“The happiest day in my life was when Director Michael paid us a visit and decided I would be accepted into his school,” says Pesiliah.
Before Achungo, Pesiliah attended school intermittently. Her uncle, the provider for her family, died when she was 5 and her parents are very poor, so she often did not have money to pay exam fees. Sometimes she would have to stay home for two months selling vegetables to get enough money for the family.
The students at school would tease her when she didn’t have the money for exams. When she did have money for exams and did well on a test, a group of students would beat her. The girls would stand in a circle throwing stones at her while the boys would punch her. This continued for years and left her traumatized.
Director Michael learned about her situation and brought her to Achungo where she has been boarding for three years. When she first came to Achungo she couldn’t speak to any of the students or teachers for three months. It was Headmaster Mwai who eventually helped her talk about her painful past and assured her that Achungo was different from the other school and that there would be no abuse here.
Pesiliah told us, “When I came to Achungo I found life very different. I was never sent home for school fees or exam fees, and people accepted me the way I was. When I found out that everyone in Achungo showed me great love I found many reasons to be happy and this made me like Achungo more. Achungo is the best school I have ever gone to because even though some of us do not have parents, we are treated in such a good way. We do not feel lonely but have everybody’s company. We are given healthy food, dressed well, and treated with love. Everybody feels happy at all times. We are also taught very well by our kind and good teachers. I pray every day and thank God for his kindness. Without Him I would not have come this far. I want to work hard to achieve my goals.”
Now, Pesiliah has found her voice and is the chairman of the Achungo church, often singing or preaching to the students!
Her ambition is to become an actress in musicals on stage and in the movies. She enjoys reading storybooks, and writing scripts. She told us, “I have written three dramatic scripts that will be used as my first movie. I want to use my talent for people to enjoy my stories and movies. This will make me rich and I’ll have the opportunity to build my poor parents a big house. I would also spend a lot of my money in helping the needy and orphans.”
Pesiliah attends Ulanda Girls Secondary School.