Atho Gets a New Chance at Education

Published June 22, 2018 by Peter Galgalo

Atho in the classroom in the PYEI) center at Kalacha, Kenya May 2018


Nineteen-year-old Atho is one of the students who has enrolled for level one class in Kalacha, Marasbit. She is the second born in a pastoral family of three brothers and two sisters. When her father died while she was still young, her mother became the sole breadwinner for the family.

As a pastoral child, it was her responsibility to look after the family’s sheep and goats. Growing up, their livestock and nomadic lifestyle was the only life that she knew and attending school was not part of it. Unfortunately, Atho never had the opportunity to attend school, including mobile schools, that could be suitable her nomadic lifestyle. Moreover, there was no educated person in her community who she could emulate or have as a mentor.

“No one from my family ever went to school. We only took care of our animals and the animals took care of our livelihood. So education never seemed necessary. Plus, we always thought that it will take away from the time I should be herding our animals.”  Atho explained.

At the age of 15, Atho was married off and moved from Balesa to Kalacha where Adeso’s Mobile Non-Formal Education (MNFE) project was running in 2014-2016. It was there that she first realized she could get an opportunity to join a school at the MNFE center. But before she could join, the project ended. Atho has since begun to appreciate the importance of education but was unable to find such an opportunity elsewhere again.

When Athos heard that Adeso is starting a new phase of the project she was very happy and determined not to lose the opportunity. She immediately enrolled for classes soon after the Pastoral Youth Education Initiative (PYEI) project started. Currently, there are no projects of this nature that provide people like Atho, with a second chance at education who missed it when they were younger.

 “I am grateful to Adeso who has brought such a much-needed project to us and I am interested to advance my education. If Adeso will lengthen the project and it will give me a chance to progress to get the KCPE certification and go beyond”, she says.