A Hard Road

by Okoth John (United Kenya Rising)

EVERIA OVERCOMES ALL BARRIERS

While Everia was growing up, her mother Lydia was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. This has been the greatest battle, among many, for the family. Today they are still together, and Everia has completed high school and is bound for university through support from our Education Fund.

Everia and her family’s story is touching, and it demonstrates how the Education Fund can help a young woman find her path in life and also bring joy to a mother who has been through a lot.

With her father out of the picture, Everia and her two older brothers’ situation growing up was very challenging. The family would survive mostly on two meals a day, and they had difficulty getting other basic needs like clothing.

Lydia, Everia’s mother, was forced to leave her job as a matron at a boarding school to concentrate on her treatment. Appointments at government hospitals were never efficient or reliable enough for Lydia to hold a job while also fighting for her health and life. Fortunately, through chemotherapy, surgery, and both faith & strength, Lydia’s cancer could no longer be detected. The family still struggled, but they were happy.

Lydia began depending on her step-brother to help with educating Everia and her brother in primary school. Things took a turn for the worse when he passed on. Lydia did not know how she would pay for her two son’s high school, and the stress grew when Everia excelled in her high school entrance exams and was admitted to a prestigious public boarding school.

The situation improved shortly after when Everia was enrolled in United Kenya Rising’s high school program in 2018.

“After joining the program, it was greatly a relief. Everything I needed for school was being catered for. It was a bit easier to get things like clothes and food,” Everia said.

She states that joining high school was the best moment of her life. It was an eye opener and a marvelous opportunity to quench her thirst for education and made her personality grow.

“I gained a lot while in high school. I got to socialize with people from different places. It was really nice and a wonderful experience,” she stated.

She highlights that one of the most memorable moments while in high school was when their class went for a field trip to Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Nairobi.

“It was inspiring for me. It was adventurous. It gave me the drive to work hard so that I can join campus after seeing how life there is and how the institution looks like,” She narrated.

Everia thrived in high school and delivered outstanding results in her exit exams. Through hard work and sheer determination, she achieved a score which gave her “direct entry” into university. With a scholarship from our Education Fund, Everia recently began studying for a Diploma in Pharmacy at Kenya Medical Training College. The campus is not far from her family’s small rental apartment.

Last year, in 2021, Everia’s mother’s cancer was detected again. She has since been fighting it with some financial help from United Kenya Rising, and more so from her church, her friends, and other well-wishers in the community who contribute to her treatment expenses and basic needs like food for the family. Everia has also strongly supported her mother throughout this fight.

“I just wanted to be [working] in the hospital set-up because of my mother’s condition. I have been with her all through, at times I go with her to the hospital and see what people of similar condition go through,” she explains on the choice of pursuing a career in pharmacy.

In spite of the barriers Everia has encountered on her path, she maintains a burning desire to successfully complete her university education. She has a desire to change the current situation at her home, and a desire to serve her community at large. Her mother is filled with pride and joy when she thinks about where Everia is now, and what her future will look like in the years to come.

                Everia, from a retreat photo.


Everia at recent High School retreat

Everia with her mother and brother at home.

Everia studying from home.

Everia, from a retreat photo.

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