In 2010 Asis tried to commit suicide. That is when I first met her. She came directly from the hospital to the former FIOH-K office in Kisumu town where I was staying. We talked and talked and she told me her story.
Asis was from the village of Awasi. When Asis was in grade 8 she was raped by a “friend” and became pregnant with her son Eugene. She dropped out of school and after a few years a “well wisher” sponsored her to learn hair dressing. However before she found a job in her new field she had a failed love affair that resulted in the birth of her daughter Virginia.
Jump ahead to 2010. Asis was living with her brother and his wife and taking care of her two children plus their three children. Her brother treated her like a servant and was often complaining. One day he beat her and threw her out of the house. She was so upset because she saw her life as a failure. She drank some of her poisonous hair dressing mixtures. Luckily a neighbor saw the beating and her suicide attempt and convinced her to go to the hospital.
Asis wanted to get her own place to live with her children and open a hair dressing shop. Through funding from FIOH-USA she opened a very small shop and moved into a 10 x 10 room with her children. She struggled over the next two years but when I visited again in 2012 she had moved to a much better shop and was doing well. However her “house” was in a very poor slum area and while I was there it rained very hard and her room flooded covering the floor with about a foot of water. Asis, Eugene and Virginia were sleeping in the shop until she could find a better, safer place to live. She found a good place near her shop and was making enough to pay the rent but needed money for the security deposit. FIOH-USA came through again. The new house is small, a 12×12 room. I visited her again in 2016. She continues to manage although it is difficult. She needs additional funds to allow her two children to attend school. FIOH-USA will look for sponsors.