Mother of five returns to school 14 years later

40-year-old mother of four goes back to school, nine years later
40-year-old mother of four goes back to school, nine years later

When Walt Disney said; all our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them, he might as well have had Edith Adhiambo in mind.

The 34-year-old mother of five is an inspiration to her peers in an area where school dropout rates are high. Her thirst for education has not been deterred by the numerous obstacles she has faced in life.

Despite dropping out of school in 1997 when in Form Three, Adhiambo picked up the pieces 14 years later and enrolled for secondary education. After a year of toiling, she emerged victorious after scoring a B- (minus) in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE).

Despite being with her two children in the same school, Adhiambo’s determination to pursue her dream is unrivalled.

Two of her children are in secondary school, two in primary school and the last-born, who lives with her paternal grandmother, is in nursery school.

Instead of being at home to take care of her children who were going to school, Adhiambo has gone against all the odds — something that puzzled her neighbours at Awelo Estate in Siaya town, her peers and family members who saw her every morning going to school hand-in-hand with her children.

“We at first thought that she was joking, but through her determination, we’ve been giving her support to enable her pursue her dream,” says Edward Ochola, Adhiambo’s brother.

Married to a mason, Adhiambo told Reject that after 14 years out of school, she still had a burning desire to return to the classroom and pursue her dream. And this could be testament to what Kenyan actress in Hollywood Lupita Nyong’o said when receiving her Oscar award: “All dreams are valid.”

“It has not been easy for me to reach this far. I had to pass through many huddles including taking care of my family and battling with a health complication,” says Adhiambo.

Her first born child, a girl, is in Form Three at Siaya Township Secondary School while another son is in Form One in the same school.

Adhiambo dropped out in Form Three when she got pregnant and opted to be married to her childhood friend.

She says her husband’s income could not sustain the family and she decided to supplement the income by doing menial jobs in the village.

“I could wash clothes for my neighbours and plough for them in order to eke a living as well as feed my family and pay their school fees,” she says.

The mother of five says her husband abandoned her due to domestic issues.

“I have been trying to pursue my dream against my husband’s wish. He sees whatever I do as a waste of time and resources,” she told Reject.

When Reject visited her at her single-roomed house at Awelo Estate, she was conducting studies with her children.

Adhiambo says: “I have not been able to pay my KSh500 monthly house rent which has now accumulated to KSh3,000 being rent for six months.”

The daughter of a retired civil servant is also battling with pancreatic disorder, which has seen her walk from hospital to hospital in search of treatment.

“Life has not been easy for me since I need at least KSh250,000 for surgery and at least KSh200,000 to pay my university education fees,” she says.

Adhiambo, who is supposed to join Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education on October 6, 2016 is in a dilemma on which option between medication and education she should pursue first.

“I should be joining university soon and it is my appeal to any well-wisher to come to my aid,” Adhiambo appeals.

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