Alex Ochieng’ Onyango: Kisima student becomes Kisima sponsor!

Kisima student 2008-2011

Alex was born in a town called Isiolo, in Northern Kenya, where a community of nomadic pastoralists battle to survive in an extremely dry and arid climate. He was raised by a single mother who worked as a school matron at Isiolo School for the Deaf and the family lived at the school as they couldn’t afford to rent elsewhere.

When he finished primary school, Alex was grateful to be offered a place at Kisima School as his mother was unable to afford the school fees for the state secondary school. He recalls that in February 2008 when he was due to start at Kisima, Kenya was experiencing post-election violence and his school year started late as the students struggled to reach the school safely. When he started at Kisima he was impressed with the way in which the school brought students from so many different tribes together despite the ongoing violence outside and he was amazed that everyone was able to live together in harmony.

In his early years at school, Alex dreamed of becoming a lawyer but he later developed an interest in engineering. He achieved an A- and was offered a place at the Technical University of Kenya, in Nairobi, to study Geospatial Engineering. He started university in 2013 but unfortunately, 2 years later, was forced to drop out as he was unable to pay the school fees.

As a student he had joined Kenya Red Cross as a volunteer so when he was unable to continue at university he went full time. He was given the role of training up new volunteers which he excelled at and in 2016 the Red Cross offered him a contract as Youth Program Assistant. He was soon promoted to National Youth Officer and later National Youth Manager.

Alex loves travelling to different countries for work and has enjoyed learning about different cultures. He is glad to have a job that enables him to impact the lives of other young people.

Alex with his sponsored student at Kisima

During his time at the Red Cross he also trained as a road safety facilitator and is now a member of the United Nations Road Safety Fund.

Despite enjoying a successful career, Alex had not given up on attaining a university degree. Remembering his previous dreams of becoming a lawyer he returned to university and completed his law degree in 2019.

Alex is delighted that his success at work has enabled him to help others around him. He has recently purchased a piece of land for his mum and is in the process of building her first house.

In 2020 he saw a post on the Kisima Facebook page asking for new sponsors. Realising he could manage the cost, Alex was delighted to become the first Kisima alumnus to himself become a sponsor. He feels that God has helped him to embody the Kisima school motto “Empowered to Transform”.

His dream for the future is to continue following his passion for law, to do a master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy and eventually to work for the United Nations! Whatever happens in his future he feels strongly about continuing to enact change in his community.