Meet Catherine Akinyi
Catherine Akinyi is a 17-year-old young girl in form two at St Clare’s’ Nanderema Girls high school. She is tall, dark and of medium weight. She is under the care and protection of a distant aunt. They live with her maternal aunt in Buduta Village, Ojibo sub-location, Samia sub-county, Busia County in Kenya in a grass thatched house with a total household of 13. The house is made up of trees, soil and a grass. She is the firstborn in a family of four, she was born and baptized as a member of the Baptist church but currently she attends prayers in a Catholic church where the aunt and the entire family worship. The girl loves watching television especially Indian movies.
Catherine was initially under the care of her maternal grandmother who is 88 years old. She could not live with her parents because of their rampant family conflicts. The parents later separated in the year 2015 because the man (Catherine’s father) was not comfortable living with the wife (Catherine’s mother) after she was physically disabled. The grandmother struggled to raise Catherine and other siblings but due to old age and poverty she could do very little. This led to Catherine dropping out of school in form one. It’s with this reason the maternal aunt took the responsibility of taking care of her.
Catherine later lost her dad in 2020 through a road accident and her mother went into depression due to the challenges of life. Apart from being disabled physically, she developed a mental illness that has not been cured due to lack of finances. Catherine’s mother is sometimes violent and can hurt anyone any time with sharp objects. Catherine’s other three siblings disappeared from home two years ago in search for food and have never returned. The maternal aunt struggles to meet the needs of her nine biological children plus Catherine.
Catherine narrowly escaped child marriage after she was not able to continue with her education due to lack of school fees. It’s for this reason that. Jali Sisters came in to rescue her to help her fulfil her dreams through the scholarship program. She is now happy and back in school.