Moi scholarship programme stepping stone to greatness for needy students

Retired President Daniel Arap Moi.

Jayne Jepchirchir Chelimo is a living testimony of how Moi High School Kabarak has played a great role in helping children from needy families by giving them scholarships. Joining the giant school was a major achievement and blessing for Chelimo, today a nurse at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH).

The school is still dear to her and her family. She joined the school by default after a letter inviting her to join Moi Girls Eldoret disappeared. She had garnered 387 marks out of the possible 500 in Kenya Certifi cate of Primary Education (KCPE).

Chelimo from Tenges in Baringo Central, joined Kabarak a month late due to fi nancial di? culties. She later received a full scholarship from former President Daniel Moi, Moi Foundation Scholarship Programme. “Moi High School Kabarak is a prestigious school that does not leave out anybody. I am a beneficiary of the scholarship programme that has enabled me become a nurse,” says Chelimo.

After joining the school in 2002, she maintained her good academic performance and also developed interest in athletics. Her dream to become an international athlete, however, dissipated after she was diagnosed with a heart disease (pulmonary artery stenosis) at Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital while in Form Two.

At school, the then principal, Prof Henry Kiplagat, now Kabarak University Vice Chancellor, assigned female teachers to keep an eye on her. Her condition however worsened and she was admitted to several private hospitals in Nakuru. Back home, her parents were on the verge of giving up on her due to the high cost of managing the condition. “I felt like I was losing the battle but at such a tender age I had not attained all I wanted so I decided to seek the principal’s help.” A sympathetic Kiplagat took her to Nairobi Hospital where she underwent several surgeries. To her surprise, the bill was paid by the former President.

In 2006, she wrote her Kenya Certifi cate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and scored B plain and, consequently, received an invitation to Information Technology (IT) at Kenyatta University. But she was not keen to study IT. During her stay in hospital, she developed an interest in nursing after she witnessed nurses helping out patients. With Moi’s backing, Chelimo pursued a diploma at Nairobi Hospital Nursing School where she would later be employed. In 2014, she enrolled for a higher diploma at Mater Hospital where she specialised in midwifery. She joined Aga Khan Hospital but was later deployed to Equator Health Centre in Baringo.

To her surprise, Moi visited her during one of her check-ups and helped her secure employment at MTRH. In 2014, the former president further encouraged her to join Barton University for a degree in midwifery. She did so. Chelimo is now planning to enroll for a Masters degree in nursing. Moi has never abandoned the nurse and pays between Sh50,000 and Sh80,000 for her monthly medical check-ups. Chelimo describes Kabarak as a great place; a home where teachers become fathers and mothers.

“Moi High School-Kabarak is dear to me. I would have died 15 years ago but here I am because of joining the school. The principal intervened and I greatly thank God for Mzee Moi. I owe him a lot,” says the nurse. Former Laisamis MP Joseph Lekuton also attributes his success to Kabarak. Mr Lekuton was offered a scholarship at Moi High School-Kabarak at a time prolonged drought had wiped out their entire herd. As a result, his parents could not afford to pay his school fees.

Lekuton first met Moi during a football tournament at Kabarak and the former Head of State was impressed by Lekuton’s performance as a striker. After the competition, the then Education minister, the late Joseph Kamotho, approached Moi and informed him about the challenges Lekuton’s family was facing. The former President decided to foot Lekuton’s secondary school fees. “Mzee Moi came to my rescue at a time I was struggling to raise school fees. This is after I joined the giant school,” says the former MP.

After high school, the former legislator was o ered employment by Moi at Kenya Commercial Bank as a clerk. He then received a scholarship to pursue a degree in Economics and International Relations at St Lawrence University in the US. The former president paid part of his airfare. Lekuton further enrolled for a fellowship programme in Botswana and Tanzania. He later acquired a Masters degree in Public Administration and moved to Washington DC where he worked for National Geographic and later taught at Langley School in Northern Virginia. Apart from shaping his career, the former MP said Moi also initiated development projects in his remote village in Marsabit. Among others, the former Head of State ensured the village accessed clean water.

Even after scoring 387 marks in her KCPE, Trizah Kiplagat was worried that she would not join secondary school due to lack of school fees. She required about Sh60,000 to enroll at Loreto Girls in Limuru. Her mother, a widow, approached Kiplagat and he agreed to give Trizah a full scholarship. “I was devastated seeing my friends join school as I silently sat at home. I was elated when I received a letter from Moi High School Kabarak stating that I had secured full sponsorship. How? I cried the entire night, I could not believe it,” recalls the pharmacist.

At Kabarak, Trizah remained focused and in her KCSE scored an A of 82 points. She later enrolled for a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree at University of Nairobi. “Kabarak is the reason I succeeded. If I had not secured a scholarship, my dream of becoming a doctor would have ended prematurely. Long live Moi High School-Kabarak”. “The school’s serene environment made me feel like staying there even during holidays,” recalls the doctor. Another benefi cially of the scholarship is Robinson Chebii who joined the school in 2008 and wrote his KCSE in 2011. Chebii, who later studied architecture at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology says Kabarak School shaped him morally and he learnt how to handle life challenges.

“I am grateful to the former President. My mother approached him at our neediest of times and he gave us a hand of help. Long live Mzee Moi,” says the architect. Another scholarship benefi - ciary, Jack Cherop attends to patients with a smile at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. Cherop’s life was made brighter immediately he received a full scholarship after enrolling at the school. Initially, he had been enrolled at Tenges Secondary School after he scored 379 marks in KCPE but would later receive another letter from Kabarak.

“May be I could not have scored A plain of 83 points if I never got a scholarship at Kabarak. I maximised my capacity and here I am, a proud doctor. The school is a centre of excellence,” he says, adding that high competition also made him work harder