Two girls from Isiolo who were stuck at home for a whole term due to lack of fees have finally joined Form One after a local businesswoman offered to sponsor their secondary school education.
Fardosa Abduba and Abdia Adan, who scored 249 marks and 280 marks at Barracks and Uhuru Primary schools respectively, were almost giving up on ever joining secondary school as their parents could not afford fees even for local day schools.
“My father has been battling kidney complications for the last four years and could not afford to take me to secondary school due to lack of a reliable income,” Fardosa, who hails from Bulapesa Ward said.
More disturbing to her and Abdia was seeing their colleagues joining Form One while they stayed idle at home, their hopes of achieving their dreams of becoming a lawyer and journalist respectively dimming by the day.
Amid the challenges and uncertainty of ever joining school, Fardosa decided to engage in home-based online learning to acquaint herself with the Form One syllabus and possibly be at par with her colleagues who were in school.
“I would borrow a smartphone from a neighbour to check notes online as I hoped to join secondary school,” she said.
Her father, Abduba Molu, was contemplating enrolling her at the local technical and vocational training institute as help was not forthcoming.
Abdia’s parents separated years ago and she was taken in by a neighbour, Liki Lolkinyati, who supported her primary school education but was unable to take her to secondary school as he is currently supporting three other needy students as well as the girl’s elder brother, a student at Bulampya Secondary School.
“We approached a lot of leaders but they did not respond, forcing her (Abdia) to continue staying at home,” Mr Lolkinyati told Nation.Africa.
But the girls have finally joined Kiorimba Secondary School in Tharaka Nithi after Isiolo businesswoman Lydia Muthoni Ngichili, who has been supporting bright learners from needy families, sponsored them.
“I am so happy for the scholarship and I will not disappoint you,” Fardosa said while receiving her admission letter to the school from Ms Ngichili at their home last week.
Her 63-year-old father could not hide his joy.
“I was planning to take her to the local technical school but I thank God she got the scholarship,” he said.
Mr Lolkinyati termed the support as a huge relief and asked local leaders to emulate Ms Ngichili’s gesture.
The philanthropist has in the last three months supported 25 needy learners to join secondary school.
“I decided to chip in after realising that many parents were going through difficult times due to the coronavirus pandemic. I started with 12 learners who scored 350 marks and above,” Ms Ngichili said, adding that she was just “planting a seed” and giving back to the community.
Some of the learners under her support are learning in local schools such as Isiolo Girls and Waso and Mwangaza secondary schools. Seventeen are boarding while eight are in day secondary schools across the upper eastern region.
She promised to liaise with teachers at the secondary school to assist the girls cover last term’s syllabus and be at par with the rest.