Great handwriting without hands

Ms Pauline Kemunto Nyanaro is among last year's KCSE candidates awaiting results on February 28, 2011. Photo/HENRY NYARORA

As the Ministry of Education releases the 2010 Kenya Certificate for Secondary Education exam results on Sunday, one candidate will be looking to excel after she defied some of her relatives and friends who did not want her to be in school for what they considered an extreme disability.

But today Ms Pauline Kemunto Nyanaro is optimistic that she will receive good results that will allow her to continue with her tertiary education.

Ms Nyanaro, 18, wrote the exams despite her incomplete development of both hands and a leg. Her hands end at the elbow while one of her legs ends at the knee. But you cannot beat her in hand writing.

Despite the physical and financial challenges she faced, Ms Nyanaro struggled, determined to make her dream of becoming an accountant come true.

Mrs Nyanaro, a sixth born of Mr Evans Nyanaro Ombui and Mrs Mary Moraa of Kiabiraa Village of Mageri Sub-Location of Nyamira North district is ever happy.

Her family has eight children, four daughters and the same number of sons who have no physical challenges. When she was born with the missing limbs, her parents were shocked. But unlike some parents in the area, they did not hide her.

Through the help of the ministry of education, Mr Nyanaro said he was able to access a rehabilitation school for her child at St Ann’s Nyabondo Rehabilitation Girls’ Primary School where she joined Standard One twelve years ago.

She faced a serious challenge as she struggled to learn how to hold a pencil using two of her incompletely developed hands to write.

In her KCPE, Ms Nyanaro scored 227 marks and was admitted to Kisumu’s Joyland Special Secondary School.

During her first term in Form Four, Pauline scored 405 marks out of the possible 800 marks. She took position 14 out of 45 students.

Come the Second Term, Pauline took position 10 in her class after scoring 415 marks out of 800. She was given grade C (plain) during her mock exams. She says she expects to get C+ (Plus) and above in KCSE.

“I want to be an accountant because I like maths. I hope I will get sponsorship to realise my dream once I receive my KCSE results,” she told the Nation at her home.

Pauline was awarded a certificate of participation from Maseno National School in a mathematics contest in 2007.

Although Pauline can dress her self, take bathe and perform a few basic chores, she says she is unable to wash clothes, cook or wash utensils.

“I thank my primary and secondary school mates who helped me to wash my clothes,” she said. She also pays tribute to her parents for securing her an artificial limb that has helped her to move with ease.

She said she could as a result visit her friends in their homes with ease instead of scrolling on the ground. “After completing my education I strongly believe I will get a man who will marry me despite my physical challenges since disability is not inability,” she said with a smile.
He parents said they wanted her daughter to realize her dream despite being financially challenged.

“I thank the World Vision for paying half of secondary school fees for my daughter. I will not also forget a Catholic missionary, Mr Stokuis who financially helped us while our daughter was in primary school in Nyabondo,” Mr Nyanaro said.


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