Five needy pupils from Baringo, among them an abandoned orphan and a disabled child, on Tuesday shed tears of joy after getting bursaries from the Kenya Commercial Bank’s Secondary School Scholarship scheme.
The five drawn from the entire county had no hope of proceeding to secondary school after sitting for their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education Examinations (KCPE) because they hailed from poverty-stricken families.
According to Tom Tubei who is a member of the selection panel, most of them said they had no hope of furthering their education had they not gained the scholarship.
“During the interview we asked them what would happen if they didn’t get the scholarship and it was sad that most responded that they had no other option,” said Tubei also a director of education at the Baringo County Government.
Tubei also thanked the KCB Foundation for being the first institution to sponsor children with special needs as one of the beneficiaries is a hearing-impaired pupil admitted to St. Kizito School for the deaf.
Bartabwa Member of County Assembly (MCA) Reuben Chepsongol said one of the beneficiaries who hails from his ward was a really needy case and deserved the award as the parents had no means to finance her secondary education.
One of the beneficiaries, Allan Kiprop from Baringo Central, was abandoned by the mother after the father passed on when he was only in class four.
According to the grandfather Francis Chepsoi who took over the responsibility of the child said the mother fled with benefits of his late son who was working with the Prisons Department and told him to take over the burden of raising three children.
Kiprop withstood the challenges and managed to score 370 marks out of the possible 500 marks at AIC Visa Oshwal Primary School to gain an admission in Kabarnet High school.
“This is God’s miracle, we didn’t know how Allan would go to school but KCB has come to our aid,” added the elderly Chepsoi.
Carolyne Yatich a beneficiary from Talai in Baringo Central hails from a family where the mother and all the children including her suffer from deafness, the father is also a mentally handicapped but she scored 168 marks out of the possible 500 at Ochii School for the deaf.
Carolyne now has a chance to study at St. Kizito School for the deaf after the financial institution offered her full scholarship for the four years and Sh25, 000 to carter for other expenses.
Sharon Ketton from Eldama Ravine is also set to pursue her dreams at Kaplong girls giving her hope as her mother; a widow with six children could not afford the school fees from a charcoal burning venture. She could not comprehend the gesture and termed it as God’s miraculous workings.
Sharon who scored 384 marks in Torongo Primary School could not hide her emotions after being handed the school fees at KCB bank Kabarnet and shed tears of joy for lady luck smiling on her.
Other beneficiaries are Millicent Chesire and Fanuel Kultak from Moigutwo and Illng’arua Primary Schools. The two will join St. Teresa Tartar and Kapsabet Boys High School respectively
The five are part of the 240 bright but needy students to benefit from the Bank’s scholarship programme across the country, 47 of which are students with physical, visual and hearing impairment disabilities. The bank has set aside Sh.20 million annually for the programme.
Other than the school fees, stationery and uniform for four years the awardees will be assigned to mentors from the bank on a one on one mentorship programme to guide them through their studies.
Earnest Kibet, MCA Kabarnet Ward, called on other stakeholders to support more students saying there are more needy students in need of help.
His sentiments were shared by Dr. David Segon, CEC for Trade and industrialization who represented Governor Stanley Kiptis.
“Baringo has a lot of challenges, including insecurity and we are calling on the Bank to increase the number of scholarships so that many needy cases can get support to further their education,” said Dr. Sergon.
He also called on other stakeholders, including those doing business with the county government to sponsor children from needy backgrounds to access education.
The Bank’s branch acting Manager, Eric Suprianoh said other than doing business the bank was involved in activities aimed at helping the community to develop.
Through the scholarship programme, the bank also seeks to augment the government policy of 100 percent transition from primary to secondary school.
“Programs like KCB tujiajiri offer loans to youth to gain technical skills and create self-employment; we also have these secondary school scholarships and KCB cub accounts which help to inculcate a saving culture from an early age,” said the manager.
By Christopher Kiprop