By: Joseph

Data Clerk, Kisumu Law Courts

Joseph was born in a family of three children; two girls and one boy, being the last born in the family. He lost the parents in early 2000 when he was 12 years old. In the same year, he fell sick and developed general body weakness in the upper and lower limbs. The situation deteriorated so fast that within a short time he became immobile. “I could not walk, my legs could not support my body”, he recounts. Having lost the parents in the same year, immediate medical attention could not come by. Later, it was discovered that Joseph was suffering from muscular dystrophy; a condition with no proper cure and was advised to use a wheelchair.

Joseph was registered in Mango Tree OST in 2008 while in primary class four. At that time, he was schooling in the normal government primary school just like any other child. The Mango Tree helped in registering and supporting him to join Nyaburi Integrated special school with fees and other requirements. At Nyaburi, he sat for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education national exams, passed well (281/500) marks, TMT then supported Joseph to join Joyland special school in Kisumu. While in school, it was always ringing in his mind that he had to work hard to overturn the present life. Joseph says, “This gave me the drive to push myself into books”. After four years in Joy land Special School, Joseph scored C (plain) of 42 points and was later admitted to college to study Diploma in Applied Statistics. “While in college I learned how to make friends with classmates to survive. Moving from one class to another was not an easy thing”, he recounts. He says some units were offered upstairs where it was not easy to access with the current condition. With the help of friends and classmates, supporting his movement around, Joseph completed the studies and passed very well. 

Turning point

In September 2020, TMT offered him an internship opportunity at the TMT-COOPERATIVE office. He was tasked with training young girls undergoing an apprenticeship program at the Salon and Beauty Therapy on basic computer skills and helped in the digital record-keeping for the Cooperative office. It is during this period that Joseph was linked and applied for a job that was advertised by the Judicial Service Commission in Kisumu town and as luck would have it, he was invited for an interview and later offered the opportunity to take up the job as a Data Clerk at the Law Court. The Mango Tree facilitated his transportation with the belonging to Kisumu and even offered a small stipend to aid him to settle down. Joseph says, “I am very grateful for the opportunity The Mango Tree offered to go to school at a point where I had been rendered not worthy in the community. That opened several doors for me”. 


Joseph says that one of the things that have made him reach this far is humility. He says, “The ability to accept my condition as it is and create a social support system around me and the support of my friends, has helped me throughout my education in terms of supporting access to classrooms, bathrooms and almost everything since I can't move without being supported”.

The second thing that Joseph cherished most is hard work and honesty. “I believed that it's only education that would change my life and therefore I needed to work hard to achieve. I was and will remain very honest to myself and my sponsors, who had faith in my ability spending the extra money to make sure that I went through education in the right school where my needs could be addressed” he records.

Search Here