Story that moved Kibaki to tears

President Kibaki with Noadiah Jepkirui from Nandi County during a ceremony to honour 2,140 beneficiaries of Equity Group Foundation scholarships at Moi Sports Centre Kasarani in Nairobi on February 1, 2012. Photo/JARED NYATAYA

President Kibaki with Noadiah Jepkirui from Nandi County during a ceremony to honour 2,140 beneficiaries of Equity Group Foundation scholarships at Moi Sports Centre Kasarani in Nairobi on February 1, 2012. Photo/JARED NYATAYA

By LUCAS BARASA lbarassa@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted  Wednesday, February 1  2012 at  22:30

A woman puts her marriage on hold to return to school…Two girls escape forced marriage to pursue education and better themselves.

 These stories of triumph over adversary are what moved President Kibaki to tears on Wednesday during a ceremony to honour recipients of arguably East Africa’s most generous corporate philanthropy.

The President Kibaki declared it one of his most joyous occasions.

“To see all these students and to hear their stories…The fact that they have returned to school and are pursuing their goals is my most joyous day,” he said at Kasarani Sports Gymnasium in Nairobi.

Guests and an audience watching the live broadcast of the event on NTV were moved by the story of Roseline Nadicho of Nayopong Primary in West Pokot County.

According to Equity Bank managing director James Mwangi, Nadicho’s determination to continue with her education had been thwarted by forced marriage.

She said during the commissioning of the multi-billion shilling scholarship programme sponsored by Equity Bank, MasterCard Foundation and USaid that she had no father while her mother was jobless.

Nadicho who comes from a community where forced marriages are the norm, scored 356 marks in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams and was one of 2,144 students selected to benefit from the Sh6 billion scholarship programme.

Pursuit of education

President Kibaki, who was accompanied by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Education Minister Sam Ongeri and acting Finance Minister Njeru Githae, could not hold back tears as the girl narrated the difficulties she underwent in pursuit of education.

Ms Naurelia Atiang, 28, from Trans Nzoia County stunned guests, who included US deputy ambassador to Kenya Lee Brudvig and MasterCard Foundation President Reeta Roy, when she said she left her husband with two children and returned to school.

“I was born out of wedlock and stayed with my maternal grandparents because of poverty,” Ms Atiang said, adding that she first sat KCPE examination in 1998 and scored 412 marks but could not join secondary school due to lack of fees.

Last year, she returned to school and scored 348 marks. She was admitted to St Joseph’s Girls, Kitale.

“I had told myself that even after 50 years I will still go back to school if I get sponsorship. I have now left my husband with two children,” Ms Atiang said.

Her dream is study law in the university to enable her fight for the rights of destitute children

Another beneficiary of the scholarship, Douglas Kiptum, boarded a truck in Kitale and was abandoned in Nakuru where he lived as a street boy for years.

 However, after learning of Equity scholarships Kiptum returned to school and scored 369 marks last year’s KCPE.

Abel Oguchu, who is an orphan and had to fend for himself, overcame all odds and scored 391 marks.

Oguchu, however, missed being admitted to Starehe Boys Centre by nine marks.

Starehe MP Margaret Wanjiru, who is also Housing assistant minister, promised to intervene.

“I now have a reason to smile and will be there in Vision 2030,” he said.

An orphan and former street girl, Agnes Wanjiku from Kariobangi who eked out a living at Nairobi’s Dandora dumpsite, was all smiles after scoring 363 marks in last year’s KCPE.

Wanjiku is among Equity scholarship beneficiaries.

Advertisements

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. pfcairns
    Feb 02, 2012 @ 20:20:07

    Great to hear of these success stories.Education is the key.

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: