Paul Odihambo

Paul had lost both of his parents to HIV/AIDS by the time he was in fourth grade. He was a very bright young boy and was mentored by his teacher Rom Wandera, the former coordinator of FIOH-Kenya who died suddenly in 2012 at the age of 52. Paul took over Rom’s position of coordinator after his death.

Paul was raised by his grandmothers as all of his uncles also died of HIV/AIDS. At the time they thought the illness was due to witchcraft or some other superstition. By the time he was in grade 8 he realized what the disease was and tried to learn all he could about it, how to treat, and most of all prevent it. Many of his aunts and cousins also suffered from the disease but Paul did not.

Rom and other friends managed to pay Paul’s school fees for secondary school because they saw his great potential. Paul had to walk five miles each way to attend Kisumu Boys School. He graduated with honors and won a four- year scholarship to University. However he was unable to pay the extra fees and was afraid he would have to forfeit the scholarship.

FIOH-USA stepped in and found sponsors that paid the $350 he needed to supplement his scholarship. He graduated from Kenyatta University in 2007 and has been teaching English and French at Kanyamedha Mixed Secondary School. There had been a hiring freeze in Kenya so Paul worked as a volunteer for ten years, with a small monthly stipend from FIOH-USA, until December 2017 when he finally received a governmental paid position.

Paul has been working tirelessly with FIOH-Kenya for many years. His passion is helping the less fortunate in his community. He had even taken in six orphan high school boys and his HIV positive cousin, Stephen. Stephen was born with HIV. He is healthy thanks to governmental anti-retroviral medication and additional health care through FIOH-USA.   Paul enjoys life.  He is married to Milke and has a young son, Anthony. Paul is truly amazing.

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