Barry Okoth

Berry Okoth

Aged 10 from a family of two he is now in class three. Berry used to stay with his mother and sibling in Kisumu before their mother died. His mother had divorced from her husband and she used to sell second hand clothes at Kibuye market in Kisumu.

In 2007 his mother was taken ill of HIV and she could not continue with her business. They used to stay in a slum area of Kisumu town. During his mother’s illness, there was no one to provide for the family as his mother was the sole bread winner. Berry, his brother and mother went without food often times. One of the neighbors who was also a single parent started providing them with some food but on a condition. The man then a carpenter had a small child, so he asked Berry to be taking care of the child during the day and he would give them food for Berry, his brother and mother. One morning Berry woke up as usual to baby sit his neighbor’s child. He took his younger brother with him. He knew their mother was sick and would wake up later in the day as had been in the past but this was not to be. Berry’s employer had made some porrage for Berry, his mother and sibling. After doing part of the morning domestic chores Berry went to their house and tried waking up their mother but she could not wake up. After trying to wake their mother in vain she rushed out crying and asked their slum neighbors to help him wake up their mother. She had died. Without a relative to run to, Berry stayed with their mother’s body for two days in their slum house. The body was not taken to the morgue. Berry remembers strange people taking away her mother’s body on the third day after her death. That was the last time he saw her.  Berry’s neighbor moved them to his house and offered to take care of Berry and his sibling. The neighbor promised Berry good life in the city. He took him to his relative in Nairobi who led a very lavish lifestyle. He (Berry’s new guardian) only left the house at night but stayed in the house during the day. He was a robber as it was later to be discovered and Berry ran away at night after his new guardian chopped off the hand of his wife for informing the police about his activities in the night. In the streets of Nairobi he had no one to turn to for any help. He did not know how to get back to Kisumu and whether his sibling was fine. He has never seen his younger brother again. A well wisher from facilitated his relocation to Omwabini orphanage. Berry is healthy, attending Omwabini school and happy at his new home.