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NGO sponsors 120 needy students

It’s a sigh of relief for the parents and guardians of 120 needy students who excelled in KCPE after a non-governmental organisation awarded them a ten-year scholarship covering secondary and university education.

Parents and students keenly following the handing over of scholarships at the Star of the Sea Hall in Mombasa. Photo by Sadik Hassan

Hatua Network, incepted in 2007 by Peter Kwame and Gabrielle Fondiller, who were conducting research at the Likoni Ferry Crossing channel, has so far sponsored 1000 children from underprivileged families to access education.

Hatua Network Executive Director Gabrielle Fondiller says they were interviewing street vendors selling tomatoes, potatoes, and bananas on the side of the road.

“We were learning about the ways their incomes support their families, how their income is unable to support their families, and how they manage those challenging situations,” said Fondiller at the Star of the Sea Hall in Mombasa.

“We realised that across every parent that we spoke to, every person working hard to raise their children, their number one aspiration was to provide their kids with better quality education so the kids can live a quality life in the future,” she added.

To give back to the vendors, the duo decided to sponsor seven children of the vendors they had interviewed, but due to overwhelming demand and the impact, they had to increase the number of beneficiaries.

This year, the organisation received more than 1000 applications. Applicants were selected based on KCPE performance and the level of need. They will receive secondary school and university scholarships, mentoring, soft skills, counselling, and guidance.

“As of today,” says Fondiller, “we have sponsored 1,000 students, which we are very excited about.”

The students from underprivileged families doing well in school were selected with the support of teachers from across the public schools in Mombasa.

Speaking at the event, Mombasa County Executive for Education and Digital Transformation, Mbwarali Kame, lauded the organisation for augmenting the county government’s efforts in education. He welcomed other organisations to roll out similar programmes.

“We have been working closely with Hatua Network, and soon we will have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). We are scouting for an area where the organisation will build a modern library in Mombasa County. The MOU is in the pipeline, and the modern library will be realised soon,” revealed CECM Kame.

Mwanzala Obuya, a beneficiary of the scholarship from the Likoni constituency, could not hide her joy after her dream to join secondary school became a reality.

“Today I am happy and honoured to be awarded a scholarship by Hatua Network. I know everything I want, and the school that I am going to will pay for me,” she said.

On their part, parents expressed their gratitude to the organisation, noting that the scholarship will play a vital role in their children’s future.

Peris Kule, a parent, said, “I am excited that my son has gotten a scholarship; I am grateful I had no means; now he will be educated from secondary to university. I will tell him to work hard to break the vicious cycle of poverty.”

By Sadik Hassan and Abdulrahman Allui

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