Class of 2019

This is the class of candidates who graduated from Achungo Class 8 in 2015 and are entering secondary school (high school) as of January 2016.

John Steve Odiwuor

John, 16, lives with his step-father, Alfred and Alfred's 7 children and John’s older sister, who is in high school.  John started Achungo this year, having previously attended Ndiru Primary nearby.  “The learning is better here.  Here there are preps in the evening and there is boarding.”  At the public primary there was less teaching and less study time.  (Teachers are absent about 50% of the time at the public schools)

He had completed 8th grade at Ndiru and passed the exam but was unable to go to Secondary School because he could not pay his School fees.  Instead of him staying home without a future, we invited him to come to Achungo. John is a bright student who was losing out on opportunities just because he’s an orphan without resources.  Now he'll be able to take the exam again and we will support him in Secondary.

He likes soccer and running races.  His favorite subjects are math and science.  “I want to be a neuro-surgeon and operate on the brain.”

Elisha Odero Aruongo

Elisha (13) was living with his grandmother and grandfather (his parents died when he was 2).  He has a brother in high school.   joined Achungo this year, having attended .  “Here there is more time to study,” he says.

Elisha had dropped out of School (St. Alfred’s Primary at Imbo, near Director Nyangi’s home village) when we found him and brought him to Achungo this year. Director Nyangi also pays part of his brother’s high school feels to enable him to stay in school.  Elisha stays at Achungo because his grandmother is too old to be able to take care of him.

His favorite subjects are  “science – the study of electricity, and Social Studies – the study of people and population.“   He wants to become an electrical engineer “knowing all about electricity, cables and wires.  I would like to visit the USA and visit an electricity company”

He likes soccer and reading and helping others.  When he is home he helps in the family garden and likes watching movies (a neighbor has a video screen).

Grace Adhiambo Oguda

Grace, 13, first came to Achungo to Preschool (“Baby Class”).  She lives with her aunt and uncle (they have a subsistence garden) and is the last born of 7 children.  One brother is in secondary school, and a sister is in 6th grade in Homa Bay.  She loves being at Achungo-- “the teachers are very helpful” and now that she’s moved into the girls’ dormitory, “I can really study.”  (At home girls are typically obligated to do household chores that leave them without any study time).  Her favorite sport is volleyball, but more than anything she likes to sing.  Her sweet, strong voice has led her class’ singing at Achungo since her early grades and now with Esther and Laurine, she  leads the upper classes in their devotional music.  She likes singing and praying in church.

Grace’s favorite subjects are English (“I like to learn new words and read stories”) and also Science and Math.  Her dream is to become a TV journalist, reporting the news in different areas, like Nairobi, where she lives with her aunt during holidays.  As a journalist, she would like to report on attacks so people will know what is happening.  And she would like to make clean water for people who are suffering.

Laurine Meril Akinyi

Laurine (14) came to Achungo 2 years ago, in 6th grade.  Before that she had attended Ngera Primary-- “there the teachers were often absent.  At Achungo the teachers and the students are helpful and the teaching is good.”  She is the oldest of 4 children and lived with her mother (she never knew her father, now deceased).  Her mother is very sickly and unable to care for Laurine, so we are very glad to have her at Achungo in our care.  

She likes netball, helping friends in class and studying in the library, and reading detective novels during her free time.  When she is home she helps in the garden and fetches water and firewood.  She wants to help her younger siblings so they can do well in school.  Her home is 30 minutes away by motorbike (the local taxi).

Laurine’s favorite subjects are English, Math and Science “I like studying plants and energy and the human body."  Her dream is to be a TV journalist “I want to be able to give the news, especially if there is an emergency or accident or attack.”

Esther Awuor Dianga

Esther (15) came to Achungo mid-year last year, having spent some time at Hogomi Academy in Ndhiwa (about 12 miles away).  Her mother and father live in Obiero where she has 2 brothers and 2 sisters.  They did not have money to support her, so she moved in with her oldest sister (20) and husband and their 2 small children.  Her sister heard about Achungo from a neighbor.   Esther had dropped out of school and had been lured into a premature marriage.  We brought her to Achungo when her case was reported to us by the area chief. 

Her favorite subjects are English, and CRE (Christian Religious Education – a Kenyan government curriculum), especially the story of Jesus.   “At Achungo we are being taught well.”  She wants to become a TV journalist (some TV reporters recently visited the school, in case you noticed a pattern in these responses). “If a disease comes, I can go to other countries and then tell our government what they can do.”   She likes netball and going to church and discussing important topics, but more than anything enjoys singing with Grace and Laurine.

Shadrack Achola Orwa

Shadrack is 13 and joined Achungo in the 4th grade, having attended nearby Rodi Primary.  “In the public school, we were not being taught well.  Teachers came just 3 days a week.  It is hard to learn.  Here the teachers do good work and so students can do good work.”

Shadrack’s family was known to Director Nyangi and his father was volunteer headmaster at Achungo for some years.  He has 5 siblings, 1 in high school and 3 others at Achungo. Shadrack’s Father has multiple wives and more than 12 children of whom only one is in Secondary School.

Shadrack’s favorite subjects are Math and Science --“studying animals and how they reproduce.”  He wants to study Electrical Engineering “and ensure there is electricity in buildings.  I also want to marry and have a family.”   He also likes to hear stories about other countries and other cultures and hopes to explore other countries.

He enjoys soccer and volleyball.  He likes going home on holidays (“my parents miss us”) and helps with the dishes.

Jael Aida Ogolla

Jael (13) came to Achungo 2 years ago entering 6th grade. She lived in Oyugis (about 20 miles from Rodi) with her grandmother and step-sister and step-brother, having lost her parents when she was in 1st grade.   She also has a sister (20) and brother (26 and married) who live in Kisumu along with 2 brothers who are in high school and she likes to visit them when she can. On holidays she helps her grandmother in the garden and in her shop (stall). 

Because she is an Orphan, she was sponsored by the Smart Kids Academy in Oyugis but the school was subsequently closed.  Her two brothers are being supported in high school through the Catholic Church.   “Here we live well.  At my previous school we used to be sent home for lunch.  And the teachers did not come every day.  Here we are taught daily. Here I will be more successful in my studies.”   

Jael likes soccer and running races.  She spends her weekends studying and reading.  She wants to attend University and “become a doctor or psychologist.  I will try my best for my patients.  Maybe they would have eye problems and I could help.  I would try to find the medicine that would cure people so they would not die.  I want to discover things.”

Jackline Awuor Nyanjwa

Jackline (14) joined Achungo last year, previously attending Heart Springs Primary (a public school) in Kochia where she lived with her father and 4 siblings (3 of them are at Heart Springs and 1 is in teachers’ college).  “In public school teachers are not serious about their work” 

Her mother died from an illness when Jackline was small. Her father was a blacksmith, but when that became difficult, he went back to farming to survive (millet, maize, sweet potato).

She likes playing soccer, reading the Bible, and on weekends visiting her grandmother (in Ugenya, beyond Kisumu) and also visiting those in the hospital and praying for them. She likes to get together with her best friends, Winnie and Christine, to share stories.  Her favorite subjects:  CRE (Kenya’s Christian Religious Education) and Science, especially the adaptations of different animals to their environment.

I would like to be a journalist – I would like to report the news. Some parts of Kenya like Nyanza, flood during the rainy season.  Maybe we can make a bridge so water can flow in a good way to prevent flooding and keep disaster from happening.  There are other places that are very dry now.  I could report on it and inform the government so they can provide relief.   I could advise the government on how to bring more food and water.  For example, I could tell the Minister, "every Tuesday bring 2 sacks of millet”.

Rolex Achieng Otieno

Rolex joined Achungo this year, coming from Ligisa Primary.   She was living with her parents and 3 brothers (6, 8, and 12), but her parents are too ill to work and are unable to provide for the family.  Her brothers used to attend a nearby private school, Mariwa Junior Academy, but have since had to move to the public primary school, some 3 miles away.

She enjoys volleyball, soccer and playing hide and seek and when she has free time, reading (most recently, Rudyard Kipling’s “How the Leopard Got His Spots”).  She also likes to share stories with her best friend, Sharon Odongo.

Rolex’s favorite subject is Kiswahili.  Her ambition is to study to become a nurse.

Sharon Auma Otieno

Sharon is 15 and came to Achungo this year.   She was living with her 21-year-old brother, a truck driver who is her only living family.  She has no memory of her parents.

She previously attended Wikoteng Primary.  “They taught in Mother Tongue [Luo] and I was failing and saw an opportunity to come to Achungo.  Here they teach in English.” 

She likes playing soccer and volleyball and loves learning.  

Her favorite subject now is English – “I like writing stories.  One story I wrote is about a wedding I went to.”  She hopes to study to become a lawyer – “I would be able to earn a lot of money.”

Cynthia Adhiambo Malela

Cynthia (13) joined Achungo 2 years ago entering 6th grade.  She was living near Director Nyangi’s village of Kager with her elderly, disabled father and her brother (20).  Cynthia had to drop out of school to help support the family by working in the sugar cane fields until we found her and brought her to Achungo.   She says of Achungo:”I like the way the teachers are teaching.  The learning is higher (than in the public schools).”

Cynthia enjoys playing netball and her favorite subject is Math.  Her ambition is to become a journalist: ”to go and get information and tell people about it.”  


Michael Kevin Omondi


Michael is 13 and has been at Achungo for 3 years.  He was living with his Aunt and her sons and daughters nearby.  He has been with them ever since his mother left him when he was 3.  He likes the teachers at Achungo and likes playing volleyball.  Michael hopes to become a Doctor.  When he’s not in school, he helps tend the family subsistence plot.


John Belinz Otieno

John, 14, came to Achungo this year. John lives with his mother in Rodi.  His father is a teacher in Kisumu who he sees during breaks. 

 His favorite subjects are Math and Science and he wants to go to University to become a Civil Engineer.  John likes badminton and when he’s out of school, he likes to read and help his parents with chores.


Erick Otieno Odhiambo

Erick (13) has been at Achungo since first grade.  He lives in Ogande (a few miles away) with his mother and grandmother.  “Achungo is nice.  I have learned to read and write.”  His favorite subjects are Math, History and studying the human body in Science.  He wants to become a surgeon “I like learning how the body functions”   He knows it will take a lot of study “I pray to God to help me achieve my goals,” but Erick has always been in the top 3 in his class.  He is a very bright boy from a very poor family who now has a much brighter future.

Soccer is his favorite sport.  He likes spending time with his best friend, Lawrence.  And When he’s home for holidays, he likes helping in the family garden.

Lawrence Otieno Olum

Lawrence, 15,  joined Achungo last year, for 7th grade.  Lawrence lived in Pap Ndege (about 44 miles from Rodi)  with his mother.  His parents are separated and his father is apparently in Nairobi, but Lawrence has no memory of him.  His mother is sickly and very poor and struggles to provide for her 5 children.  In order to help the family Lawrence had dropped out of school for a year before coming to Achungo.

Prior to that he attended Pap Ndege Primary but “the standard of education in my village was poor.  I am happy here because you are given lunch and supper and before, at my school, you were forced to go home for lunch and sometimes there wasn’t food.  At that school some teachers would not attend lessons.  When I came here I found the teachers were teaching well.”

His favorite subjects are Math and Social Studies: “learning about countries of the world and political leaders.”  His dream is to become a pilot “My mother told me it was a very good job.”  Soccer is his favorite sport.  When he is home he helps his mother in their subsistence garden plot and with other work.

Sharon Achieng Odongo

Sharon is 14 and joined Achungo last year in 7th grade.  Before that she was been living with her step-sister and brother.  Her step-sister’s husband is deceased and her step-sister supports herself selling sugar cane and firewood at the roadside. 

For a time, Sharon attended nearby Rodi Primary public school.  She likes Achungo because “there is higher teaching here.  Here the teachers like us.  At the other school if you made a mistake you were caned (spanked with a switch).  Here, they just correct you.  And here, they provide sanitary towels for the girls.  At other schools they just stay home during their monthly cycle.”  (Girls miss a lot of school because of that)

Sharon’s favorite subject is science – especially studying animals.  As to her career aspirations, she says “I would like to be a Lawyer.  I would learn to judge people fairly and I won’t accept a bribe.  I also want to be a journalist.  I want to be the one reporting.  I would go to a certain county where they are lacking food and I would make a report asking the government to help them.  After University, I would like to come to America as a journalist”

Her favorite sport is netball (it’s like basketball without the dribbling) and she likes to read.

Matthew (Calvince) Omoya

Matthew (16) joined Achungo 2 years ago, having attended Pap Ndege  a public primary about 40 miles from Rodi.  Matthew transferred from Class 8 at his old school where he had taken the final Exams but performed poorly (scoring 130/500).  When he came to Achungo, he dropped back 2 grades to 6th because he’d gotten so far behind in the public school.  This year, he’s one of the top scorers in class 8.

“I came because education at Achungo is very high quality.  We learned about it from a teacher here (Salim), a friend of my mother.  At my old school people would go home for meals but here we are able to stay in school and are fed.  There, the teachers are often absent; here, teachers are present in the classes and teach.”

Matthew lives with his parents, 1 sister and 3 brothers.  On holidays he helps in the family plot and tending their cows.

His favorite sport is soccer and his favorite subject is science – studying the human body.  He likes to read Genesis 1:  “how God created many things.”  He hopes to become a journalist “if there’s an accident, I would report it.”   He says of himself, “I like to help others.  When someone is angry, I can share with them”