Letters from PODI – Verona Achieng

Letter from Verona Achieng:

 

Hello dear friends,

I feel honoured and privileged having been given this opportunity to share with you my dreams and hopes as a young girl.

My name is Verona Achieng and I am turning 13 years this October. At the onset, I would like to convey my innermost gratitude to everyone who has supported the PODI and Aunt Elseba in procuring and supplying sanitary pads to the girls in the slums of Homa Bay. God bless you all.

I did my KCPE  (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examinations marking the end of primary education) last year thanks to the encouragement and the support of the PODI team. I had in the previous year left writing the examinations mid way. One may wonder why I had to leave writing my exams mid way. I had studied hard, but the most dreaded thing happened. “Aunt flow” visited. I was dirty, with the heavy flow and with my dignity at stake, I had to flee. It was a painful experience.

The incident almost threw my dreams of becoming a gynaecologist in disarray. I had already dropped out of school there was no way I could study and achieve my dream.

This dream was re-awakened when Aunt Elseba came to my school. I have always had the inner push to become a doctor, so as to help women in this slum.

I was enrolled in the PODI program and they started supplying me with a pack of sanitary pads every month. I repeated the eighth grade and passed so well. I am now in Form one. Though I’m a day schooler and always have to walk a considerable distance to school with inadequate facilities, it isn’t nearly as challenging as having a way to manage one’s period discretely.

Access to pads I can say for sure is access to education. To the PODI sisters, thanks for re-igniting this dream of becoming a medical doctor in me. I am now focused on my studies knowing for sure that you got my back and ensure that I am in school all through the month, never missing my mathematics , chemistry and biology classes.

Once again thanks for your support,
Verona

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About Gail Pinder

I was born in New Jersey and raised in a small town in Pennsylvania. I have lived in many places – Texas, Arkansas, Delaware and finally Michigan. Several years ago, I met a wonderful man – a Vietnam Navy vet who shares my love of God and Country! We have been happily married for more than 15 years. I have two children of my own and Emery has two children. We have four wonderful grandchildren. Emery and I both have Multiple Sclerosis. He is now in a powerchair and I am his caregiver. Life is somewhat challenging, but we do the best we can. We tell everyone that “We have MS, but it doesn’t have us!” I have always loved to write and my dream was to becoming a “writer”. PICC gave me a window to my dream and an opportunity to share my thoughts with others. Our faith is strong and I don’t know where we would be without it. We are determined to spread a little sunshine in a darkened world. I've been married to my wonderful husband for 14 years. I have two children of my own and Emery has two children. We have four grandchildren. My husband and I both have MS and I am his caregiver. We tell everyone that "we have MS but it doesn't have us!"