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Second chance for girl-child in Machakos

A special education fund for vulnerable girls who had dropped out of school due to teenage pregnancy and other social challenges   and were unable to go back to school has been launched in Machakos County.

This was launched by the Machakos Women Representative, Kamene Kasimbi, at the Machakos Social Hall, where  she issued cheques to 60 girls, sourced from all corners of Machakos County, and who were willing to go back to school. The financing will cater for their school fees.

Kamene said they had started the project of recruiting and receiving applications from the girls last year and together with her committee went  door to door, encouraging the girls who dropped out of primary and secondary school, to go back and give another shot at education.

“There are many vulnerable girls who have dropped out of school so far. We have 60 present and our target is 200, as we are sponsoring them gradually until they clear secondary education and also help them afterward,” said Kasimbi.

Mama County added that the fund is  also sponsoring vulnerable girls who were not pregnant when they dropped off from school but financial challenges hindered them from furthering their education, thus doing odd jobs in villages and suffering in poverty.

Kasimbi further clarified that the beneficiaries are  vetted  in  their villages, to ensure what they are saying is true in regards to why they dropped off from school and require a second chance.

She encouraged the girls to speak up against molestation and sexual abuse earlier on either in school or at home and alert the authorities, so that they can get help in time and reduce the number of teenage pregnancies.

Kasimbi urged local leaders, the Church, and the community to give morale to the girls who are going back to school and encourage them to work hard, since it’s not easy going back to school as mothers.

“Let us as a community, together with the leaders, have a positive mindset about the girls going back to school and support them where necessary and avoid ridiculing them for going back to school at their advanced age,” urged Kasimbi.

One of the girls from Mutituni Ward, Jacinta Nzioki, dropped out when she was in form four after she got pregnant and could no longer continue, since her parents were financially challenged and had to stay home and take care of the baby and do odd jobs to cater for her child.

Jacinta who dropped out six years ago, has been a house girl and now wants to clear secondary education and join college to become a nurse, which has been her dream.

She says she will work hard and make her family and community proud and is happy to get a cheque and join a boarding school, to concentrate on her studies without any interference.

By Anne Kangero

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