My name is Shariffa Nyangai Athman. I was born in 1994 9th February. I come from
Ikapolok village, Amagoro location, teso north, western Kenya. I am the only child of my
mother and father, Mr and Mrs Athman Abdallah and Habiba Hassan. I am eighteen
years old. My father died when I was two years old and mother died when I was three
years old. I am an Albino. I resembled my grandfather, my maternal grandfather died
when I was seven years old.
I was born in Tanzania where my father was working as a secretary in a certain Bureau.
So my mother used to stay there with him. When I was two years of age we got to travel
to Kenya where my maternal parents lived. Unfortunately we got an accident and my
mother got injured very badly and my father died on the spot. Little then my mother
followed. That very year I went and stayed with my uncle in Tanzania. I stayed there for
about one year and my cousin came to visit us when she finished fourth form in 1999. I
stayed with my cousin very well and I loved her because she was kind, generous and very
When she left to come back to Kenya I pleaded with her to take me and she agreed
though there was no fair. So I had to stay back. I really shed tears and almost collapsed.
But she promised to come for me during December holidays. I agreed and waited for
December to reach.
In 2000, she sent my maternal grandmother to come and pick me. I felt very happy
because I was going outside country and infact another country for good and not to come
to Tanzania again. Then I came to Kenya my new country and preffered to be.
Currently, I stay with my aunt, my mother’s second born sister. She is very generous,
kind, loving and caring. Even my uncle too is a good foster father to me. My foster
parents are only harsh if one has done a mistake or failed an examination at school. They
always treat us equal. My cousin sister who is their last born daughter and I. I also enjoy
staying with them because they are always there for me and would buy or give me
anything I need so long as they are capable and that it is of good help to me since we are
a well off family. My aunt has seven children, two sons and four daughters plus me who
is the seventh one because I am like the last born in that family and I have been calling
my aunt as my mother. Actually she is more than a mother to me.
My family is not well off family but at least we can have one or two meals a day.
Through my cousin brothers and sister are having low class jobs but at least they are
capable of buying a pen and a pencil though at a cheaper price. But thanks be to God I
have survived and I am where I am now.
I started schooling when I was 6 years old in class one in ikapolok primary school that
was 2001. Our home was about a half kilometer from my school. I used to put on a dress
and slippers as my school shoes. My first day in school, I used to cry in order to be taken
at home for breakfast. That continued until my grandmother warned me that she is going
to cane me if I will continue disturbing my cousin brother who was a candidate that time.
I stopped that habit and became strong and learned to survive. We used to walk to school
for about four times a day, that is going and coming back home everyday. Though I was
used, the journey to school was tiresome and sometimes we could run all the way from
school to home because of rains. Sometimes I would refuse to wake up very early in the
morning because it was too cold. Due to this I oftenly fell sick.
Life went on like that until I completed my primary education. I did my KCSE and
emerged with 298 marks in the year 2008. I joined form one in 2009 at St Thomas
Amagoro Girls Secondary. At first I was called at Kibuk Girl’s secondary in Mt. Elgon
but everybody opposed because my health, the school was too far and my family had run
short of school fees. They proposed that I should go to Kisumu Girl’s secondary in
Kisumu because my relatives stay in Kisumu and that I was likely to get a bursury. I was
very happy and left for Kisumu for my Secondary studies. While I was there, the
headmistress of the school refused to admit me saying that I had to attain 300 marks and
above so as to join the school. Time went on as we continued pleading with the
headmistress of the school to give us a chance. Then my foster parents saw that there is
no need of struggling looking for a school. They proposed that I should just come back to
Teso and join Amagoro Girls secondary. I nearly collapsed on hearing that. I shed tears
and cursed the day I was born. I then asked my aunt to talk to my mum through the phone
but my mum refused and insisted that I should go home the next day and in time. The
next morning, I packed all my belongings and left for Malaba.
Back home, everybody was happy to see me but I myself was not happy at all. Everybody
encouraged me that I should not lose but instead work hard and pray to God. He had a
purpose as to why he brought me to St. Thomas Amagoro Girls’ Secondary. My last drop
of tears was when I reached at the school gate as I was going for an admission letter. My
foster parents promised to transfer me to a boarding school the coming year 2010. I
worked very hard knowing I will not come to St Thomas again. Unfortunately again there
was a financial problem. So I had to continue learning at St Thomas Amagoro Girl’s
Secondary. I continued learning up to now in form 4.
This year, I have faced many challenges both at home and at school. First I had healthy
problems which made me weak. Secondly, I lost my voice until third term this year is
when it came back. I used wake up as early as early as 4:00 pm, sometimes I would even
cry. What I really hated most, is when it was raining and I haven’t left for home, it is
going to be dark. Sometimes I would even feel like sleeping at school because of a lot of
work and assignments in school. Again, I have a problem with my eyesight. So if a
teacher could write on the blackboard I’ll be disadvantaged. I will have to wait until one
of my classmates would finish writing and also copy the same in my book. But thanks be
to God, the teachers together with the students got used to me with my challenges and
assisted me. They all treated me like any other person without any discrimination despite
my disability. I thank God for my fellow students and teachers because they are of great
help to me when I am in school.
I also thank God for my foster parents who were always there for me. I also thank God,
the most high who has enabled me to reach where I am. Since I started my KCSE
examinations, I have not faced a lot of difficulties apart from health problems. Atleast,
the examinations are not that tough. They are fair if someone has prepared well for the
particular paper. I hope for better results come next year despite the fact that I have not
seen the results. And I know and I am rest assured I will make it in future.


Actually, life in this world is not only of bread and butter but also I have met several challenges.
My memory still contains a message about my life story from the times I started thinking like a
human being. My mother gave birth to me in a banana plantation next to our home hence the
name “OLABORO”, which meant a bunch of bananas. That was in the year 1994, in Teso
South district, a region bordering Uganda , a village called Ongaroi. My mother was the
second wife to my father. I am the first born of the other four siblings.
Staying in a polygamous family is really troublesome. My father has kept ignoring us
plus our mum he rented a house in Busia town where he stayed with the fourth wife. We
lived a disgusting kind of life. My mum delayed to take me to school. It was when l
attained seven years when l was taken direct to standard one skipping ECD and nursery
classes. Although l was a pupil, many times l absented from school helping mum in
domestic chores. My mother roamed in the village searching for work in well-off
families that caused me to hurry home when it came to lunch time so as to prepare meals.
After learning for three years in class one, I was promoted to class two. Absenting
from school was not a new thing to me. I could do some laundry, farm work during school
days. The same year, our neighbour, a catholic catechist felt for me, he knew my capability in
regard to class performance, he talked to my mum to let me go and stay with him but my
mum rejected bearing in her mind that l was the throbbing heart of the other kids in the
family. I missed that fantastic chance of moving from Egypt to Canaan where there was a
relatively better living environment. That was the time I came to know that mum depended
partially on me since I was her strength. Despite of that life, I was successfully promoted to
standard three though being among the bottom ten. In class three things did not change,
any better. Homeduties waited for me all the time. In the evening after school, I rushed
home, fetched firewood, made several trips for water and started preparing supper, and
when mum came late she would find me cooking. All in all, I knew how to read. I was then
transferred to
Amagoro one of the best primary schools in Teso North district competing with private
schools. My paternal uncle who was a veterinary officer in Amagoro took me to stay with
his two other children. He rented a house for us. The life there was good, there was
adequate balance diet that was encouraging. My cousins were also polite and unsegregative,
infact you could think that the three of us were from the same mother and father. During
weekends , my uncle would travel leaving us with the budget for the entire weekend.
As a new student in Amagoro, I was given an assessment, I fairly did well, my uncle
pleaded with the teachers to allow me in class three. Then my uncle encouraged me to put
more emphasis and be dedicated in my studies. My mind boldly reflected the life my
mother and other siblings were facing at home, that gave me a lot of encouragement in my
studies. It took me a short time to adapt to that unique operation in a new school. l became
familiar with new associates and teachers in just less than a fortnight. Following my teachers
instructions made me loved and used oftenly as an example of a determined pupil. I used
to be consulting be it other pupils or teachers when l got difficulty sums or problems in
certain subjects. While at home, my caring cousins trained me in doing some calculations
in mathematics. They also trained me on composition and Insha writing. I started
improving every other term. Infact in class six I became number five for the first time. I was
awarded with several prizes that motivated me fully. Reading story books became my
hobby. l could read at least two books a week. That perfected me in writing good
compositions and Inshas. In standard eight, as I was waiting for my Kenya Certificate of
primary education, all the teachers had confidence in me. Actually, I also felt ‘ripen’. The
2008 KCPE were done earlier, fourth November instead of eleventh. We did with a lot of
hope. After KCPE, I traveled to live with mum since, East or west home is best.
I vividly remember how my siblings warmly welcomed me in. they showed their high
level of hospitality and discipline. That was the time when mum stopped overloading me
with a lot of work. Atleast l could also have a leisure time to spend with friends. The only
task was going to the garden. It was that very holiday that l started constructing my
small cottage called esiba meaning grass thatched hut, l never wanted to stay idle before the
announcing of the KCPE results. I was somehow bankrupt, l decided to thatch it with
millet stalks.
After engrossing myself in Christmas celebration, the results were out , l had passed
well with 343 marks out of 500. Many people could not believe it. However, that was nothing,
the issue was where to get the school fees for my secondary education. I was made to stay
the whole of 2009 at home. that year was the most difficult part of my life. It is very normal
for any human being to experience puberty stage in life. Mum kept counseling me on the
importance of abstaining from fornication. l had no other option than following what mum
requested of me that year. I became stranded not knowing how I could fulfill my dreams in
Indeed through God, every thing is possible. My attractive scores drew the attention of
the Elewana Education Project, a non government organization that supports secondary school
going children. I joined St Peters Aterait High school in 2010 and I am currently. Through
this school I have managed to set many goals in my life. I have served as a clubs and society
prefect so far three years . My favorite game has been football either watching or playing.
My soccer team that I support is Manchester United FC one of the best clubs in Britain. My
role model has been my mother Mrs. Donata Atyang. She is a hard working, determined and a
persistent person. I am hoping to get good grades in KCSE examination which will make
me to join the university for a degree in Agricultural engineering. The best time for
establishing a family will be after thirty years.
10. Achiko
I am Achiko Daisy Anjili a daughter to Mr and Mrs Anjili. I was named after an
American lady who was a pastor called Daisy and after my grandmother who was
Achiko. I was born on 14th November 1994 at Kisumu Hospital. My mother went through
an operation when she gave birth to me. I have grown up in West Bunyore Location,
Itumbu sub-location, Musirili village. I have one sister called Dorice and one brother
called Ben and I love them so much.
I went to Musirili Nursery school which is one kilometer away from home in the year
1999. I was still four years old by that time and my mother had given birth to my sister. I
always went to school with my cousin Sherry who was older than I am. I only learnt one
year in nursery school and I went to Essaba Primary school for interviews. I was very
happy to be in a new school but it was far away from my home.
During this period, my father had started his own church in Luanda and my mother was a
peasant farmer. In our family, I was the first born and we stayed with my four cousins
who were orphans. My father took care of both of us since his brothers had refused to
cater for them. Since the year 1965, my grandmother lived as a widow and we as
grandchildren never saw our grandfather.
In the year 2000, I did my end of year exams but I failed. My parents came to school and
requested my class teacher to let me repeat in class one. I thank God because at the end of
the year 2001, I emerged to be the top. I was given presents from my parents and
teachers. I was then promoted to class two. I continued with my studies in the same
school until I did my Kenya Certificate of Primary Education.
In the year 2006, I remember very well that I was digging with my sister in our small
land and by bad lack I cut her on the head. My sister cried as blood trickled from her head
to the ground. I quickly called my grandmother who was the only person at home. She
came and did first aid to her and later she took her to the hospital. My parents came later
and took her in the hospital where they picked her. Since that day, I learnt never to use
sharp tools near other people.
In the year 2008, I did my KCPE Examinations and I scored 253 marks. I really cried
because I expected to get higher marks than those. Although I was above average but I
had higher expectations than that. I was counseled with my parents and I rejoiced for my
efforts later. I got several letters from some Secondary schools but they were day schools
only. My father decided to go to another boarding school in Siaya District and he got a
chance. The school was too high and therefore my father could not raise that much. The
church did a love offering to me and that is when I went to school.
On 13th February 2009 at 11:00am, I had already alighted at Sinaga Girls secondary
school. I was very happy because I had never been to a boarding school before. I could
think of how I was going to stay away from home without my parents and my siblings.
My parents left at about 2:00pm and went back home. I watched them leave as tears
rolled over my cheeks. One of the form four girls came running towards me. When I
looked at her, I noticed that she was one of our member in church. I was happy to meet
her. She took my box, my mattress and my basin and took them to the dormitory.
After my form one, my father told me that I was not going to continue learning in a
boarding school because he had no money to pay for me. I was taken to KISA to stay
with my maternal grandmother in the year 2010. I joined Mundaha Mixed school a newly
starting school which had only form one and two classes. We had no trained teacher but
those who were teaching us were form four leavers. There was no laboratory for science
experiments and therefore everything was taught theoretically. I went through so many
challenges but at the end of the year I got a c+.
During December holidays of the same year, I visited my maternal aunt who stays in
Amagoro. When I was about to leave for home, her husband came from Nairobi and he
looked at my form two results and he was impressed. He offered to pay for me my form
three and form four school fees. I accepted with lots of gratitude. Thereafter, I was taken
to St Thomas Amagoro Girls Secondary School. I did my interview and I emerged to be
the best among the new students who were joining the same school.
As a new student in a new environment, I faced so many challenges such as, syllabus
coverage. I found that some subjects they were ahead of me. A subject like Agriculture, I
had never been taught before. I had to start reading it from form one work and this really
affected me. At the end of the year 2011, I had a c-
I went home during December holidays. I became sick until I thought I was going to die.
When I visited a doctor she said that I had sores in my throat. I was even unable to eat
and each time I felt lonely. My mother bought me some drugs but I did not get well. I
was then prayed for and after a few days, I thank God I became well.
Throughout my stay with my aunt, I have undergone through many challenges. I thought
of going to another new school in form four but it was impossible. I had to cope up with
the situations. In Amagoro, there has been a problem of getting water and we have
always been going to look for water in far places after school in the evening.
Above all I love Jesus Christ for everything that has happened in my life because I
believe everything is a blessing. I am a Sunday school teacher in Repentance and holiness
church in Malaba. I am social to everyone and my interests are reading, traveling and
watching movies during my leisure time.
My father is still a pastor and my mother is a small tailor. My sister Dorice is in form one
in a day school called (Esibila) and my brother is in class three at Essaba Primary school.
I am in form four this year and I am among the students who have been taken by
Kiwimbi and Elewana Education Project supported by U.S Embassy. This is enabling us
to get adequate time for our personal studies and I believe that this will help us get good
grades. I am therefore grateful for this supporting project and I promise to get a good

St. Thomas Amagoro Girls Secondary School

I am Adeke Maximiller. I was born 27 July 1995. I am a Teso and I was born by Lydia
Okojo and Alfred Okojo. My mother is short and fat and my father is tall and thin like a
eucalyptus tree. I am the second born child in my family.
I was born at Kakoli sub-location, Okuleu location, Amagoro division and Teso district.
I like myself because I always do the best in what I do. I love my parents because they
always buy me fruits, new dresses and sweets.
I cannot imagine myself now the way I was ten years ago. In 2000, when I was five
years old, I was taken to a nursery school at Kakoli Primary. Every morning my mother
would wake up early, prepare breakfast for me and then hold my hand and escort me to
As I was at nursery school I was shy and I was not attending class lesson. I would always
sit under a tree until lunchtime and then would carry my bag home. During that time I
was careless about myself because whenever my mother would give me a pencil and a
book I would always make sure I came back without it. The only things I would take
care of were my sweets and fruit that my mother gave me to eat at break time at school.
I continued with my careless behaviour and became worse until my mother ordered me to
stop losing my things. She gave me an empty bottle and told me to put my pencil in it to
prevent it from getting lost. Her decision was like chasing a black cat in total darkness. I
continued with the behaviour and became worse than before because I also started losing
my shoes.
Seriously, the day I lost my shoes my mum gave a punishment that I will never forget.
She gave a blow that made me almost kick the bucket. I wished the earth would open
and swallow me up but it was in vain. What I did was just to plea for mercy. From that
day I have never done such a mistake of being careless.
When I reached Standard 3 I was happy as prince to start using a pen for writing. I
worked hard in order to be the best in all I did. At the same time I was very interested in
education and my mother also bought revision books for me for the first time. In my
class I was the only one who had revision books so most of the students depended on me
for revision.
The year ended and I was promoted to the next class, which was Standard 4. I worked
hard in order to be the best. The year ended well and I was promoted to Standard 5.
In 2007 I moved to Standard 6 where I found my best friend Sarah who was a role model
to me because she was disciplined. She always looks beautiful and she also resembles
me as if we were twins. Most of the pupils cannot differentiate between her and I
because we are the same size, same colour, and have the same walking and talking styles.
The teacher separated us because we were desk mates. He put one of us in the middle
row and another one near the door. So during break time we come together and chat.
In academics we performed extremely well and also in field activities. However, at the
end of the year we didn’t do well in our class work and we were supposed to repeat the
same class. We both accepted. The year ended and the day arrived for us to go back to
school. We both went to school with the aim of being the best.
At the end of the year we were promoted to Standard 7. In the same year we participated
in various activities like playing football, singing and being a scout member. During the
second term the choir performed a song that we sang up to the national level in
Mombasa. We traveled well and were so interested with what we saw on the way. In
spite of the long distance travel we reached there and were taken to Shimo la Tewa where
we slept. We held our activities at Mbaraki nursery. Surely, we enjoyed the journey.
In 2009 I did my K.C.P.E. exam. When the results were out I managed to get 235 marks.
I really failed it. I had a target to join Form 1 but my parents were not able to get money
to pay for both my brother, who was in Form 4 at St Joseph Kocholyia Secondary School,
and me, so I repeated Standard 8.
I went back to Standard 8 and I worked hard to do my best because I knew the secret to
excellence is hard work. I also knew that hard work never goes unrewarded. What I did
was to be focused only on education because discipline, hard work and focus are equal to
success. I didn’t repeat at Kakoli Primary School instead I went to a school called
Korisai Primary School near Malaba. It was a poor performing school but I was able to
score 326 marks in the K.C.P.E.
When the results were brought, everyone appreciated my work and my parents started to
prepare for me to join a secondary school. I was given a scholarship and joined a nearby
school called St. Thomas Amagoro Girls Secondary School. I was very happy to join a
secondary school that I had never been to before. I put on my full uniform: shoes, socks,
sweater, tie, skirt and a t-shirt. I looked spic and span. At school, I met new friends like
Charity, Josephine, Asurube, Mercyline and many others. I like my friends because
whenever they do something they make sure I also participate.
When I joined Form 1 I was so confused because I didn’t know where to start because it
was my decision whether to work hard or not. The teacher did not follow whether you
had done the assignment or not so as a student you had to decide whether or not to work
hard. One thing that I realized in secondary school is that if a student performs well in
primary school she may not work hard when she joins secondary school. However, if a
student does not perform as well in primary school she may put more effort into
secondary school and will score higher marks.
Just as I worked hard in primary school, I also worked hard in secondary school and was
able to score higher marks than the students who scored higher marks in primary school
than me. At the end of Form 1 I performed much better than in primary school and I
scored a B+ grade. Now, I am preparing to join Form 2 next year by reading a lot during
this December holiday. I just pray to God to continue protecting and guiding me and to
help me understand what I should do in my life.


I was born in 1995. I am the fifth in a family of five. After My mother and
other members of the family named me. Akesa Gloria At that time my father
was working for a certain company and my mother was just but a house
wife. To keep herself busy and life going she involved herself in carrying
out a small bussiness.
Life went on smoothly and at age of three I was taken to anearby school. I
started from the least stage of education that is baby class. I used to go to
school with my elder brother and sister.
At age of seven I had grown up so my dad saw it better to take me into
another school where I could start the next level of education. He took me to
a certain school where I went and did my interview. Lucky enough I passed
with flying colours so I qualified.
Joining class one gave me a feeling of a burren woman who has just
delivered. I was excited and overflown by joy. What made me extremely
happy is that some of students who had join class one in that school are
those who I had learnt with in the previouse stage of education . I found the
environment worth fitting because of the old and new friend.
One evening as we were taking our supper my father started complaining of
somach-ache. We were sent by mom to bring some over to the counter drugs
which could help him releive pain. We did as been ordered and father took
them. After that due to the days whole activities we retired to bed.
Life went on and stomach-ache became part of my fathers orders of the day.
On extreme, he decided to visit a doctor. After a througher diagnosis he was
discovered to be developing ulcers. He was given some dosage at his
workplace, he was given sometime to stay at home till he gets well.
We all belived that father was going to get well so long as he ate well and
took his medication . To ensure this mother was then told to cook for him
and give his medicine.
On the first day of his medication things went on well. On the secondary all
was fantastic. On the third day things looked even more brighter than the
first and second day, this was because when I came from school. I saw father
walking out of the house which was not usual in the past two days I was
very much amused.
“Gloria?” He called me,Yes I answered with a very gentle voice. I was
happy because since he started ailing he had never called me by my name. I
ran with a lot of joy because I belived that he was going to tell me something
good. On reaching I was surprised because the only thing that he told me
was to give him some water.
One evening mother came from her small bussiness and went to her
bedroom . She found father laying on the bed. Father asked her to give him
some water. He tried to drink and each trial made him choked
He caughed and caughed to the roots. After some few minutes of struggling
with the cough there was a sudden moment of silence that could allow the
sound of a pindrop to be heard whether one was keen or not.
“Mwale! Mwale! Mwale!” My mother kept on calling my father but there
was no response . We backed my mother up by calling him and shaking him
consesently but to no avail.
On realization he had had already responded to the call by the greate father.
Scream of sorrow turmoil anguish and bitternes filled the air. Some
neighbours joined us in the event. Some people rolled down while screeming
as a way of relieving the pain ,pain of loosing a loved one. One who had
brought one of them to where they were. One who was so close and
interactive to many. One who you could tell your problems and get the
answers as solving the class one mathematics, one add one!..one add one….
Oh no! It was so painful evacuating such a person from the society.
The burial arrangements were made and after sometime we sent him to his
eternal resting place. After some period of mourning we came to realise that
we had to move on because after all the man who makes miles and miles in a
long distance but he who drops and looks around himself and think that he
cannot move on because of the path holes or bumps ahead gets discouraged
and most of the time tends to fail.
After everything we had to continue with our education, at times life without
a father looked strange but we had to cope up with it because death is natural
and part of our lives.
Life from class two to class six was full of bumps, valleys and hills, to come
down of and climb since my mother did not have a parmanent job. We were
living from hand to mouth. Eating a meal or any other food was like a
miracle which realy happened. Good clothes, meeting friends, concentr
Ating in class was like a dream which would not be easily realised. Life
looked harder and harder but we kept on and never gave up.
January 15th 2008 is when light shone into our family. That evening we were
taking our supper which comprised of kales and ugali in our ramshaked
house. My mother early made phone rang . She responded the call and after
a lenthly talk she looked at us with a broad smile . We were all astonished
as to what was happening.
She gave abroad smile and started talking . “My children when god says yes
nobody can say no. When you realy want something go for it and never look
back. Focus my children, Pray my children, work hard and everything will
be okay”. On hearing this everybody looked emotional. Silence broke
through and tears rolled down most of our cheeks.
She continued , “ My children never let challenges challenge you. You
should try your level best to challenge challenges.. Move on and once you
have decided never look back, never give up. You have seen me talking to a
phone. I just want to inform you that I have just been employed by some
company. I am so glad and happy that the lord God who never sleeps has
heard and aswered our prayers “.
On hearing this I was very happy and enthusiastic. A stream of joy ran
through my veins. I knew that it was a breakthrough and part of the solution
to our long life of straggle hustle and challenges in life.
The following morning mom woke up before the coak crowed and this was
because of anxiety she had concerning the job she was just going to be
offered with.
At six she was out and in the evening that day she came and assured us that
she was truelly employed.
All of us were overjoyed and happy about that achievement. We thanked
God for that incident and for keeping us because it is the one that has made
us move up to where we are today.


I am Akileng’ Luke aged 20 years. I come from a hamlet village of
Aterait in Teso South born of parents Beneta Imaaset and Lazarus
Oramisi. I am the forth born out of five siblings. My parents have been
blessed with boys only. I am a Kenyan by birth and my parents are also
Kenyans by birth.
I was named after one of my grandfathers, Akileng’ Saul, who passed away
when I was still young. Our family has been living a poor life. This is
because my first brothers were unable to join secondary school and just
completed primary school education course. Another problem that we face
in our home is lack of adequate land since my parents just own about an acre
of land but all in all we struggle our level best to get all we require from it in
order to satisfy our needs. We do farming and plant food crops like maize
and cassava. We also sometimes plant sweet potatoes and groundnuts
depending on the weather conditions. They are normally two planting
seasons the month of February to march and from August to September.
I joined nursery school at Apegei primary school in the year 2001, class one.
I then joined Aterait Primary School and did my KCPE in 2009. When I was
8 years old, my mother asked me to go and live with my grandmother at
Apegei after her husband had passed away and I responded so well and I
joined nursery school just at Apegei Primary School. When I joined class
one at Aterait Primary School, I used to be going for lunch at my mother’s
place then in the evening I went to my grandmother’s and the cycle every
day during school days. I returned to my mother’s home place when I was
in class 6 third term due to a swollen leg since I could not walk well.
I tried all my level best and got 310 marks out of 500 marks. I received
admission letters from various high schools. For instance, from
St.Paul’sAmukura High School and from St.Peter’s Aterait Secondary
School. My family’s financial position couldn’t allow me to join St.Paul’s
Amukura High School but it allowed me to join St.Peter’s because school
fees was a problem which made me to join school late. Now I will finish my
secondary education in 2013.
The most funny thing is that my father left for Mombasa in 1998 when I was
only 5 years old and to date he has never come back. Actually I can say
that if by chance I meet him may be on the way I cannot identify him and I
think he cannot also identify me since it has been long since we last met. I
am not wrong when I say that I have not been brought up by my father. My
mother has been playing a very high role in my life since I was born. She has
been playing the role of a father and a mother in our family. So nothing can
deceive me to forget about my mother.
I have been facing difficulties in terms of paying school fees but my mother
and my elder brothers in conjunction with organisations like CDF that
provide bursuries (Constituency development fund) so I really appreciate
them for their support. I cannot say that I am 100% fine. What do I mean? I
have been facing various problems in terms of sickness. There was a time
when I was in class 6 third term, my leg got swollen in such a way that I
could not even walk. I used to be carried to and from school sometimes by
my fellow pupils up to when I reached class 7 first term when I got well.
Some members of the society have been against our family but I thank God
for protecting us from all that.
In terms of religion, I cannot forget God since He is my provider in
everything I need, my creator, my Saviour and my shield. I put Him first in
everything I do in this third planet. I was baptized from the ACK church at
Aterait Parish.
In my life I have been having various dreams about my future. I have been
dreaming to be a lawyer, a health officer or even an accountant. It will be my
KCSE results and financial position that will determine the kind of course I
will go for at the university from the ones I have mentioned above. Actually,
I can say that a bad beginning has a good ending and we should not give up
in life.

14. A Life History by Akirapa Loyce Age: 18

I am Akirapa Loyce, the first born among eight children in November of 1994. I was
born in a small town called Awata comprised of Western Nilotes people, which was originally
colonized by the British. My parents come from the same area of the country. Three weeks into
the dry season, my mother delivered me at home in a traditional mud walled house without
electricity or running water. She was assisted by a local mid-wife and female family members
and friends.
My father’s name is Fred Omuduki while my mother’s is Linet Atyang. Both of my
parents are farmers and member of the small Teso community, one of the 42 ethnic groups in
Kenya. It is a place comprised of sandy soil where food does not grow well and people live in
poverty. Our land has an abundance of garbage among the shrubs, ferns and scattered trees. I
have grown up in a family who has always struggles to pay my school fees. There are often
quarrels between my mother and father but otherwise we live in peace.
My memories of my first day at Kakoli Primary School will always stick with me. Before I
went to school I gathered my slate, exercise book, pencil, and a simple bag made out of animal
skin. I had a ten kilometer hike to school ahead of me, and being only ten years old I couldn’t do
it alone. Instead, my cousin named Jacob came and walked me to school. He was a bit older and
already knew how to read and write. I walked barefoot with him along the dirt road to school.
The school was established by European missionaries and was typical for its time. It had
walls and floors of mud and a tin roof. Every Wednesday we had to bring cow dung and water
from home for smearing the classes. Then we would sweep the floor clean which was a common
method in those days. In standard four, when I was 12 years old, we began to learn English. My
first English teacher was a brown muscular man who wore white shorts, which was a decision
that did little to flatter him and only highlighted his thick calves. I was always attentive in
English class. After eight years I finished primary school and passed with flying colours.
When I was a child I loved listening to the birds around our homestead and learnt their
names. One particular bird sang at dusk and has a very special sound like that of a radio. When
the fruits on the trees were ripe you would find hundreds of birds feeding on them. The
experiences I have had during childhood are what have molded me into the person I am today.
When I was a child my surroundings were alive, dynamic, and inspiring.
I joined secondary school at St. Thomas Amagoro Girls’. I had a very good teacher there
named Mother Dorcas. During breaks, she would ask me to wash Petri dishes and test tubes in
the lab. Through many conversations she aroused and encouraged my interest in science. At that
time, I loved Chemistry and then later enjoyed Biology just as much. She was transferred out of
the school, but my parents encouraged me to continue working hard to become like Mdm.
Dorcas. However, at that time the number of women who had finished high school was small and
options for careers and higher education were few.
One month to my Kenya Certificate of Secondary School Examination I was disturbed by
the principal for not having paid any of my school fees. The climate I was in dramatically
changed especially affecting me because I was a day scholar and was sent away from school due
to a lack of fees. After some time my father managed to pay all my fees, and I was able to
concentrate once again on my future.
Two weeks to the exams, every teacher and friend was asking me what I wanted to do after
my exams. I told them I am going to Moi University in Eldoret after I am finished. Then I was
given the good news that during the exams I would be one among twenty to attend a camp near
school. This made me and the rest of the girls very happy because we used to walk up to ten
kilometers each day to arrive at school. I hope I will pass my exams and have a bright future. I
am really thankful for all this and pray God grants everyone involved a long life.


I was born in a small village called Angurai in Teso North district, Busia county. My
mother and father took me to a nursery school at Angurai primary school for learning
purposes. As for me learning had no purpose by that time because I was young. However
I tried my level best and I managed to go through nursery school peacefully without any
problem and I went to class one. While I was in class one, that was in 2001, my dad died,
my brothers, sisters and I were left under the caring of my loving mother. This issue of
the death of my dad really brought a change in our family because we couldn’t stay alone
without a help of my father. Despite of that, my mother struggled and accepted to carry
our burden as her own. She accepted to live a life of fasting and praying for the help from
the Lord, which made her to be as wise as king Solomon in taking care of us. After my
lower primary, I went class four in the year 2004 for more learning. This was the best
part of my life because I was able to read well and write.
Unfortunately, in the same year my mother got sick and she passed away on the ailing
bed. This event changed my attitude towards the earth and I took it as unloving and
uncaring place full of uncondusive things for my life. Tears of sorrow and mourning
cascaded down my cheeks the whole of that year with nothing like a positive alternative
apart from a negative alternative of being a total orphan. In that year my elder brother
who was supposed to take care of us was still at school and all my uncles and aunts had
ceased to take care of us. This situation forced our clan elder to force us to remain alone
in our home after the burial of my mother. This was another strong york on our necks
because we couldn’t manage to stay alone at home because we were young.
All in all, we accepted ourselves as total orphans and performed our duties as our
situation could accept us to do. We all agreed that, with God everything was possible
because our mother used to tell us about putting our trust to the lord whenever we came
across any challenge in life. Otherwise, God uplifted us and enabled us to continue with
our learning. He granted us with strength of doing all the chores concerning our family
before we go to school. This is because we used to go to school and came back for lunch
and start cooking for ourselves before we return to school for evening lessons. Even in
the evening we came back and plan again for ourselves on how to get some meals for
supper and life continued by the grace of the Lord.
When I was in class six that was in 2006, my teachers selected me to be the head girl of
the school among hundreds of girls who were in the school compound. This post made
me to be so proud of myself because I did not believe that one day or one time I would be
a leader of other girls. This work of leading in the school encouraged me as an orphan
because I thought no one can be interested with me and even to select me to be the head
girl, but I was wrong. At that moment, my twin sister was selected to be the office girl
and she was grateful too. We thanked God for his favor upon ourselves and for his love
towards our lives. This posts made us to be close to our teachers and they took us as their
own children. They decided to provide for us some personal effects that made us also to
be comfortable as other pupils.
In 2009, I sat for my Kenya Certificate of primary education whereby I passed well with
285 marks, which were above average, and I was among the best girls in our school.
Later on, 2010,10th of January, I got an admission letter from Chwele Girls high school
whereby I was supposed to report to school on 3rd of February as a student. The issue of
reporting disturbed my minds because I had no one to help me in any way. On 15th of that
month in the same year, my uncle took me to his place with an aim of organizing my
admission. I stayed with him as a helper in his house until the 20th date of the same month
when I decided to ask him about the organization of my learning and he told me that he
would not be able to take me to school that year so I had to wait upto the next year. He
also claimed that he had a burden of his sons and daughter and he had no chance to cater
for my school fees. I thought but my thoughts bore no fruits. I decided to go back home
to inform and share with my elder brother. I knew my brother could not afford to take me
to school.
My brother struggled to look for my school fees, but failed. He told me to be patient
because he had nothing to give me as my fees. I didn’t let him down, I accepted myself
and family the way it was. On 1st of February, the same year, one of our neighbours came
to our place and asked me about my education. I shared with her some of the challenges
that I am passing through and she told me to trust upon the Lord for his time is the best.
The words of my dear neighbour encouraged me to an extent I decided to go to the
church where I met one of my collegue who did the final exam with me. She had the
same problem as I had. We decided to encourage each other in prayers because we knew
that, God was our solution. After church service, we walked out helter skelter towards the
main road heading to our homes. While on the road, my friend sung a worship song in
which I joined too and we sang with a lot of faith that God will open the way for us for he
works in ways that we cannot see. We also believed that God will not a shame us in our
readings for he knows all about our struggles.
After departing with my colleague, I went home with a heart full of hope of joining
secondary school and continue with my learning despite of not having school fees. Luck
was on my side, when I reached home that evening, I found my brother with one of our
neighbors in a dialogue, and then they asked me if I could go to Katakwa High School.
Tears of joy and appreciation to the lord rolled down my cheeks like a barren woman
who has received a newborn baby. This was because I did not believe that one day I
would be asked if I could go to any secondary school. On 3rd February, I accompanied my
brother to report to Katakwa secondary school as a form one student. My brother was
asked to pay 6000 kshs for first term as school fees. This was the highest mountain for
my brother to climb because he had only 2000 kshs, which was little money for
admission. This situation forced the principal to send us back home to look for more
money. On the way when we were heading home, we met a man who was a stranger to us
but generous. He had a conversation with us about life issues and my brother explained to
him our life issues and he also shared with him about my learning problem. After the
conversation, our generous father returned us back to school so that he could help us to
pay the required money. Laughter of joy filled my mouth and I started jumping up and
down like a possessed woman. When we reached to school, our adopted father removed
10000 kshs from his pocket for my school fees an act that was a miracle on my side. The
principal of the school looked at me carefully then he went into the library and he came
out with 12 books and 2 pens for me and he told me to go to class with accompany of my
dear teacher.
When I entered into the classroom, I found my fellow students who were so friendly to
me and we shared life experiences. I continued with my learning miraculously without
knowing the source of my school fees up to the end of my first term. During second term
the same issue arose but God stood on my side. He made another woman from my
ignorance that paid for me 5000 kshs as school fees. God has continued to be my
defender up to now. He will not ashame me in this world but, he will continue to open
ways for me. And let his protection be upon all those who are sacrificing to cater for my
school fees.

AGE 16

I was born the fifth of seven children, the third girl. My mother gave birth to me on 23,
August 1996 at Kocholya District hospital, Amagoro Division, Teso North. My parents
are Evans Isale Etyang and Phoeb Inyele. I was named during the reign of Europeans,
when the colonialism was ending, which is why my parents gave me the name Amusugut.
Two weeks later, I was taken to church for baptism at Amagoro A.C.K. I was dedicated
to God as a child of God because my parents were God-fearing. They brought me up as a
good and disciplined girl, which I am thankful for.
When I was two years old my father taught me how to become a role model in my future
life and how to farm. He was a good farmer. He planted maize, beans and millet in large
quantities, which enabled him to run the family programmes like providing basic needs.
My mother was a good businesswoman. She opened a shop and usually managed it with
care and loves her family very much.
Three years later my mother took me to school to join Junior Academy Nursery School.
After my admission, as my mother went away, I would cry and follow her at the back.
The teachers usually encouraged me not to be shy from others. I was very good in class.
My parents were very happy with me at the end of the term because I was very good in
academic work.
In 2003 I joined Class 1 where I found that education was becoming hard. I was being
supported by my teachers and they encouraged me to work hard because Class 1 is a
good foundation in education.
I became very sick in Class 6 where I lost almost a full term. There was a district mock
of promotion to Class 7 and I was still recovering. I told my parents to allow me to do
the exam. I did it fully and I managed to be position 32 out of 164. I was not in school
for a long time but I was discouraged.
I joined Kakemer Primary School in 2009 because they were offering computer studies
and my parents wanted me to learn computer skills. It was in Class 7. I learned for two
terms and then transferred to Malaba Academy because my parents could not afford to
pay my boarding fees because my elder sister was doing her fourth form so I decided to
join a day school, Malaba Academy.
On 25 September 2009, my parents divorced and my mother became unable to pay my
school fees. We used to sleep without eating because life had become very hard. The
school director used to send me home because I didn’t have the school fees. My mother
was the one to pay for the rent, food and school fees. The other pupils were continuing
with their studies while I just felt like dropping out of school, but I did not lose hope. My
mother used to advise me to study even when I was at home and write notes and read
At my Class 8 level I was very worried about my education, but God has a plan for
everybody. I did my K.C.P.E in 2010 at Malaba Academy and I passed with flying
colours at the end of a struggle. I got 278 marks and my admission letter came from
Tigoi Girls High School. I was very happy for what I had. Raising school fees for Form
1 was very difficult. I decided with my elder brother that I would apply for a sponsorship
at Elewana Education Project. I was chosen from my application and my parents were
very happy about me. I was admitted at Moding High School where I just applied when
my sponsorship was taken there. I thank God very much because it was a precious
opportunity that I was given to my life.
After Form 1 I was promoted to Form 2 where I was facing difficulties, especially in
Chemistry and Maths. My teachers encouraged me to work hard in school for better
careers and opportunities in universities. One day I realized that I was always wasting
my time while others were taking time to read. In Form 2, I didn’t go for morning prep
because it was very cold in the morning and I had a problem with the cold. During
Mathematics lesson I used to be absent. I had a negative attitude towards it even though I
attended it. I used to sleep in class. It was an offence to sleep in class and severe
punishment was given to the offender. It was a hard time that I faced up to Form 3 in
2012. That was the time I decided to change my attitude because it would affect my
performance in my national examination. I tried to keep away from bad groups when
they had a negative attitude towards the subject and I decided to work alone. I managed
to pass very well. I discovered that bad company might lead one to poor performance in
class work.
On 23, October 2012 we had a computer competition with other students. I managed to
be the first person in typing. I learned computer skills and I used it to help those who
were not good at typing. One time, we were taught in class that, for better performance,
you should help other people in what you are good at. I improved slowly and now I can
type a bit faster.
Third term, while we were approaching the internal mock exam, it was a worry because
the cut off mark was a C-. Our teachers used to tell us that it was hard but I did not lose
hope. When we did the exam I got a C (plain) mean grade so I qualified to go to Form 4
the next year, in 2013. I k now I will finish my education with flying colours and I thank
God for giving me the value of patience in life and for my parents for their God-given
heart which enables me to prosper in my education.


I was born in December 1993 as a third born among ten children from a village called
Katakwa found in Western province, Busia county, Teso North district. I have two sisters
before me and are not yet married but they are looking for a job. I live with two poor
parents who are small scale farmers and we all live in a two roomed small thatched grass
house in which you can see moonlight at night. Since I have been brought up in this
family, I have been wondering and admiring other people’s houses. Although my parents
are harsh, you can still express your feelings to them. After being brought up in our
family, my parents took me to nursery school where I found that I was not comfortable
because children from rich families could come to school while carrying cakes and other
expensive things that I could not know and that affected my education. I also started to
carry boiled potatoes and remains of Ugali and so I could not attend class lessons the way
rich children do. In school I got many friends and familiar teachers with different ideas.
One day without knowing my background at home, my friends told us to go to school
earlier and sneak into our friends home whose parents are brewing alcohol, we decided to
take alcohol and for not knowing our teacher had already seen us and she immediately
reported to the head teacher’s office. Soon the head teacher arrived and found us still
drinking alcohol and we were taken to the staff room and we were like scotched grass, we
received random beatings that you could not count. We were told the consequences of
drinking alcohol.
While going home from school I realized something good to my life. I decided to make a
step to my friends and I cried all along the road regretting on what I did. When I reached
home my eyes were glowing red and they are like popping out of their sockets. I went
home with deep sorrow in my heart and having sympathy to my parents. I made my
decision and my parents didn’t know what is going on while returning back to third term
I made all my best and kept being committed to my studies. On closing day, I was
amazed for being mentioned as the most improved pupil in the whole school and I
thought myself I can if only I stick on my study and I was overwhelmed with joy and my
stomach grumbled like an African drum and I didn’t believe if I can win.
As the days goes by I made it to be my habit to be committed into my studies and
throughout my lower classes I was a hero and successful throughout. When I reached
upper classes I find it uneasy life to me. My parents who are Amos and Rose had uneasy
way to our life. They had no where to sleep and they could not afford food for us. When I
was in class seven the life becomes worse and worse to me and I could go to school with
all my buttocks and without even a petticoat and I didn’t dwell on my parents alone but I
made it to search for small jobs like digging shambas and even washing utensils so that I
can satisfy my needs. I have stacked on focusing on my life so that I can achieve my
In early 2004 my father was called for a contract of fencing school compound and he was
paid small amount of money and it helped us a lot. I put more effort in school because I
knew that in future he will assist me in my secondary school. My father struggled a lot
until he was employed at Katakwa secondary school. He first became a watchman before
he was transferred to be a cook. Before he was transferred to cook, I did my K.C.P.E
exam and passed into average and I made all my best come January my father bought for
me a dictionary and other books required at school and I didn’t believe. If my father can
and I was taken to join Katakwa secondary school due to poor circumstances of my father
and I accepted. My head teacher admitted me and I was told to go to class. During my
secondary level, I was one of the polite girls and I was selected as a class prefect and I
was liked by all the teachers for being disciplined and obedient.
Come January in 2010 in form two, I had inadequate school fees and I could even stay at
home for a month then back to school because my brother after me had to join form one
and he joined Kolanya Boys High school and I became sympathetic of myself for having
joined Katakwa but I hope God will open all my ways and I will be somebody in this

18. Brenda.

My name is Brenda Atyang. I was born in November 1994 in Amagoro
Area, Teso North District. I am a teso and the name Atyang in Teso land
means to be born after the death of so many children in a given family. I was
named after my mother.
I am living with both my parents who have done a lot for me. We were born
five in our family. I am the third born to Mr and Mrs Osirang Emmanuel. In
our family we are all girls as the only boy we had passed away along time
ago. My father is the first born in the family of eight children, two girls and
six boys. His clan is Isama. His parents were cattle keepers long time ago,
they used to rear so many cattle over hundred herds. His father owned a very
big farm which they planted a lot of food crops. My dad being the first born
of his family schooled upto secondary school level and passed. He went to
Mombasa where he got a job in a company. A few years later he decided to
comeback and continue being a farmer up to now.
My mother is also the first born in their home. She comes from Teso North
District in a place called Aboloi, Angurai division. She studied from
Kolanya Girls primary and secondary school. She was born in a polygamous
family of twenty-two children.
In 1999, I was taken to Akolong primary school where I was living with my
grandmother in Aboloi. I learnt in that school until class 3 in year 2004. I
joined class 4 in Amagoro primary where I learnt upto class 8 upto the year
2008 where I did my final KCPE exam.
I was supposed to join St.Monica Chakol girls for form 1 class but because
of our poor background my dad was unable to take me there. I was later
taken to St. Thomas Amagoro Girls secondary school where I began my
form 1 class in 2009.
When I was in Primary school I used to play games like hide and seek,
skipping ropes, and at secondary level I played football and joined the
school choir.
At school I had many friends whom I shared ideas and advise with. I used to
sing and dance and also listen to raggae music during weekends in my free
My great failure in life is not doing well in my school exams.
The people that influence me mostly in life to prosper are my parents, my
elder sisters and my school teachers. I like technology that makes our lives
smoother. I like listening to radio programs and watching the television just
to refresh my mind after study. I like reading books such as story books,
English novels, and news papers are some of my hobbies. My favorite class
subject include English, biology and all humanities.
I pray that God may uplift me in all my endeavors in life most importantly
pass my final KCSE exams that I am already undertaking.
Above all I thank God for elewana education project Kenya and Kiwimbi
Kenya together with the US Embassy Kenya. For giving me a chance to
camp in the mission house during my final exam period, which has helped
me from walking miles from home to school. I enjoyed my stay which has
made me happy, God Bless.


I was born on 26th March 1996 on a Thursday. I was named
after my grandfather Ekarot immediately after my birth from
Angurai Health center. I am the third born in a family of four. My
sister was three years by then. My father was working at
Mumias Sugar Company while my mother was a business lady in
I grew up so fast . After five years I was taken to Kakapel
Primary School. Most parents in our village took their
children to school when they were big. Most children
stayed at home due to lack of school fees. Education was
not free during that time. I therefore was lucky for I started
my education quite early.
After one year I was promoted to class one. That was
in the year 2002. We learnt things not very different
from those in nursery. Three years were over and I went
to class four. Class four was different from the other
classes. It was abit more advanced.
One day while we were at school, it rained heavily.
There was a lot of thunderstorm and wind. Suddenly
we heard an explosion. It was the roof of our class
which was being blown away and lifted up by the
strong wind. Everybody ran out with fear. Water was
pouring in the class heavily. We went and stayed home
for one week. During that time the class was being
In Class Five we used to stay at school until 5.00pm
.By that time my sister whom I follow was in Class
Seven. When schools closed during the April holiday, I
went to stay at my uncle’s place in Eldoret. I stayed
there for two weeks. I remember having visited the town with
my friendly cousin in the evenings. I was able to see a lot of
moving vehicles, the cool climate and the nice tall buildings in the
city center.
Class six was also good too . I enjoyed life well since
I did well in my tests. The year ended and I went
to Class Seven. I was to finish that year and transfer
to another school. The year came to its end.
The following year started , I was transferred to St Josephs
Roman Catholic school found in Webuye town .I repeated
Class Seven. This was because of the high academic
standard in that school as compared to my former. There
was a high competition among the pupils. In first term
I did well as compared to how I had been performing
In second term I improved even more than first term. I
had never appeared in the top ten but I appeared
this time round. The rest of the exams in the year
also looked easy for me. I was waiting to go to class
eight and sit for my final examination.
We opened for second term well equipped. There was a
tour that we were to go. The place to go was Kisumu.
Everyone was excited to go.
The day for the tour came . We were very exited. That
day we woke up early and left for the trip. It took the
whole day. We visited the museum and were able to see animals
and traditional artifacts.
We went back to school and continued with our
learning. Days went fast and K.C.P.E was nearing. I did
my exams and scored 373 marks out of 500 marks. I managed to
join Teremi High School through the sponsorship of
Elewana Education Project. I went with my mother on admission
day. After she had left, I felt lonely and bored since I was scared of
the big boys who had tried to threaten me. I was indeed a stranger
in the new environment. Later on I adapted to the new life in
secondary school and lived without a problem. I am currently in
form three.
I am hoping to finish form four with good grades that can enable
me to join the university to do a business administration course. I
am interested in this course because I will be able to manage my
own business and perhaps any other organization. Therefore I
encourage my fellow youth to work hard to attain their future

20. My Life Story by Cheptanui Mercy

I am Cheptanui Mercy by identity. I was born on 2nd December 1994 at Asururiat
Village, Uasin Aishu District. I was blessed with both parents. My father is Ibrahim and
my mum’s name is Sally Jelagat. When I was two years old, I attended Asururiet Primary
School where I was in nursery school. I continue with my primary education until Class
Seven where I joined another primary school because I shifted from my home to my
grandmother’s home.
On January 2007, I joined Tulwet Primary School Class Seven where it took me a
long time to adapt to the new environment. When I was going on with my education in
Class Seven and I was almost being promoted to Class Eight, I realized that my
grandparents were not responsible enough to accommodate me throughout my Standard
Eight period.
In January 2008, I returned home because I did not like the situation whereby my
grandparents made me miss school often. Though my parents argued that I must go back
to my grandmother’s place to finish my Standard Eight, I was not willing to go back. I
registered my Standard Eight National Examination at Asururiat Primary School, my
former school which I enjoyed because I was familiar with almost all the teachers and the
I sat for my Kenya Certificate of Primary Education on 9th November 2008 at
Asururiet Primary School. When I finished my examination, I stayed at home the whole
of November until 3rd of December where I traveled to Western, Malaba town to visit my
aunt. I really liked the place despite the fact that I was very new in the area and the area
was also new to me. I spent the whole of December there at Malaba and that is where my
father called me and told me my K.C.P.E. results which I was very eager to know. I had
passed my examination, but my only fear was that my parents would not manage to take
me to the second level of my education, high school.
When I was still wondering about the situation, I made up my mind to ask my
parents what they were planning to do about my education progress. It was very sad when
my father told me that they were not planning anything and now it was my turn to decide
to repeat Standard Eight or stay at home. That was a painful suggestion from somebody
like my father who I depended on throughout my life.
It was then that my cousin advised me to repeat. I did not think that it was a good
idea because I had three hundred and seventeen marks, which were able to take me to a
good secondary school. My cousin continued to convince me until I almost accepted the
idea. At that particular moment my mind was lingering on my future and how will it be
and what I will do to make my future bright.
On January 3rd, I had almost lost hope of going to secondary school because the
situation that I had was not actually encouraging, and I was preparing to go back to
primary school because I could not have afforded to stay at home when all of my friends
were schooling in different schools.
One Sunday morning, it was like God had heard my prayers. I woke up in the
morning and shone with brightness when my dad told me that my uncle who was
working at Moi University as an administrator wanted to talk with me. I knew he wanted
to ask me what school I joined after my Class Eight results, and I opened up my heart
revealing all my problems to my uncle so that I may get some assistance from him
because he was always interested with education.
On the same Sunday at 11:00 am I went back to ask my dad to assist me with his
phone so that I could call my uncle. I called my uncle and he responded immediately; I
narrated all my story which was very sad until my uncle accepted to take me to Form One
in 2009 on January 4th.
I joined Mkombozi High School on January 4th 2009 with my uncle
accompanying me acting as my parent. He was the one who bought me all the boarding
requirements, and I did not ask anything from my parents because the only thing that I
needed was to continue with my education. My uncle came back home and advised me to
work hard in order to rescue the situation at home. I remained at school with the other
students and I had made my mind that I will not fail my uncle who had sacrificed himself
for my sake.
During my first term exam I landed to the 1st position out of 160 students of Form
One and that even encouraged my uncle to pay my school fees. It reached an extent that
he was not even allowing me to come back home during closing date because he always
came to school to pick me during closing day.
I proceeded with my education maintaining that spirit of hard work. I was
promoted to Form Two in the same school and I was still landing in position one. I
learned in Mkombozi High School the whole of Form Two until the time I finished my
last term exams in Form Two where I decided to visit my parents because it had been
long since we were together. I went to my parents where they were very happy that I was
still remembering them. I stayed at Malaba the whole of December 2010 until January 4th
where I was supposed to go back and resume my learning programme.
It was this time when my father together with my mother demanded that I should
not go back instead they were going to admit me in the school where I was to start at
Form Three. I was admitted to St. Thomas Amagoro Girls’ where I proceeded from Form
Three and Form Four and I was living with my parents by then and my uncle was still
paying my school fees.
On 2012 August holiday, we were selected to attend Elewana NGO and Kiwimbi
together with USA Embassy to attend the student camp which was held at Katakwa
Mission House where we were provided with all the basic needs and conducive
environment to study in preparation to our K.C.S.E. examination which was to start at
26th October 2012.
The camp was really helpful to me particularly because at home there in Malaba it
was very difficult for me to study because there was some routine chores that I was
supposed to do before I started to study and by the time I went to the study room it was
almost 10:00 pm in the night where I could find myself very tired even to study but when
I was at Mission House I could find enough time to read and discuss with my fellow
students. Elewana and Kiwimbi has also accommodated us during our examination
period and I am very grateful as a person because the subjects that I had always found
difficult to study when I am alone at home I have found time to discuss with my fellow
students and I have found that it is very good to interact.
For me I want to pass my beneficiaries and that is Reverend Zack and Professor
Olubayi Olubayi together with all the members of Elewana and Kiwimbi staff supported
by the U.S Embassy for this privilege that they have granted unto me and they have
contributed to my coming bright future.


My name is Atyang claire born in 1996 in Alap Village Aciit Location
Chakol division and Teso South district. I am a teso born by two
parents that is Enyogoi Stephen and Grace Emojong.
I was born as a first born and I was followed by five siblings: four girls
and one boy.
When I was two years old, I liked following my mum wherever she
went .What I hated most was when someone shouted at me.After
atainning the age of four years,I joined baby class at Aciit primary.I
liked my nursary teacher because she loved me and she used to buy for
me sweets whenever I cried.
In 2004 I joined class one in the same school.One day when I was going
to school I met my friend on the way, she was carrying some mandazi
in her bag when I saw them,I started crying but she didn’t give me .I
went back home and told my mum and she gave me more than
hers.When I went back to school and showed her mine she borrowed
me but I refused to give her. She then started fighting me. I started
crying and I reported her to our class teacher she was then punished.
After sometime, I became sick and wasnt able to go to school.I was
taken to Alupe Sub District Hospital where I was admitted for around
three months.The following term I went back to school but I could not
catch up with the other pupils.I was asked by my class teacher to go
back home and come the following year
The following year ( 2005) I went back to school and was given an
examination so as to move to the next class .Due to the knowledge of
first term ,I was able to pass and was promoted to class two.One day
when we were playing in the field, one of my friends stepped on my
foot and I started crying as it was my usual behaviour.Since my friend
didn’t apologise, I also stepped on her foot and she also cried. After a
short time one of our friends reported us to the class teacher, we were
then called for punishment.We were bitten six strokes of caines each of
which I cried at the top of my voice which could not help me.From that
day I vowed never to fight in school again.
When I reached class six i was able to realise my talent of which I was
best in athletics whereby I represented my school up to the national
level for four year until I did my last exam in class eight.SinceI was
ahard working pupil I managed to score 322 marks in the year 2010. In
2011 I joined st peters Aterait secondary school.During my first week in
secondary ,I looked confused and every thing in the compound looked
new to me. One day,aform four student came to our class and told us to
go for tea break but it had not yet reached break time then our class
teacher called us and we were punished.
After the end of second week we all got used the new environment and
on the same week we started learning some of the secondary
subjects.One evening when we were learning a biology lesson, our
teacher asked me a question but I was not able to answer, I was
comanded to leave the classroom.After the lesson I was taken to the
staffroom and I was punished until I regreted why I went to secondary
During the forth week,we were given an examination of which every one
struggled to his or her level best but still the winner emerged and I also
fell in the third position with a mean grade of A-.The top five students
were rewarded and i was among them.When I went home with my
present my parents got excited and they encouraged me to continue
working hard.After two weeks we started our end of term one exams
of which I managed to get a mean grade of A- and being the third
person.during the clossing session,we were given an umbrella as a
reward and after that we were given our report cards and we left
home.When I reached home and when my parents saw my results, they
got happy and promised to buy me a new uniform the following term.
During the opening day of second term, I went to school putting on my
new uniform, I looked clean of which our principle appreciated me.
After the first week of second term,we were to go for athletics at
Amukura boys high school of which I was also among the participants.
Besides being agood athletee I was also good in football and I
represented my school up to the provincial level.
The following year I joined form two and during second term I was
elected as an assistant headgirl of the school.Time went by and it
reached end of term two and school was closed and the students went
for the holiday.As usual I was among the top ten with agrade of B plus
but position five.But what I liked most about myself is that i was
always determined in whatever I did, I could not give up easily and I
was always succeful in everything I did.
Third term came and we went back to school , unfortunately one of our
tearchers was transfered but we could not stop learning.So we
continued until the term was over and we went back home for
December holiday. After my form four I would like to join Aseminary
university so as I become anun.

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Contact the Elewana Education Project using the phone number or email address below:

  • In the USA: +1 (304) 707-5499
  • In Kenya: +254 712638948, +254 710 102 536
  • In Elewana Office Amagoro Kenya: +254 718011889
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