This is the story of Wilson; a bright child from a poor background who received support from the North Gem Community Development Program to continue with his schooling.
“I am Wilson Otieno Odhiambo. I was born in 1995 at Maliera sub location in Gem district; the first born in a family of eight children. My father is mentally disturbed while my mother is a peasant farmer. Our family lives in a two-roomed mud house. I begun my schooling at Maliera Primary School in 2002 and completed my primary school education in 2010.
Despite the fact that he had nowhere to study since he slept in his grandfather’s cattle shed with cows and goats he scored 294 marks out of the possible 500. However his dream to join high school and become a doctor seemed shattered. His family could not afford to take him school.
“ I opted to go to work and support my seven siblings and mother but never lost hope of proceeding with my education. I believed I would be able to work for a while; save some little money with which I would be able to pay school fees. I was employed as a herdsboy in 2011 and my employer paid me Kshs: 2400 in a month. I would save Kshs1000 each month for my education and support the family with the rest of the money.” says Wilson.
In 2012, his mother learnt about North Gem HIV Project and brought forward the boys case. The project workers visited the family and confirmed that the child qualified for support through the project.
“In February 2012 I was admitted to Maliera secondary school in Form 1 as a day scholar. The project paid my fees in full. I was ecstatic to resume schooling after working for one year as a herdsboy.”
Wilson scored a mean grade of B in his initial exam and has shown potential to realize his dream of becoming a doctor. Because of the inadequate study environment at home, Wilson has since placed into boarding school to ensure he has adequate time to study. The project staff have also taken steps to ensure that he has a place to sleep and study at home so that he can achieve his academic potential.