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Joy as bright girls grounded by poverty get Wings to Fly

By Boniface Gikandi | January 20th 2015

Candidates who performed exemplary in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) have been celebrating their good results countrywide.

In some of Murang'a County households, the celebration has been a bit too loud, and it is not hard to understand why.

Scores of pupils who had dropped out of school citing stigmatisation after they were attacked by jiggers and poverty, were saved by Ahadi Trust-the jigger fighting NGO, and worked hard to emerge among the best in KCPE.

At Gatunyu and Mabae primary schools in Gatanga sub county, the candidates who were supported by Ahadi Trust registered impressive results and two of them even secured sponsorship from Equity Bank's coveted 'Wings to Fly' initiative.

The candidates recounted their suffering such as sleeping on empty stomach, jigger infestation and having to don tattered clothes.

"Jigger infestation affected our family but volunteers visited our school and we were treated and helped with food," said Faith Nyambura who scored 355 marks.

Joyce Nyambura who scored 313 marks says due to poverty, she had opted to be employed as a house-help in order to support her family.

"We had been depending on food and clothing from neighbours," she said.

Tears rolled down Erick Mweha's face as he recounted how he was immobilised by jiggers until Good Samaritans took him for treatment.

"Thanks to the community and Ahadi for having come to my family's rescue as we had lost hope in life," said Mweha from Mabae Primary School who scored 228 marks.

Gatunyu Primary School head Nelius Irungu says many of her pupils have benefited from the anti-jigger campaign in the last seven years.

"The two girls Annie Njeri Mburu and Priscillah Njeri Chege secured aid from the Wings to Fly had also benefited from the anti-jigger programme," said the head teacher.

Mburu and Chege scored 362 and 360 marks respectively. The leading candidate in the school posted 398 marks.

Special education school teacher Mr Samuel Thuku applauded the Ahadi Trust's efforts.

Mr Thuku said how jigger-infested children used to drop out of school after they were immobilised by jiggers.

"A lot has been done as we can see the fruits of partnership which must be strengthened to great heights for the benefit of the children from poor background," he said.

Peter Kibiru from Gitugi village said many of the children who had jiggers had been healed through community participation.

"Ahadi is on record supporting anti-jigger events which local leadership had been against on grounds of painting the region negatively"' said Kibiru.

Ahadi Trust Executive Director Dr Stanley Kamau hailed field volunteers who have helped transform lives of the many.

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