It takes a surprising amount of courage for a schoolgirl from rural Kenya to place her fate in the hands of strangers in a bustling city full of scoundrels and hoodlums.
Evalyne Wairimu, the teenager who was recently seen begging in the streets of Nairobi, is a clear demonstration of the true strength of human resilience and the ability to snatch joy from the jaws of despair.
She captured the imagination of the nation when she roamed the streets of the capital, pleading with apathetic residents for financial help after spending three weeks at home due to lack of school fees.
A Form Three student at Kihumbuini Secondary School in Murang’a County at the time, she had been sent home because of Sh22,000 fees arrears. Her mother, Ms Beatrice Wanjiku, a casual labourer taking care of two children, could not raise the money. The 15-year-old’s courageous act has finally borne fruit. On Tuesday, she was admitted to AIC Kithyoko Secondary School after well-wishers raised Sh209,850 for her education. Sh149,850 will cover her fees and Sh60,000 will cater for her upkeep.
Excited and happy
“An overwhelming number of people reached out to us when the story was published. Through their support, I am excited and happy that I’ll be able to continue with my studies on full academic scholarship,” a teary Evalyne told the Nation. One person even bought smartphones for the family.
Evalyne had hoped to re-join Kihumbuini Secondary, where she had spent two years, but the principal reportedly refused to re-admit her when she visited the school on May 20 because she lacked fees. Ms Wanjiku sought help from a former Parents Teacher Association representative at Kihumbuini, Mr Daniel Njuguna, who assisted her to secure admission for her daughter at Kithyoko Secondary.
Kithyoko Principal Veronica Mutiso told the Nation: “The initiative that Evalyne took touched me as both a mother and an educator. As a champion of gender equality and access to education for the girl child, I could not refuse to admit her.”