The first lot of Baringo students who are victims of early pregnancies converged at Lake Bogoria Girls Secondary School in Baringo South for a prayer service before sitting for their upcoming Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations.
The over 70 girls drawn from Marigat, Eldama Ravine, Tiaty East, Baringo North, Tiaty West, Baringo Central and Mogotio Sub-counties are part of the 700 beneficiaries of a second chance programme being sponsored by the County Woman Representative, Gladwell Cheruiyot, under National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NG-AAF).
Cheruiyot who is also the Patron of the affirmative action programme, conceptualized in 2017, said the initiative was in line with her manifesto, seeking to support young and needy girls from the vast county to go back to school, after dropping out due to teenage pregnancies.
The County MP who spoke during the meeting said she was happy to see her first 71 students who had already given up in life, after lacking support in their respective communities, successfully conclude their secondary education.
“I am happy because our girls have gotten the chance to pursue their dreams, which were almost shattered and I believe they have potential of advancing up to the highest level of their education careers,” she said.
The County MP said that the programme will not stop anytime soon, since her office will be recruiting more girls on an annual basis till the time when all needy children are enrolled in school.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers Executive Secretary, Bishop Dr. Joshua Cheptarus lauded the County MP for the programme, noting that it directly benefits many children from the communities like Pokot and Ilchamus, who are victims of retrogressive cultural practices like Female Genital Mutilation and early forced marriages.
Dr. Cheptarus who is also the Baringo Full Gospel Churches of Kenya overseer called for other stakeholders to chip in to support needy children at the grassroots.
Lake Bogoria Girls Secondary School Principal, Jean Ngaiwa, while delivering her keynote address urged the beneficiaries to take advantage of the God given opportunity by working hard in their respective schools so that they can be dependable people in future.
By Elizabeth Momanyi and Joshua Kibet