Josephine Rotiken is a student that OFDC sponsored in secondary education. She has accomplished many things and has overcome many obstacles. She truly is an inspiration to all, especially young girls who may share a similar story.
OFDC is honored to be involved in this amazing woman’s life. Here is an account of Josephine’s life through her own words:
“On the issue concerning my triumph in life, I can openly attest that it’s been a real struggle to reach to where I am today. This is because I’m born in a society that does not appreciate the education of a girl child. My dad, therefore, wanted to marry me off to his friend when I was 12 years old. The dowry was paid but luckily, I was allowed to finish my primary schooling due to the support of the school administration.
As soon as I finished my national examination, I started looking for exit strategies of running away from my father. This was because I was not ready to be married off and at the same time, I really loved education. I didn’t want to terminate my studies at that level.
One of my cousins who was schooling in a school that my current guardian, Patrick, was heading and told me that Patrick does rescue girls with such challenges as mine. She therefore introduced me to Patrick and he assured me that he’ll take me to a rescue center. At that time, that is in 2009, Patrick and OFDC were working together supporting girls who ran away from FGM and early marriages. Upon the announcement of the national examination results, it happened that I had excelled and OFDC accepted to facilitate for my High school studies.
My high school life was however tough because, in as much as I count myself lucky to have had that chance of going to high school, my mum went through hell because of me. My dad was blaming her as the one who helped me run away from being married off. This led to their separation! It also caused me not to be going to either of the families over the school holidays. At that time, I couldn’t share what I was going through with anyone including my guardians. Patrick and his wife were still strangers to me. Most of the time I opted to stay at school with international students because life was somehow bearable at school. This situation affected me health wise, emotionally, socially, and even academically!
After finishing my high school studies, I decided not to give up but continue looking for further assistance in order to proceed to college. It was at this point that I decided to disclose my problems to my guardians who welcomed me to the rescue center and promised to continue assisting me if I excel in my high school national examination. Luckily, I got a good grade and a certain lady from the US agreed to pay for my university studies. I therefore decided to pursue a degree in law in order to get a good platform to advocate for the rights of young girls whose rights are being violated.
So far so good, I’ve been able to finish my university studies but awaiting for graduation at the end of this year. There after, I will join the Kenya School of Law for my post graduate studies. It is after the Kenya School of law that I will be allowed to practice my career. I’m happy to have fought that very tough battle but I’m very certain that, a time will come when I will enjoy the fruits of my labor. It has been a trying moment for me but it has made me to be very strong and am looking forward to be a great role model to many girls who are struggling with issues of life!”