Help, at last, for Kenya Tana River girl who walked long distances to raise school fees

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Juliana Koshi (center, with brown envelope) takes a photo with alumni students of Bunyore Girls High School on January 19, 2019. She will be joining the school for her high school education. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU
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Collins Omulo

A girl from Tana River, who worked as a house help and trekked for more than 15 kilometres in a bid to raise school fees to join secondary school, can now smile as she is set to finally join Bunyore Girls High School.

This comes after the high school’s alumni group came together to raise funds and resources to help her join the school.

Bunyore Girls Alumni chairperson, Vicky Owake, said that the group learnt of Juliana Koshi’s plight when her story appeared in the media prompting them to step in.

“One of us saw her photo in the newspaper and shared it in our WhatsApp group. We did our due diligence, looked for contacts to get to her and then contacted Tana River Woman Representative Rehema Hassan to help us get hold of her,” said Owake on Saturday.

She said so far the alumni group – through its welfare page which consists of 120 members – has raised Sh93,000 while the county government has chipped in Sh50,000. An additional Sh27,000 set to be paid directly to the school through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

“The school’s principal told us her slot is still available and so she will be travelling to the school for admission next week. She will need Sh54,000 for her first term fees and other necessities,” she said.

WELL-WISHERS’ HELP

Owake called on more well-wishers to come forward and make sure that the student goes to school even beyond secondary school while at the same time challenging the county government and Galole Constituency CDF office to support the girl throughout her secondary education.

“Most of us went to school through being helped by others. Why don’t we also do the same to others? I am appealing to all alumni, even those in the diaspora, to come out and ensure that the girl goes up to university. We also intend to open a fund that will also help other needy girls admitted to Bunyore Girls,” said Owake.

Juliana Koshi holds up her admission letter to Bunyore Girls High School on January 19, 2019. She will be joining the school for her high school education. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU
Juliana Koshi holds up her admission letter to Bunyore Girls High School on January 19, 2019. She will be joining the school for her high school education. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU

She challenged other needy students not to keep quiet with their problems but come out for their plight to be highlighted so that they can get help.

The 15-year-old girl from Hola took it upon herself to see that her dream of one day becoming a cardiologist is realized.

Staring at a bleak future after scoring 358 marks in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination at Hola Primary School, she knew that just sitting at home and cursing why she was born into a poor family would not help her aspirations.

HOUSE HELP JOB

The last born in a family of three girls and one boy decided to get a job as a house help not far away from their home immediately after the KCPE exams knowing too well that her parents, who are all jobless, were not going to be able to raise school fees to take her to secondary school.

She worked for a month a family comprising a father, mother and their child but she felt that with her monthly pay of Sh4,000, it would take her at least a year to only raise enough money for cater for first term at Bunyore Girls High School.

“I realized that even with the support from my employer, my brother who tilled farms in a bid to help me raise the money needed, the burden was still too big. My dad is also old and sickly while my mother is a charcoal burner. We are barely managing,” said Koshi on Saturday during an interview at Nation Centre.

The young girl hastily left her house help job and embarked on traversing across villages to seek for whatever little help she could get.

In the process she ended up walking for more than 15 kilometres in a bid to raise the required school fees. It is through her desperate efforts that her plight was highlighted in the media.

Thankfully, she can now afford a smile after help finally came her way.

“I would like to eventually join the University of Nairobi to pursue a course in Medicine and later become a cardiologist,” she said.

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