Everlyne Akinyi Odhiambo

8th Grade Graduates of 2022 April (Rodi)

Everlyn (14) writes, “I came to Achungo 8 years ago and immediately felt very happy because it was my first time attending such a good school.  I was particularly attracted to the way they respect their teachers.

Before Achungo I was at Ndiru Primary school.  I would often go behind the bathrooms to cry because I had no one to pay school fees and so couldn’t take exams. The other students would laugh at me all the time because I didn’t have shoes and my legs would get cracks.  It was not a good school because we were not taught well. “

Everlyne’s parents died soon after her birth and she doesn’t remember them at all. She lives with her guardians  and 8 children, her siblings and the guardians’ children. They have no income and the guardians have been ill for years.  She wishes she had money to take them to the hospital as their situation is on her mind all the time. There’s no money for any of the other children to attend school. She says, “ They stay at home looking after my guardians.  Much of the time they go to bed hungry and have sores on their skin.  I find it very hard to concentrate in school because I am always thinking about their situation. I don’t have any friends maybe because I was so used to most people laughing at me for being poor.”

“On holidays I beg for money on the street in order to get something for everyone to eat at home.  I find it very hard to provide for them since I am just a student in 8th grade. But when I fail to beg for money, their situation worsens.  When I’m in school they have no one to support them. They are always barefoot, have only torn clothes and during winter they have no blankets for them to survive the night and often cry.  At home we have no one to provide our basic needs. Life is really difficult for me. I’m just like a parent to all my siblings and the guardians, because I am the one to provide for them.  But how can I do that?  How can a child provide their basic needs?  But it does force me to do so.”

“At Achungo life is very different and we never go to bed hungry. I am happy to be able to get an education even though I cannot pay school fees. But I am worried that next year I will not have anyone who will pay my high school fees. “    [Achungo will take care of that]

Everlyne wants to become a pilot and provide for the basic needs of her guardians and siblings, build them a house and get them medical treatment. She says, “The most important thing for me now is to study hard for a bright future.”  [After reading this story, we reached out to the family with help]