Needy Form One girl gets more than just school fees after ‘Nation’ story

Coseke (K) Ltd members of staff led by the country manager Ms Lily Kariuki (second right) pose for a photo with Jenifer Wanza and her mother at their Athi River home on May 30, 2022.

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho | Nation Media Group

A girl in Athi River sub-county, Machakos County, who excelled in the 2021 KCPE exams will finally join Form One after well-wishers came to her rescue.

This follows the family's appeal to Kenyans to help Jenifer Wanza Kioko, 15, who scored 379 marks and earned herself a slot at Butere Girls High School.

Her poverty-stricken parents were unable to raise school fees and money for other necessities for their daughter.

Wanza’s story was highlighted on Nation.Africa on Monday, May 23, two weeks after thousands of Form Ones had reported to schools for the first term.

The second-born in a family of six who aspires to become a medical doctor had been helping her mother with menial jobs before well-wishers came calling on Monday.

The family lives in a dimly lit double-room rental house in Njoguini village in Athi River township.

The girl's father is a tout in Athi River.

An international ICT firm known as Coseke (K) Ltd has stepped in to pay the girl's school fees. Coseke Country Manager Lily Kariuki handed over a bank slip for a year’s school fees to the family on Monday in their home.

She said the company was committed to helping the girl complete her education to the highest level. It will pay the girl's school fees annually.

She urged the girl to avoid bad influences in school and concentrate on her education.

"Our company is committed to women’s empowerment in our society. We will walk with this girl to her education success. Indeed, this is a needy case and we thank the Nation Media Group for highlighting such cases,” Ms Kariuki said.

Mentorship sessions

Coseke also promised to offer the girl mentorship sessions in the company during school holidays.

A group of well-wishers from Nairobi also helped with the girl's school uniforms and other necessities, including travel expenses for the girl and her mother from Athi River to the Butere school.

"We were touched by the Nation story. We felt the girl's future was bleak and we pooled resources to help. We will be monitoring the girl's progress in school," said Ms Judith Kimani, a representative of the well-wishers’ group.

Wanza could not hide her joy as tears rolled down her cheeks. She kept staring at the well-wishers in disbelief.

"I had lost hope. I will work hard to catch up with the other students. I’m humbled, thank you," she said.

Her jubilant mother Ms Regina Wanza Kioko said the benefactors’ positive gesture had opened a new chapter for the family despite the poverty dogging them.

"I have seen the hand of God when I had given up. Though poor, I know education is an equaliser in our society. I sincerely appreciate the Nation and sponsors’ efforts to restore my daughter's hope," she said.

The girl is expected to report to school on Thursday when other students resume classes after the midterm break.