Mary grew up around books and was lucky to have a supportive family member to encourage her to achieve. Her love for reading drives her to introduce children to the joy of reading. Mary believes that literacy is directly tied to self-esteem and confidence and gives everything she has to ensure that the children of the community have a chance at a bright future as she describes here.
“I have always loved books, and cannot remember a time when I did not want to work with books. As a child, I enjoyed storybooks as they allowed me to travel the world in my mind. I was lucky because I had an aunt who was a teacher. Both she and my cousin who worked at the Kisumu Library would keep me occupied with books.
It is no accident that I chose Library and information studies at the Kenya Polytechnic University and experience from the Kenya National Library Service, as well as St. Ann’s College in Kisii. I believe in following one’s dreams, and glad that my job at Read Across Africa in Kisumu Karateng’ puts me in a position where I can inspire children. Their joy is contagious and makes me extremely happy. Inspiring them also reminds me to believe in God, and in myself, even when nobody else does.
My son, Edgar John Ochieng’, is the love of my life. I named him after my late father. I have great hopes for him and will do everything to ensure that he has access to every opportunity possible. I look forward to a successful future, with an opportunity to financially support my mother, Oda Nabwire.”