My Journey – I Was Orphaned at a Tender Age, Now I Run Orphan Foundation

August 7, 2023

After losing his parents at a young age, Fredrick Otieno relied on the kindness of strangers to endure. He shares his personal challenges and the reasons behind his decision to establish a foundation aimed at assisting orphans.

Briefly introduce yourself.  

I am Fredrick Otieno Abuom from Siaya County. I am the last born in a family of four siblings; three boys and a girl. I went to Pal Pal Primary School and later joined Sega Township Secondary School.

What is your foundation all about and why did you initiate it? 

Freddy Junior Foundation is an institution where we support Orphans, Widows, Young girls and our brothers who are still in schools. In the year 1994, my mother died on the month of March while I was four months old, I was left with my dad and my grandmother. Three months later my dad passed away. I lived with different people (my relatives), and I went through the usual struggles orphans go through to the point I reached today.

Please tell us your motivation behind this project.

Being left an orphan at a tender age was extremely challenging. I came face to face with the challenges of life; as an orphan; I depended on well-wishers to pay my school fees. Most of the time, I had no one around to tell my problems including sleeping hungry but nobody to understand my situation. Some of my age mates disowned me because of having no parent. And that’s why I basically decided to initiate Freddy Junior Foundation in Feb 2020 to support some children who are coming from poor families and facing similar or worse problems I went through.

What particular incident stirred your initiative?

One day during my regular rendezvous, I encountered a young boy from our village that was sent home after his parents failed to pay his school fees.  I took the matter seriously, I called my friends and we agreed to start a contribution which went successfully.

Where is your foundation based and what have been your achievements so far?

My foundation is located in Central Alego Siaya County. We’ve tried our best as we speak today we have six boys who we have placed at different secondary schools, six at different polytechnics, eight at different primary schools and we hope to help many more.

Currently, what are you doing to sustain yourself and your project?

Currently, I’m a herbalist at Dr. Mayamba Junior Herbs and I’m also working in the music industry as a songwriter and video director. This project has no sponsors but only a group of friends who are willing to help.

What is your message to Kenyans in supporting such a noble cause?

I want to tell my fellow brothers and sister out there that many orphans out there face a lot of ups and downs. If you see someone suffering please help him/her if you can. The difference between a dreamer and a visionary is that a dreamer has his eyes closed and a visionary has his eyes open.

Your parting shot to readers?

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

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