Joy as needy students get help after ‘Sunday Nation’ appeal 

Grace Adhiambo

Grace Adhiambo (centre) and her mother Quinter Apondi Ouma (right) receive a dummy cheque from Jubilee Insurance's Corporate Communications Officer, Neema Mwende, at Nyalenda estate in Kisumu on July 30, 2021 after the company promised to fund the needy student's high school and university education.

Photo credit: Tonny Omondi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Grace Adhiambo, who scored 361 marks, has found a sponsor in Jubilee Insurance.
  • Spotlight Publishers Edward Asitiba Associates Law Firm also offered assistance to needy students.

Their faces and stories in last week’s Sunday Nation had desperation written all over. They had excelled in KCPE exams but had slim chances of joining secondary schools.

Most of them had problems paying fees. But a week later, it is smiles galore. At least 30 students now have sponsors for their secondary education following the publication of their plight.

Grace Adhiambo, a student whose appeal for assistance was featured in the Sunday Nation of May 2 after scoring 361 marks — despite the fact that she sat KCPE exam just days after her father had been shot by a gun-totting man in Kisumu town — has found a sponsor in Jubilee Insurance.

Following last week’s story, a number of organisations stepped up to help students through their four years in secondary school.

Broadway Group of Companies sponsored six of the 24 whose stories were published last week.

“We have committed to sponsor their education for the next four years with a pledge of Sh50,000 for each student for each of the four years,” said Deval Shah, the business development executive at the Broadway Group of Companies that comprises Broadway Bakery and Bakex Millers.

Photos shared by the firm on Friday as the learners received their cheques at their Thika offices told a different story; a story of hope in an oasis of despair.

Among those in the Broadway sponshorship was Changirwa Shadrack from Migori. Having scored 383 marks and secured admission at Mbita High School, the son of a single mother had little hopes of joining the school.

His elder brother had terminated his studies at Standard Eight and Shadrack feared going down that route. With the Broadway intervention, he is now assured of an education until Form Four.

On the other hand, Help Change Lives, a UK-based charity organisation run by former Deloitte executive Pallvee Shah, at first offered assistance to seven children in the list.

Upon realising that one of the children in the list came from a community centre in Dandora that hosts children from equally humble backgrounds, the organisation took nine more to make 16 the total number of beneficiaries.

“When I saw the Sunday Nation appeal, I felt moved to help the students achieve their dreams as poverty should not hold people back,” Ms Shah said.

“The plight of these children was so sad. A lot of them have been impacted by Covid, which is destroying lives. We are now sponsoring 16 new students in secondary boarding schools as a result of the appeal in the Sunday Nation,” she added.

Spotlight Publishers through its managing director Simon Sossion and Edward Asitiba Associates Law Firm via its managing partner Edward Asitiba also offered assistance to needy students.

A number of individuals also emerged to lend a hand. Obstetrician and gynaecologist Kireki Omanwa offered to help six students through their secondary school.

“I know what it means; I know what education is. And I have been there, so I know how it is,” he told the Sunday Nation.

“I know what it means to really want to go to school; so I absolutely understand where they (needy students) are coming from, and if we have a chance to help, let’s just help,” he said.

Jomvu MP Badi Twalib assisted Penina Mkanyika, a girl who had scored 380 marks and whose parents live on odd jobs.

“Through my office, we shall fully sponsor the young, promising girl by paying her tuition fees from Form One to Four,” the MP wrote on Facebook, sharing photos of a beaming Penina and her parents in his office.

In the case of the Kisumu girl who lost her father, Jubilee Insurance changed the course of her life on Friday.

Jubilee Insurance team led by Ms Neema Mwende, the corporate communications manager, presented a school fees cheque to Grace and her mother at their Nyalenda slums home in Kisumu. Jubilee will also provide for her school uniforms and books.

“We read Adhiambo’s story and we were touched. We saw that she qualified for the scholarship. As an organisation, we have the Jubilee Children’s Fund targeting needy and vulnerable children in health, education and social action matters,” she said.

Nine learners benefitted under the scholarship programme in 2020. This year, the number increased to 34. More than 600 applications were received.

Ms Mwende explained that Adhiambo was picked on the basis of her academic merit.

Selection of beneficiaries is based on economic background of families, disability and county balance.

“We have many needy children in slums who have no support and we are glad to make a difference. We want to support future generations that are empowered appropriately and we hope this will open up doors for them,” Ms Mwende said.

And in Vihiga County, Vallary Angachi and Ibrahim Osotsi, children from different backgrounds who were facing difficulties joining secondary school, have Equity Bank to thank for intervening on their plight.

Vallary’s father had died of throat cancer as she was sitting KCPE exam. She could not attend the funeral and did not have an opportunity to see her father on his last days on earth.

With the sole provider gone, there was no hope for the first born in the poverty-stricken family to advance her education, despite scoring 362 marks. Thanks to Equity’s Wings to Fly programme, now she has some assurance.

Vallary was selected to join Moi Girls Vokoli, an academic bastion in Vihiga County.

As for Ibrahim, who comes from a humble family and scored 362 marks, he can now join Nyang’ori Boys with pride, thanks to the Wings to Fly assistance. Vallary and Ibrahim were among the 74 beneficiaries from Vihiga County.

Reporting by Elvis Ondieki, Caroline Wafula and Derick Luvega

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